6 Tips on How to Give a Great App Demo


A few of us at Apptimize went to the LAUNCH Festival earlier this week. We spent most of our time demoing at the booth, but we did manage to spend some time seeing the official LAUNCH demos as well as walk around to the other booths to check out exciting products. There were lots of amazing startups demoing apps. By experiencing other booth demos, observing reactions to our demos, and watching the products on stage pitch to judges, we’ve learned a few great tips on how to make a great app demo:

  1. Don’t trust the wifi. You’ve probably have heard this before, but it’s really important. Don’t even trust the hotspot(s) that you bring to the conference. We literally brought three hotspots, and they all periodically fuzzed out on us. Many demoers bring their own hotspots which cause a shortage of bandwidth from AT&T, Verizon, etc., so even that will have trouble. While most attendees at conferences are understanding of wifi issues, you can see the difference on their faces when a demo runs smoothly versus not. Think about preparing a demo that can run well with or without wifi. Or at least have a fallback plan in case the wifi does have problems.
  2. Properly introduce your app and its value before jumping into the details of how to use your app. Don’t assume that your audience immediately understands the value of your product or the problem that your app is trying to solve. Many excited presenters dive too quickly into how to use their product before explaining why we should use their product. Give your audience a scenario to relate to.
  3. Practice, practice, practice. Don’t just practice on a nice audience, practice on a brutal one. Leading up to the event, role play with coworkers mocking various situations. How do you present to a really experienced potential customer? What about someone who has no clue what you’re talking about? Try practicing with someone who’s intrigued versus disinterested. Do you know how to handle the talkative type that won’t leave versus the silent type who gives you nothing in return? Most importantly, practice when your product isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do because the wifi just went down.
  4. Create a list of (hard) questions that customers ask and be ready with answers. The judges at LAUNCH stumped several presenters on stage with challenging questions, often about the marketability, usability, and viability of the new products. Sometimes, we’re so focused on engineering and product development that we forget how to answer questions as basic as “Why would anyone use this?” Other times, the judges’ questions seem to come out of left field ( (like when LAUNCH judge Kara Swisher asked the Drop team why they only featured women in their video of bakers using their product. Some would argue that was good targeting since casual bakers do tend to skew female, but Kara thought it was sexist.). The teams that did the best acknowledged the judges’ concerns before transitioning to the point they wanted to make. Don’t get caught up in negative questions. And definitely don’t argue with the judges.People who walked by our booth stumped me with questions occasionally, too (and unlike the judges, they weren’t even trying). These were typically detailed questions around the engineering that I hadn’t been asked before. It’s hard to prepare for every question, but try to actually challenge your demo team with questions when you practice. Ask tough and/or random questions so they’ll have a confident answer when a potential customer asks.
  5. Be energetic and positive. Don’t forget about body language and tone. It’s important to make sure your energy is always up and positive. When you’re scheduled to give demos all day long, you will get tired and give some demos that are worse than others. Shake off the negative vibes. We found visiting other booths to be inspiring, refreshing, and fun. Make sure to take breaks when needed. And know where to find the nearest coffee.
  6. Tailor each demo. Do you know what your audience does? Or what features they would like to see? Knowing this will enable you to highlight the features of your app they are most likely to be excited about, which will make each demo more engaging.

About Apptimize

Apptimize is an innovation engine that provides A/B testing and feature release management for native mobile, web, mobile web, hybrid mobile, OTT, and server. Industry leaders like HotelTonight, The Wall Street Journal, and Glassdoor have created amazing user experiences with Apptimize.

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