How to write the best demo script? Trick question.
In The Office Season 4 Episode 4 (“Money”), Michael runs out of money (he famously “declares bankruptcy”), and, to make ends meet, takes a job as a telemarketer.
The thing that’s not obvious at first about Michael Scott is that he is, in fact, an excellent salesperson (even if he’s a combination train wreck and dumpster fire as a boss) – this has been proven over several episodes where he shows a real human connection with his prospects and closes sales.
At his very shady telemarketer job, Michael isn’t a manager, but simply someone who “smiles and dials.” During a sales meeting (which, ironically, Michael called “useless”), his new boss Nick Figaro told him to follow a formula:
- Make The Call
- Say The Lines
- Make The Sale!!!
As Michael was on a call chatting with a prospect (and not actively selling at that moment), Nick hangs up the phone, and brings Michael into his office to chew him out. Nick’s problem? Michael needs to “dial the number on the heat and stick to the script,” which Michael can’t do (yes, Vikram, who follows the script, outsells Michael every night, but that’s beside the point).
When you’re demoing, you’re not doing a 30 second telemarketer pitch. But many salespeople try to follow this same formula which, while it may work for Vikram at the shady telemarketing outfit, won’t work in your demo. Because you’re not yourself.
One of our demo rules is “always demo like yourself” – audiences can see right through presenters who are inauthentic. And, trying to be something else, or say something that doesn’t feel right, takes a lot of brainpower – brainpower that can be used to read the audience or to ask good questions.
Instead of “sticking to a script,” write yourself a set list. Write out the key points you need to hit, and let the rest be a conversation.
If you are writing out what you want to say on your demo, here are some tips to make your talk track as strong as possible:
- Eliminate the word “click” from your demo.
Instead of narrating with “I click here,” “I click there,” you want to drop benefit statements like “look how fast it is to do this, or look how easily you can do that.” Just taking out the word “click” can make a huge difference for getting to that point.
2. Context. Feature. Benefits. (Tell-show-tell in Demo2Win! parlance)
Start with context – tell the audience why you’re going to show something. Then show the thing. Then give the benefit of the thing.
3. Start with a story
Storytelling engages all of your brain. When you start telling a story the audience is with you and it is your job throughout the demo, to keep the audience with you. How do you do that? Reference back to the story. You are creating the moment and bringing the audience into the moment with you. Read more about storytelling here.
4. Always close with value and next steps
If you don’t set next steps, how will anyone know what to do next?
5. Save big claims for the end
You need to earn the right to make a big claim. Build value continually and build trust. When you have so much build up, the end is where you can make the big claims because you have proven your product and yourself.
6. Don’t leave value for the audience to find
Cognitive ease – the more a story is plausible, the easier it is to believe, the less likely someone is to activate “system 2.” Therefore, make it as easy as possible for them to see value by being clear about the benefits. Define the value visually and verbally in no uncertain terms. It should be very obvious from your visuals and your verbal communication what the value is. If there is any doubt, go back and dework the portion of the demo.
How to write the best demo script? We wish it were that simple. Writing great demo scripts requires proper delivery context, storytelling, and keeping the audience engaged and together. If you would like to attend one of our workshops with your team, we can work on the perfect script for your product. Let’s Chat.