If there is one thing the past year of technical events has taught us, it's that making our technical training sessions and presentations short, dynamic and seamless, has the biggest impact. A huge factor as to why this shift has happened is that lots of the presentations and demonstrations we've all seen over the past year have had demos pre-recorded, then edited in video post-production to cut out things like unnecessary load times or navigation between apps and visuals.
The good news is that there are a lot of ways to get that same level of precision and impact in your LIVE demos. And this isn't just going to help you as in-person events begin to start up again, but it also helps as you demo in online meetings or webinars as a remote presenter.
Demoing apps and services is an artform that requires preparation and deep knowledge of apps and operating system capabilities, along with keyboard shortcuts, and a little secret sauce to be as effective and smooth as possible.
So to help, I've created a running series of hands-on tutorials to to help make your presentations and demos from Windows 10 or Windows 11 as easy to follow, accessible, and as seamless as possible.
1. Preparing your Windows demo environment
The first step is ensuring that your demo environment does not have visual distractions, doesn't share information or anything private that you don't want to share, and is readable for people who might be viewing from a distance or on a small screen. This video goes step-by-step through all of the settings to prepare a Windows 10 PC for demoing:
2. Demoing from a browser, whether it's Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome
Modern browsers have a ton of new capabilities for demoing cloud-based services. And for many, the browser is the primary app you use or demo from. In Edge or Chrome, you can take advantage of things like separate user profiles enabling you to sign in to multiple cloud tenants simultaneously from a single browser, using the classic full screen capability to hide address bars and tabs, tricks like navigating tabs using the CTRL+TAB shortcut. This video goes step-by-step through all of the options and tricks in the browser to improve your demos:
3. Seamless multi-part demo navigation using desktops in Windows 11
Desktops in Windows 10 were a game changer for navigating between presentations, apps and even remote or virtual machines using the Windows Key + TAB to create desktops, and CTRL+Windows+Right/Left to navigate them. Windows 11 makes them even more useful with the ability to rearrange desktop order using drag and drop or keyboard shortcuts and adding the ability to change desktop background images per desktop. This video shows pitfalls to avoid using a single desktop, then goes step-by-step through all of the capabilities and options when using desktops in Windows 11:
I created these videos based on lots of requests over the years, and I've demonstrated a lot of these concepts as closing shows at Microsoft Mechanics Live - not part of the official schedule - in previous Microsoft Ignite conferences. As I add to the series, I'll post them into this blog and plan to cover tips for recording demos, adding them to PowerPoint along with your options for video editing and playback, and finally using pro tools like Zoomit from Sysinternals to improve visual accessibility of your demos.
Hopefully these help as you deliver (and consume) IT training and resources at upcoming events, whether online or in-person. Happy demoing and looking forward to seeing how you can use these and future tips.
- Jeremy Chapman