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Indeed we are – and consider the impact this has on traditional software demos!
Imagine you are driving home from work or on an errand… What do you remember about the cars and signs you see, the road-side debris, people, buildings and the roads you pass? How much of that information is retained?
Very little is actually remembered about what you saw along your way. Our brains are continuously evaluating what we see and hear as we move through our day – and continuously discarding anything that is not considered important, threatening, or particularly interesting.
What don’t we remember? Everything that is typical, expected, or normal.
What do we remember? Remarkable events, problems, danger and close calls, humor (things that made us laugh), anger (things that made us mad) and other emotional experiences (things that caused a strong emotional reaction).
How does this impact our demos and what audiences remember? In an hour-long traditional demo, we shouldn’t expect our audiences to remember very much:
What will audiences recall from traditional demos? The beginning, the end, and the ugly:
They may also remember the absence of capabilities they were looking for – in many cases, even if these capabilities were, in fact, presented!
What can we do to improve our success rates?
Here are three simple (yet very effective!) tactics to help your customers retain the key ideas you want them to remember:
How can you tell if your audience will remember the key points? You’ll see them making notes – writing things down.
We combat our “programming-to-forget” by making notes of the major ideas, issues and questions we want to remember. For software demos, if you are doing well, you’ll see your audience making notes about key capabilities and writing comments about what they find particularly interesting.
What else can we do to help audiences remember our demos? Anything that is perceived as remarkable is memorable – for example:
Humans are, by nature, programmed to forget. Causatively forgetting the unimportant, the uninteresting and the unremarkable is how our brains are able to handle the enormous volume of information we encounter every day.
Make your demos memorable by Doing the Last Thing First, organizing your delivery in consumable components, and by summarizing – as basics. Make your demos truly unforgettable by doing the unexpected, the noteworthy, and the remarkable.
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We Are Programmed To Forget - And Its Impact on Our Demos