Tip #14: Demos must work

Tip 14: Demos. If you can, provide a demo of the product or service. However, only demo if you are completely certain it will work. A failed demo means no investment – even if it’s not your fault.

If you are showing off your product, it mustn't fall apart as it's passed around the audience. If it's a SaaS tool, you mustn't get an error message (or an interminable loading screen) when presenting it.

Don't make all the pitch dependent on the demo. Bearing in mind tip 13, there will be technical difficulties somewhere. Make sure that if the demo does go wrong the rest of the pitch makes sense "standalone."

Screen shots of the key activities are often an effective trade-off between functionality and reliability. Another approach is to give people the simple website link for a demo so they can see the product ahead of time, or follow along on their phones while you’re talking – though be careful they don’t get distracted.