How to do a Perfect Sprint Demo

I am talking about Product based companies developing software using scrum methodology. And I am talking about the ‘demo’ and not the sprint review.  The sprint review typically happens at the end of sprint with Product Manager(s) & Designer(s), who review the output of the sprint about what was committed & what got delivered. 

Demo

The Sprint demo is about showcasing your work to a wider audience, senior stakeholders, your consumers, operations, marketing, sales people etc.  I have done dozens of these & experimented with some formats.Here is what worked the best for me:

Format 

  • Total Meeting time: 30 mins
  • Walk through a summary Deck: 5-7 mins
  • Show the demo: 5-8 mins (max 10 mins)
  • Q n A: 15 mins.

Preparation

  • Prepare a 3 slider deck.First slide – a summary of all functional stories delivered in the last sprint, second slide  – non functional, 3rd slide – defects & sprint metrics
  • Prepare a video of the demo. If you want to show a web app for example, show what you want to show on the browser and record it in a video. You can use snagit or quick time for recording a screen cast.
  • Now this video is the most important and trickiest bit.   For this you need to first write a small demo script – which would explain what would happen on the screen and what is the presenter supposed to speak at that time. Meaning what are the audience going to “See” and “hear” in the demo. ( its almost like writing screen play of a movie 😉 )
  • Write the screen play :
    • You need to weave all the stories delivered in the last sprint in an easy to follow video movie.
    • Make sure you give enough pause at each step where you can talk about what the audience are going to see next.
    • So things like clicking on a link, expanding a particular section, scrolling down a page – need an explanation as to why you are going to do that and what should the audience expect to see. So keep that in your screen play.
    • Repeating a point sometimes does not hurt.
    • Write a flowy script & tell a story about what real user problems are being solved.
  • Rehearse the script by following the steps on your software. When you feel ready, record the demo video.
  • Ideally you should record your voice along with the video too. ( this would be useful when you share your video with folks offline)
    • While recording your voice – use an excited & happy tone.
    • Give pauses at the transitions, tell them what they are going to see, after they have seen it, repeat what they saw.
    • Go in a flow, but at the same time, be a bit slow so that audience get time to soak it all in.
  • When the video is done, rehearse a bit again – be ready to give your confident voice during the actual demo.

At the Demo 

  • You are at stage.  Be confident. Welcome people with a smile 🙂
  • Set an expectation that questions ideally should be raised at the end.
  • Start with the deck and then quickly get to the video. ( you need to finish both in 15 mins)
  • Ideally, having the deck open in a small window on the side while the video is running helps.The audience can always see on the side to know what all is being covered in the video. ( or you can weave the deck into the video itself  – for a making it even better  )
  • Play the video and give your voice during the demo. ( Although the voice is preRecorded too, but keep that on mute, live sound energy is way better for a live audience 🙂 )
  • Make sure you sound energized and excited !
  • During the QnA round – if there is time left, feel free to call out individual attendees for their questions, comments, cover folks on the phone line too.  ( the names you noted initially would now help).

The above worked wonders for me, what about you ? Please do share your experiences below.

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