When you’re really passionate about your product, it can be very easy to get carried away talking about the research, creativity and technical savvy that went into developing it. But here’s the problem: your audience doesn’t really care! So if you want them to pay attention, you’d better show them what your product can do! That’s exactly what Michael Pritchard did when introducing his LIFESAVER bottle at the 2009 TED conference.
Click here to watch the full talk (10 minutes)
What Can We Learn?
- Keep your technical/theoretical explanation short and simple
- Don’t be shy about building anticipation and adding a little showmanship
- As you wow your audience, highlight the key benefit of your product in one short sentence, e.g. “safe, sterile drinking water.”
In Pritchard’s talk, he spent the first 3 minutes introducing the problem and adding context before beginning his demonstration. After the demo, he went on to the implications of the technology – how it would benefit so many people around the world. Having seen the LIFESAVER bottle in action, the audience was open to Pritchard’s vision for the future. Seeing is believing.
Few things can captivate and inspire an audience like a great demo. So don’t hold out on them. For the lead-in to your demo, take only as much time as necessary to make sure your audience can fully appreciate what they’re about to see. Chances are that once they’ve been blown away by your demo, they’ll be keen to learn more!
This demo reminded me of a scene in the movie, The Guilt Trip. In the middle of a failing pitch, the inventor finally comes to the realisation that he has to let go of his detailed explanation and give the audience a show! Here’s the clip. (You’ll need to turn up the volume)