The Chameleon Demo Identity

Everyone should read the room and adapt to the audience, but those with the Chameleon Demo Identity do it better than anyone. Their “natural” state tends to be soft spoken, but they excel at being whatever the room needs them to be

Biggest strengths of the Chameleon Demo Identity:

  • They are quietly confident, and audiences will physically lean in to hear them
  • They understand questions before answering them, making them one of the strongest personalities at overcoming objections
  • They tend to remain neutral when situations are tense, allowing them to maintain control
  • People like people who are like themselves, so Chameleons can appear to the audience as someone who is like them

Biggest risks for the Chameleon Demo Identity:

  • If they are in front of an audience that isn’t qualified or is otherwise not right, they tend to get frustrated faster than other personalities
  • They tend to struggle in rooms that are hard to read, because they aren’t sure “who to be.” In this case, they tend to come off as more reserved
  • If they have to kick off the meeting, they tend to take a few minutes to “find themselves,” which can make introductions a but uncomfortable
  • There is a stark difference in how they are perceived, which is typically due to gender bias:
    • Male Chameleons are seen as confident in almost any context
    • Female Chameleons are seen as disengaged if they are reserved, and overly enthusiastic if they mirror an upbeat audience
Chameleons are the ultimate transformers of the Demo Identities.

What does a typical demo from a Chameleon look like?

Chameleons don’t like to speak unless they have something valuable to contribute. They like to take everything in before talking and pick up on details that others may miss. They are observant, which makes them excellent at discovery as they can pick up on what’s happening in the room.

Before answering a question, Chameleons will ask lots of good questions and make sure they truly understand it. They are masters of using questions to guide the audience, all while the audience thinks they are in charge.

Chameleons tend to be steadier as presenters – they maintain their composure in front of difficult audiences. This is important as it typically takes them longer to respond to a question than another personality. But if you ask a Chameleon what they think their style is, they likely will say that “they don’t have one.” This is because their normal style is steady, but then they mirror as needed.

Carlin Nothing To Say

What are The Chameleon’s presentation blind spots?

Chameleons struggle when they don’t have anything meaningful to say, which can make it difficult for them to respond quickly and adapt to different situations. They also can struggle a bit when they haven’t had time to read the audience before presenting.

Because Chameleons tend to notice things more quickly than other audiences, they are quite perceptive to an audience not being right (unqualified, not senior enough, etc) and tend to get frustrated if their time is wasted.

Much like Planners, Chameleons like to gather as much information as possible going into a meeting, and if they are “flying blind” they tend to get uncomfortable. But the big difference is that Chameleons want to know more about not only who is in the room, but what they are like.

Unfortunately, people who don’t know Chameleons tend to misunderstand why they are quiet (especially if it’s someone who often sees a Chameleon in their “natural state”). People often mistake a Chameleon’s tendency to be quiet during a meeting as them being disengaged. This is a misunderstanding even more complicated by gender bias.

  • Male Chameleons are seen as confident
  • Female Chameleons are seen as disengaged if they are reserved, and overly enthusiastic if they mirror an upbeat audience

What are the Chameleon’s most common demo fails?

Leveraging buzzwords, Narrating the demo, Slow your roll

April Parks And Rec Time Is Money

How can Chameleons deliver better demos and presentations?

Everyone needs to understand how audiences perceive them, but this is particularly important for Chameleons. And, if teammates are aware of this style, they can help dispel the potentially negative perceptions that the audience has while the Chameleon is being quiet.

You can use visuals for cues during your presentation. If you’re comfortable with your own content you can write it yourself, otherwise have a teammate help you. Powerful visuals (i.e. fun gifs) can speak for themselves, and take some of the burden off you. This is particularly useful early in the meeting, when the Chameleon hasn’t adapted yet.

Be comfortable with your style. This style can be incredibly powerful – being quietly confident can help ensure audiences will want to listen to you. And, because you’re observant to their needs, it will be easy for you to connect with those in the room and deliver killer demos.

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