Demo culture

Poll Everywhere has a heavy and healthy demo culture. We center our sprints and much of our work being able to demo our work at company wide meetings like Townhall and Scrutineering. This goes beyond just product or engineering teams. We encourage and support our Marketing, Analytics, Sales and even Operations team to give visual demoes of their work regularly.

This helps keep everyone on the same page, especially to drive cross team collaboration. Allows easy dogfooding and feedback cycles. And, perhaps most importantly, gives everyone a chance to show off and feel good about their accomplishments.

Giving a good demo

We are a presentation company and we give our demoes to the entire company whenever possible. This means that demoes must be visual (videos, gifs, images) to keep attention. They must also be clear enough for coworkers who have little to no exposure to your project or team to understand. Finally, these demoes happen at company wide meetings. Brevity is beautiful.

Keep it short

We want demoes to be under 2 minutes long. Sometimes this is not possible. In these situations, we always contact the meeting facilitator to be sure that a longer demo can fit within the length of the meeting.

Visual

Make a chart, or take a screenshot, a short video anything to help get the change across. A live demo or screenshare is great for impact, but is painful for anyone who misses the meeting. Be sure to add a video or description to live on in the document.

These should be uploaded to Google Drive or Dropbox and linked to from the meeting’s agenda. And, be sure to share it with the presentation computer.

Your demo video doesn’t need to win an academy award. If you’re spending more than 30 minutes refining your demo, you should really reevaluate your goal. Finally, while we all love slides - you don’t need to always rely on slides.

Considerate for outside the team

As Albert Einstein said: “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” Poll Everywhere is a growing company with many different teams. Avoid acrononyms, technical jargon, or name dropping software applications. When you cannot avoid, be sure to define and explain what the various terms and references mean. This is how we all learn.

Finally, do a gut check before your presentation. Find a colleague or your coach and review your demo. We always want to make sure this is something the whole company might find interesting or helpful. The point is for you to look good!