Webinars and release demos

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The following guidelines are recommended for Agile teams who are responsible for company wide release demos. While in person demos are preferred, it can be challenging to get all your employees to stop what they’re doing and attend a presentation. To that end, a video webinar is a great alternative. They can provide the same value, they can be viewed by remote employees and they can generate more feedback and engagement than in person presentations.

Consider the objectives

There are three general objectives for presenting product updates to employees…

  • Generate enthusiasm for the product updates
  • Promote the value of features being released
  • Gather high-level feedback that may be added to an enhancement list or backlog

To that end, demo should be…

  • Short (2-3 minutes)
    Companywide communications, involve remote attendance making attention and engagement a challenge. Break demos into short segments to ensure folks are paying attention
  • Fluid (no gaps or breaks)
    Demos should illustrate a reliable and predictable experience with the product moving smoothly from one feature to the next
  • Succinct (to the point)
    With large remote audiences, it’s not a good idea to ramble. Identify the thing you want to communicate in few words or less.

Use the following guidelines to ensure demos are enthusiastic, informative and achieve their objectives.

Prepare

  • Identify a flow or click stream that demonstrates features you want to draw attention to. Note timing of flow. If video capture is available, video the flow for reference.
  • Prepare a script or narration for the flow. Try to tell a story including who is using the product and how they are using it. Use the pace and timing of the flow to dictate the paragraphs and length of the script
  • Practice the flow while reading the script. If you have trouble, consider having an assistant, demonstrate the flow or click stream while you narrate. If video capture is available, record your narration as a voice over and use the final video.

Set expectations

  • Thank webinar host and attendees for the opportunity to demonstrate new product features
  • Make sure attendees can hear and see the screen
  • Review the goal for the demo
  • Encourage attendees to take notes during the demo so they can provide feedback at the end of the demo
  • Allow time at the end of the demo to gather feedback
  • Set expectations for feedback and review the goals for collecting feedback

Demo

  • Follow script
  • Demonstrate flow while reading the script. If you have trouble, consider having an assistant, demonstrate the flow or click stream while you narrate
  • Follow script emphasizing value for each feature, who it benefits and how they benefit

Collect feedback (Dos and don’ts)

  • After demo ask attendees to share feedback.
  • Capture feedback before moving on to different topicsAvoid discussing features or delivery dates not related to what was demoed (under promise, over deliver)
  • Thank everyone for their time and feedback
  • Let attendees know their time and feedback are valuable and you appreciate their participation