So for my job, there are three mental stages I go through when new software needs to be demoed:
1. Despair: Impending sense of doom. There is no way we’ll be ready for production. The scope’s too big, we barely have the resources for an alpha build, never mind sufficient time for testing.
2. Resignation: Realization that whatever happens, happens. No one has killed me yet.
3. Unfounded optimism: Some of the most critical tasks/bugs get resolved just before software has to be demoed. It’s an incredible feeling of relief that temporarily overshadows the knowledge that there’s still way too many features with scant review and testing. And that there are some lingering requirements unfulfilled.
4. Tragedy: Product promptly fails in presentation to client.
Rinse and repeat.
Right now, two hours before the meeting, I’m at stage 3.