I don't know if this is the best place to ask this question, but I couldn't find another stackexchange site to ask it.

I am a computer engineering student that doesn't work anywhere, and I don't have a company as well. I decided to develop an android application for a famous person in my country. We talked a few times on phone, tomorrow I will go to the city that he lives to show demo application and get an agreement about details, such as price etc. Getting agreement is quite important because, he may be a great reference.

I want to look like professional, because that will obviously increase my chance on getting an agreement. So, I decided to make a small presentation about application. But the problem is, he already knows that I'm still a student, and I'm not a professional yet. For my case, instead of being an advantage, creating a presentation may be a disadvantage.

Do you think presentation is an advantage or disadvantage in these kind of cases?

Edit: Thanks a lot for all the answers. I did a small (6-7 pages) power point presentation, and I can easily say, it impressed the client a lot, and we made a deal.

  • Why would a presentation put you at a disadvantage? The only way that could hurt you is if you waste this person's time, or make a poor presentation. – acolyte May 8 '13 at 14:07
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    If you are going to "show demo application" how is that not a presentation? To my mind, such a meeting implies that you will have to present a proposal of some form and thus I'm not understanding what you are asking here. – JB King May 8 '13 at 14:13
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    I will show demo application on phone, also I want to make a powerpoint presentation to express why he should buy my application. I will show some data about smartphone usage etc. So the focus of "small" powerpoint presentation is "why you should buy", it doesn't include a lot technical details. – berkuqo May 8 '13 at 14:20
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    I don't have an answer for this question, but I have a friend who belongs to Toastmasters where she learned a lot about public speaking, presentations, etc. It has helped her greatly. She was able to go from being a DBA hidden in a corner to a manager who represents her organization at international conferences. (I'm too lazy to go to the meetings, but I should go.) – Xenson May 8 '13 at 14:22
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    You have to think way beyond just the presentation. What if the big business man brings in another android developer to the presentation and steals your idea(s) ? I have requested this question be moved to startups group as I believe you will get wider responses from there. – happybuddha May 8 '13 at 15:18

First of all, it is really nice to know that you are developing stuff that is useful for others.

It doesn't really matter whether you are a student or a professional. What you have done is most important. Of course, it depends on how you present it. I would like to suggest the following.

Presentation: Power point presentation might be helpful. However, try to make number of slides according to the appointment time you have given. May be 8 to 10 slides would be good. This presentation is more about the high level view of the application. Its usage, how the clients get benefit from it, one slide for how it is implemented, etc.

Demo: Compared to the presentation, the most important part is how you demo the application. Test the application thoroughly. Your client has many questions on the usage of the application. Therefore, you should prepare for the demo of the application. Focus more on how easy to use the application, benefits of the applications, etc., rather than its implementation in the demo. Of course, if the client asks about the implementation, you should answer it in simple manner. Don't talk about future enhancements of the application early, only bring this matter when it is needed.

Dress: I wouldn't suggest wearing a suit. Try to wear an outfit that is business casual.

Conversation: This is the most important part of the business. Don't start conversation about money. You should more focus on the application and its usage. You should talk about it when he/she brings that topic. Be prepared for the questions regarding the money such as "how much you are expecting?" etc. I would suggest to do some homework on this.

In the worst case, even if the business fails, you should maintain good relationships with the client. Be positive and confident. All the best.

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    And don't forget to talk in business terms in the Power Point, not just what does the application do but how it would help him in terms of business (extra sales, less time spend on some task, more profit, more customer visibility, a chance to market to an emerging market - whatever is appropriate to the particular application). He is probably going to care less about the technical and more about what it can do for him. – HLGEM May 8 '13 at 15:15
  • I agree with HLGEM. – samarasa May 8 '13 at 20:33

Don't do a PowerPoint presentation if you're just going to show some bullet points that match what you're saying. If you need to represent data, charts, images, video, etc., that would be different. I think this applies even more if this is going to be one on one. Also, don't do a presentation if you don't have a projector.

I don't know what you mean by"famous" but they don't have a lot of time and will become bored quickly. And if they're not a business person (actor, politician, athlete, etc.), this will be worse.

Focus on demonstrating your app and listening to feedback. They'll want to talk. You're going to get interupted. Don't let it upset you. Stay calm. Even though you're a student, let them know you can solve problems and work hard. Be natural and confident.

Important: Practice your demonstration to anyone you can find. Family or friends and all different technical levels. Edit: If you're just going to read your slides, don't do a presentation.

  • Nice advice, @JeffO. – samarasa May 8 '13 at 16:28

Being a student and not a professional doesn't mean you can't work professionally. A good presentation can be very impressive. For a developer like me a demo application would be more interesting but that is up to you.

I guess more information and more things to show are always better in your case.


Helping a potential customer visualize how your product will be like is always a good thing. It would be better if you could show him a prototype but a presentation is still beneficial. And i think it is always good for a student to act professional. I don't see how it could be considered a disadvantage. Good luck...

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