My perspective may not be the final word on this subject, but I have seen so many of these that I do have some suggestions. It may not make for the perfect presentation, but if this advice were taken then at least I would be happier. 🙂
Many of these have been used by presenters
1. Ask a few questions to see who is in the audience. See who is there. Owners, Engineers, Architects, new users, seasoned vets or others. You need to know who you are talking with. I have seen this done and it helps for future interaction with the audience.
2. Adjust your presentation based on who they are and what they want to see. I have not seen too many presenters ask what the people want to see. It might work if the presenter really knows the subject.
3. Don’t give the canned demo. Nothing is worse that seeing someone read from a script or show a product that they really don’t know. Get to know your tools before you show them to others.
4. Put the good stuff up front. Don’t make me wait through the slide show or the little improvements. Show me the best – first.
5. Interact with the audience. Ask them questions and get feedback. Let them interrupt you (within reason). The more you engage the audience the better you are at hitting their curiosity.
6. Take specific questions offline. Answer every question briefly and directly and move the long answers to the end.
7. End on time. Make your presentation and end on time so that those who have not seen something worth chatting about can move on. The ones that are interested will stick around. And they are the ones you want to talk to anyway.
These suggestions may improve your presentations and demos. But the most important thing is to know your product.