Had a one-on-one technical demo today. Cool product, neat technology, successful business model, working for the customers. Person showing off the product was competent, well spoken, and giving not only of time, but knowledge. Everything set up for success.I needed the demo to compare and contrast and examples in a course I teach; he supposedly needed me to give some key points of the other architecture I instruct so his product could integrate. We settled on those key points in about 5 minutes, but the demo went 75. It wasn’t boring, bad, or beneath me, but…I am far from an expert on the product or the field it relates to, and it became obvious rather quickly this demo was not about connecting to the world I know. I got almost tickled at the demo-er as he got so fired up about the features he was showing, and it was clear when the feature was something he’d worked on. We’d go zooming off into a world unknown and incomprehensible to me, full of details and things that could have just as well been useless trivia. When I tried to compare to something I did know about (and he supposedly needed/wanted/should know), there was acknowledgement, and a race off to the next “oooh, you gotta see this…”At the conclusion, I commented on a poster hanging in the office, and got another 15 minutes of informal discussion about something I again know little about, but I’d struck that nerve and off we went.Overall a good experience, but had I been a customer I think that the communication would have left me dazed and feeling a little ignored. Good product. Good demo. Not good communicating/relating.

Always communicate with the listener in mind.

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