Do’s and Dont’s for effective “lightening” demos of your health IT product

Home > Do’s and Dont’s for effective “lightening” demos of your health IT product
I’ll be moderating the the first of 3 “Innovator’s Challenge” sessions at the Partners

2012 Connected Health Symposium & Expo. It’s not easy for a company to be selected for a prestigious demo session like this and if the demos are done right they can help the company gain traction in the market.

The Innovator’s Challenge sessions use the “lightening” format where each participant has 5 or fewer minutes to do their demo before the next one starts (barely 30 seconds of transition between demos). The lesson for this kind of format is not just brevity and focus but attention to value and focus on an overarching theme.

Here are some Do’s and Dont’s that shared with my session participants, perhaps they’ll be useful to others:

  • UPDATE: 10-24-2012, Bart Collet commented “If you would have only 1 minute (in stead of 5), focus on: ‘What problem do you solve?’” That’s such good advice that even if you have 5 minutes start out with telling the audience what problem you’re solving.
  • Don’t worry that you won’t get your message across in such a short time — it may seem like you can’t get much done in 5 minutes but if you do the demo tightly, it can be very memorable. A tight demo means not just meeting the time allotment but actually having a purpose for doing the demo – is it to sell a concept, an actual solution, get audience feedback, etc.?
  • Don’t beat around the bush about the value proposition; clearly tell the audience about the payer for your solution, the user of your solution, and the benefiters of the system (read my introduction to the “PBU” circle for details) – come out in the first minute and clearly articulate:
    • Who is your intended user, the actual human being that will log in and enter data or use the screens (a doctor, a nurse, a staff member, a researcher, etc.)?
    • Who pays for your solution (the user themselves, a hospital, a practice, a lab, etc.)? This group of people may not even touch the system but they do pay for it.
    • Who benefits from the solution (the user directly, the government, the hospital, etc.)? This group of people may not pay or use the system but are direct beneficiaries.
  • You can really only convey one or two main points in the time given so try and do your demo with an “overarching theme” in mind – every screen or feature you show should have a well thought out purpose. The overarching theme should be focused around the value proposition and talk about the users and customers not about you.
  • Don’t try to show too much, focus on your key differentiators and unique value propositions. The idea is to show what makes you different than everyone else, not the same.
  • Try not to use a PPT deck – instead, spent your time in your app. However, if you have a PPT deck, ensure (within reason) that it’s no more than 7 to 9 slides including front and back matter. If you have more slides but have timed your presentation, that’s fine too but PPT will normally slow you down so go without if you can.
  • Your objective is to have one or two things stick in the audience’s mind so they’ll visit your website or come see you after the meeting, not to buy the product because of the demo.

Got any tips for companies doing lightening demos in healthcare? Leave some comments.


Shahid N. Shah

Shahid Shah is an internationally recognized enterprise software guru that specializes in digital health with an emphasis on e-health, EHR/EMR, big data, iOT, data interoperability, med device connectivity, and bioinformatics.