Lights, camera, transformation! How to deliver an award-winning show and tell.

7 min read Written by: Perago

Daniel Fyfield, Head of Delivery at Perago, discusses the importance of show-and-tells in digital transformation and shares some tips on how to deliver a successful show-and-tell while growing your confidence when presenting.

You might be surprised to learn that before my career in digital transformation, (much before), I spent a chunk of my childhood as an actor!  While my performing stage might have changed, from the bright lights of cinema and theatre to the reflecting glow of my laptop or industry event speaking podiums, the lessons I learnt about captivating an audience haven’t.  

I’m a passionate storyteller, that’s why I recently delivered a session to the Perago team on how to deliver a Bafta-worthy show-and-tell– those all-important meetings at the end of each sprint where we showcase our digital delivery. 

I like to think of a show-and-tell as the best chance to engage stakeholders and spotlight the team’s hard work. It’s more than just showing features; it’s about telling a compelling story that engages stakeholders, gets them on board with the journey, and fuels that all-important feeling of accomplishment. 

 Why Show and Tells matter: 

These meetings aren’t just a box to tick. They’re crucial for several reasons: 

  • Celebrating work and learning: a show-and-tell is the perfect time to acknowledge achievements, big and small, and share those valuable lessons learned along the way. 
  • Building bridges: showcasing progress strengths stakeholders’ connection with the project, as this is their chance to see the tangible results of your team’s efforts. 
  • Transparency in action: openly discussing the work you delivered on a project builds trust and ensures everyone’s on the same page. 
  • Feedback for the win: show and tell provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share insights and validate team hypotheses, ultimately leading to better services. 

During my career as Delivery Lead in the public sector, I delivered countless show and tells for a variety of projects, from small digital changes to complex transformation projects such as the re-design of the national Blue Badge parking service. Here are some key ingredients from my experience (both on-screen and off) that will help you transform your show & tell from a dull shopping list of tasks to a show-stopping success: 

1. Authenticity is the best policy 

Don’t sugar-coat it! Whether you made significant progress on the project or encountered a roadblock, transparency builds trust. Share your learnings, both the wins and the not-so-wins. This vulnerability helps to create open communication and positions your team as a collaborative problem-solver. 

2. Create a narrative 

A dry list of features puts everyone to sleep. Craft a captivating story! Take your audience on a journey: 

  • Set the Scene: Briefly introduce yourselves, the project, and the goals of the sprint. Briefly remind everyone of the sprint’s goals and vision. 
  • The Hero’s journey: Showcase what you achieved, the challenges you faced, and how you overcame them. 
  • The big reveal: Demo your work, be it a software prototype, research findings, or insightful data analysis.
  • Happily ever after (sort of) Wrap up by reiterating key takeaways and hinting at what’s next. Show, don’t just tell

Remember, a picture (or infographic) is worth a thousand words. Use clear, engaging visuals to illustrate your points. Think screenshots, demos, data charts – anything that helps your audience grasp the impact of your work. If you can demo the work in a prototype all the better. 

 3. Making it real 

Preparation is important, and you need to dedicate time to planning. Remember to spread the spotlight and involve the whole team in prepping and presenting. It’s a team effort! Remember – engage your audience, try to weave a story, answer questions, and actively engage with your stakeholders. 

How do you know if your show and tell was a hit? Here are some indicators: 

  • High (and growing) attendance: people are interested in what you’re doing! 
  • Engaged audience: lots of questions and conversation is a good sign. 
  • The word is out: people are actively seeking invites for your Show-and-tells– you’re generating buzz! 
  • Stakeholders buy in and feedback: your stakeholders are up to speed, giving real time feedback and helping decision making and pace.

So, that’s my take on delivering a winning show and tell. Remember, it’s about more than just features; it’s about constructing a compelling narrative, being transparent, and engaging your audience. With some planning and these tips, you can transform your show-and-tell from feeling like a chore to a captivating performance that drives your digital transformation journey forward. 

Share this post: