Project
7
 min read
August 27, 2020

How to prepare for a demo or presentation of a software project?

Martin Macík
Business Manager

Have you ever heard that the presentation of the project did not turn out as well as you expected? That it made the client feel confused instead enthusiatic? And did it happen despite the fact that the project was finished exactly as expected?

Index

Maybe it was just because his presentation was not worth much. People follow their feelings. The first impression is often also the most important. It decides about further cooperation´s progress. Therefore, it is suitable to prepare properly for the presentation and not scuffle it.

In GoodRequest, we have 3 meeting rules:
- Aim
- Process
- Visualization
project presentation


Although it may seem like a trivial "demonstration of what is done" at first. But appearances can be deceptive. These 3 rules are also suitable for the presentation of a demo or the final project, and therefore we will follow them in this process.

The aim of the presentation

We determine the aim of the presentation based on the type of project. Within software development, we most often encounter the following:

Internal demo

Company presentation in front of a team of people who are not included in the project, but can bring quality feedback. The aim is to evaluate the level of presentation of the team's work on the project and to fine-tune the current situation before it goes to the client. Although, on the one hand, this type of presentation may seem "unnecessary", unnecessary to prepare so much, it is a big mistake. Colleagues are often very detailed, attentive and so they can be considered as a great audience. Completing the internal demo is a great way to prepare for the client. Train hard, fight easy. ;)

Client demo

Projects that are being worked on for a longer period are divided into phases. Each of these phases should also have its own presentation associated with the delivery of current milestones. When presenting these partial results, the most important thing is to show the client where we are currently and explain to him what is done and what is still being worked on. The first client demo usually determines the development of the entire cooperation during the project.

acceptance presentation

Acceptance presentation

The final presentation of the project is very important. You need to prepare properly and leave nothing to chance. The aim is to show your work in the best possible way and present it as a final product.

A well-managed acceptance presentation will not only ensure that the client´s satisfaction, but will also open the door to new opportunities or projects.

It is important to ask yourself the basic question before the presentation: "If people remember only one thing from a presentation, what should it be?"

Process

Plan!

Plan your process and stick to it. "There's nothing worse" than when you improvise during the presentation and accidentally run functionality that you haven't finished yet or you know is "imperfect". It is ideal to create a happy path, (ideal path / scenario) where you will show the client the whole process without mistakes and inconveniences. Being prepared pays off!

Test, test and retest!

Whether it's the technology, the connection or the functionality, everything needs to be tested before each demo or final presentation. If you come across something during testing that you no longer have time to fix, let the client know in advance. Usually it doesn't turn out well when the client discovers the error himself or if you try to fix it quickly before the presentation.

Get rid of anything that can be distracting

Even a well-managed presentation can go wrong if you or the client are being disturbed. Therefore, check everything from the following checklist before each presentation. It will definitely turn out better without distractions.

  • Turn off your email client
  • Make sure Slack is off or set to do not disturb mode
  • Turn off the ringtone on your mobile
  • Close all windows that may not be open (due to possible street noise)
  • Turn on the do not disturb function

Call in the right people

Prepare agenda for the presentation in advance. If you expect technical questions, call in an experienced developer. Is it a design presentation? Call in a UX / UI designer. The best the one who knows the project. Don't be afraid to call in more people who are relevant to the project. This makes the client feel important and the company tries to avoid insufficient answers.

Don't underestimate the role of a facilitator

Conversational facilitation is very important when presenting a demo. The facilitator decides where the conversation will go and will not allow it to be led in the wrong direction. If you have already presented a demo, you will certainly recognize the situation when one of the participants was the so-called featurist. This is a person who comments on requirements in addition to the scope of the project during the presentation. The featurist usually sweeps the whole group and you definetely want to avoid this.

The role of the facilitator is to guide such people with regard to the time frame and aim of the presentation.

A reporter is a must

Make sure someone from the team writes down everything important. It is necessary to write down not only all the comments of clients, but also any non-verbal reactions. Sometimes you can learn more from observation than you expect. For example, what the client really thinks about the product. His reactions will tell you if you are going according to your ideas. The reporter should be someone else than the one giving the presentation. ;-)

uloha facilitatora

Visualization

Texts and images are important for the client

Do you present to the client? What may seem obvious to you, e.g. texts that you can change with a touch of your hand are often essential for the client. Lorem ipsum is a text that simply cannot be in a quality presentation. The same for pictures. The client will certainly be more pleased with the image of his company than the irrelevant, quickly found image. It's a detail. But that's what it is about. About small essential details that make up the whole.

Show only the importants

Do you present a web application? Set up a full screen and open everything you need in advance. Loading is an enemy that takes away from plus points.

Are you going to present designs? A clickable prototype is the way that will certainly attract the client. Add a few transitions that resemble the final state and you have won.

Remote presentation

Remote presentation can also have its quality. But what we have to mention is that it probably won't be as successful as a live presentation.

Make sure you have a good internet connection on site. It seems very unprofessional if half of the presentation is interrupted and the client hears everything as listening to a broken radio. Do you want quality sound? Invest and buy a quality microphone and speaker for conference calls.

prezentacia klientovi

Your checklist for a successful project presentation

  • Goal
  • Agenda
  • Happy path
  • Properly tested version
  • List of malfunctions
  • Removed distractions
  • Properly selected team of participants
  • Facilitator
  • Reporter
  • Interesting "bespoke" texts and pictures
  • Reliable and functional technology
  • Empty screen

In addition to an impressive presentation, do you care about properly set up processes? Get inspired by our process of website briefing, or the UX / UI process in a few easy steps.

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