How to Give a Really Bad Demo: Ten Worst Practices from Actual Experience

by Donald Light, November 28, 2012


Giving a bad demo is obviously against vendors’ best interests—and also serves the interest of prospective buyers poorly—that this report has abandoned the usual “10 Best Practices for Giving a Great Demo” approach.

In the report How to Give a Really Bad Demo: Ten Worst Practices from Actual Experience, Celent uses humor, satire, and a tongue-in-cheek perspective to help vendors and those who want to buy solutions from vendors to have better and more effective demo experiences.

“There is no particular reason a vendor would want to give a bad demo to a prospective buyer of its software, and yet, vendor selection teams and analysts sit through a lot of really bad demos--and to be fair, bad stretches in some pretty good demos,” says Donald Light, Research Director with Celent’s Insurance Group and author of the report. “Why this is both puzzling and troubling.”

This 17-page report presents ten “worst practices” based on actual experience—ranging from “Don’t try to understand the insurance company” to “Business value: Don't even go there.” The goal of the report is to make vendors and insurers break a smile and think about how to make demos work for them.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary




Worst Practice One: Don’t Try to Understand the Insurance Company


Worst Practice Two: Give the Same Demo You Always Give


Worst Practice Three: Don’t Waste Time Convincing the Insurer You Are a Good Long-Term Partner


Worst Practice Four: If You Get a Hard Question, Don’t Answer It


Worst Practice Five: Business Value? Don’t Even Go There


Worst Practice Six: Spend as Much Time as Possible in the Business User Environment


Worst Practice Seven: Don’t Demonstrate the Current Version


Other Worst Practices that Don’t Need a Full Page to Write About



Eight: Don’t Give People a Chance to Understand New Screens



Nine: Don’t Tune Your Demo for the Insurer’s Presentation Environment



Ten: Don’t Repeat Questions or Answers for Anyone on a Conference Line




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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