There’s this phrase you hear — the a-ha moment — in many contexts. I’m a software tech guy. While I wish I was a great developer, it turns out I’m happiest working with prospective customers. In technical pre-sales, or even marketing we hope to help folks find their “a-ha” moment.
The a-ha moment is a “transference of knowledge” from one to other where the seemingly impossible becomes definitely probable
The “wow” moment vs the “a-ha” moment
If you’ve ever watched the X-Games, you might have seen a BMX freestyle competitor do a double-backflip, turndown. You might have seen Tony Hawk rock a 900, or Shaun White tear apart a superpipe on his snowboard. Even better, have you seen Ken Block go nuts on the streets of San Francisco in his race car? When we watch that our response is usually, “WOW!!!!”. Internally, you think thats spectacular but aren’t left with the feeling — ”I can do that”.
However, if you see someone do a bunny-hop on a bike, a kick-turn on a skateboard and possibly even a how-to video, you often feel “a-ha! I see how thats done. I might be able to do that”.
How can you create the a-ha moment?
I’ve found when one demonstrates technology, showing it in bite size pieces works very well. In your demo, try to accomplishing an actual task that mirrors real life in some way. Your tech might do amazing things — even for the user on its own (like Facebook does) — but folks have to believe when you leave the room, they can be like you. They can take what you showed them and be smarter and more capable as a result.
In this little “ascii-cinema (a text recording my my keystrokes), I demonstrate to an audience of existing Splunk (software) users, how to use the “CLI/command line/TUI/text user interface” — which many don’t know exists in Splunk.
In this example, you’ll see me show how to use one simple command to highlight words on the screen. I chose to show this example because when looking at text on a screen it all jumbles together, but a simple highlight helps us find things faster, visually. While Splunk does some absolutely amazing things with machine data, ultimately a human needs to get in the drivers seat and actually use it. Little examples like this make the Splunk user think “oh, wow.. thats cool, I can do that (and they come up with 100 ways to use it)”.
I don’t think we’re much smarter than each other, we just have different knowledge. Transfer *your* knowledge to your fellow human. Take one, pass it on, pay it forward or pay it back.
On a side note, you might only have 5 minutes to give a demo. Its important to show something bite size that your customer can use right away. You do this, they’ll become your best advocates as you’re being an advocate for their day, their career and their life. That’s the true importance of the a-ha moment.
Make the impossible, probable.