Navigating the delicate art of product demonstrations in the legal tech industry, I’ve learned that it’s a dance of precision, trust, and realistic storytelling. As a former CEO of a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) company, I have seen demos that dazzled and others that fizzled. The difference? Authenticity and understanding the audience.
This brings to mind the recent unveiling of Google’s Gemini. Touted as a groundbreaking AI model, Gemini’s introduction was shadowed by embellishments in its demonstration. This incident serves as a rich learning ground for anyone in legal tech aiming to make a mark with their product demos.
When Google unveiled Gemini, it was expected to be a monumental leap in AI. However, the demo video, while impressive, took liberties with reality. It portrayed simplified interactions, sped-up responses, and edited outputs. Although common in tech demos, this approach sparked critical responses from developers and industry watchers. It highlighted a crucial lesson: authenticity matters in the world of technology, especially in legal tech.
Key Lessons For Legal Tech Demos
Honesty Is Paramount
Trust is the cornerstone of the legal profession. Your demo should be a mirror of your product’s current capabilities. Exaggerations can damage credibility and relationships in an industry built on precision and reliability.
Setting Realistic Expectations
It’s tempting to showcase a utopian view of your product, but balancing ambition with reality is crucial. Legal professionals appreciate a demonstration that acknowledges both strengths and areas for growth.
Transparency With Limitations
Be upfront about what your product can — and cannot — do. This level of honesty builds trust and sets the stage for future enhancements and updates.
Tailoring To The Audience
Understanding the legal audience’s mindset is key. Their needs and pain points are unique, and your demo should speak directly to these. Showcasing how your product can simplify their daily tasks or solve complex issues will resonate deeply.
Interactive demos that allow the audience to experience the product firsthand are invaluable. During my time in CLM, demos that engaged the audience with real-world scenarios and interactive features always left a lasting impression.
Actionable Insights For An Impactful Demo
Preparation Is Key
Research your audience thoroughly. Understand their challenges and tailor your demo to address those challenges. Rehearse your presentation to ensure a smooth delivery.
Clear And Concise Presentation
Clarity is king. Ensure your demo is easy to follow, avoiding technical jargon that might alienate your audience. Keep your pace steady and allow for questions.
Anticipate potential questions and prepare answers. Being able to address concerns on the spot demonstrates expertise and confidence in your product.
Engagement And Interaction
Incorporate elements that invite participation. Whether it’s a Q&A session or a hands-on segment, interaction keeps the audience engaged and makes your demo memorable.
The demo isn’t the end. Develop a strategy to follow up with attendees, offer additional information, and keep the conversation going.
Reflecting on my journey as a CEO in legal tech, I recall a specific demo that was a turning point for our company. We had developed a new feature that we knew could revolutionize certain legal processes. However, we created a scenario-based demonstration instead of simply talking about it. We invited attendees to participate and experience the feature in a simulated legal environment. This approach showcased the product’s capabilities and its practical application in a legal setting. The overwhelmingly positive response reinforced a vital lesson: show, don’t just tell.
A product demo in the legal tech world is more than a presentation; it’s a narrative that weaves together technology, user needs, and real-world applications. It’s an opportunity to build trust and establish a connection with your audience. The Google Gemini incident, despite its shortcomings, serves as a crucial reminder of the value of authenticity and the power of a well-executed demo. Let’s use these insights to refine our approach, ensuring that our demos not only showcase our products but also resonate with the unique needs and expectations of the legal community.
Olga V. Mack is a Fellow at CodeX, The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, and a Generative AI Editor at law.MIT. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat, Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on three books: Visual IQ for Lawyers (ABA 2024), The Rise of Product Lawyers: An Analytical Framework to Systematically Advise Your Clients Throughout the Product Lifecycle (Globe Law and Business 2024), and Legal Operations in the Age of AI and Data (Globe Law and Business 2024). You can follow Olga on LinkedIn and Twitter @olgavmack.