Skip to content

How To Effectively Conduct a Demo

Last updated on 6 października 2021

Stress before a demo? First demo in your life? There are a few steps you can take to at least alleviate some stress and better prepare yourself for it.

A sprint demo is a presentation of the work done during a sprint in front of stakeholders (usually the Product Owner or the customer themselves).

Invitation to a demo

The demo in my opinion already starts with the invitation. The invitation should already include:

  • Invitation of interested persons with the time corresponding to them in the calendar
  • What the presentation will be about — a brief description of the tasks presented / possibly a short agenda in case of multiple issues
  • Links to the stories of the presented issues

Before demo

The best thing you can do is to prepare yourself a scenario. In it, prepare yourself a short theoretical introduction: What you are presenting, why such a change, what this change adds/improves. Beyond that, primarily focus on two things:

  • Happy Path — the optimistic path of your change. Show that everything works as expected for a few test cases prepared in advance. It is best to copy the data needed for such a shot/transition to a notepad, just to copy what you need — so that you can show what you have done.
  • Bad Path — Prepare also false cases, with which you can show that the validation works well — viewers may point out various false cases, so prepare unit/integration tests to cover such cases!

You can have the script open on another screen or even look at it in the presentation, no one will complain about it, it’s not an exam.

Demo time!

Once you’ve prepared well before the meeting, all you need to do is start by saying hello, and you can start flying from a pre-prepared script. If you have prepared it thoroughly, there will be no room for stress because you know what to do! Additionally, you can score points by showing already prepared results from the code coverage analysis tool to show that you have everything beautifully tested (it all depends on your superiors whether they pay attention to it — but it doesn’t hurt to prepare it too). 

Ending the demo

Finally, ask if anyone has any questions. This is the one time when stress can strike again, but don’t worry, you’ve done a decent job, you’ve probably already taken most of the questions out of the audience’s hands. If not, remember that the most important thing is to fully understand why the change was needed, what the need was that initiated the change, and whether your change in your understanding of the issue fully covers the need. If so, the rest is a possible under-understanding of the issue, which is the problem of the entirely wrong stage of the sprint….

Say thanks for the meeting and don’t prolong it unnecessarily. Each invitee has already sat long enough, passively listening — you can’t sustain attention like that for long!

After demo

If you are preparing some test data and the application you are using in your company allows you to upload files, it would be best if you put the test data/scripts etc. into a subtask called, e.g., “Demo”. In the future, if this part of the code needs to be developed/changed, this will allow you to quickly prepare the data or someone on your team!


Infographic summarizing the article
Published inAgile