Put your heads together!
5 tips for giving dynamic group presentations
by Catherine Welborn, editor
Some presentations are more effective given by a group. If your topic covers multiple niches, team members with expertise in those areas can contribute.
Group presentations have the potential to be especially fun and compelling. On the other hand, those presentations have their own set of challenges. If the group does not prepare correctly, the presentation can be a disaster. Follow these tips to ensure that your next group presentation is a hit:
- Assign roles. Decide who will be responsible for what. Divvy up the content, so that your group doesn’t waste time researching and writing on the same topics. Assign one person to create or edit the visuals, such as PowerPoint slides to ensure a consistent style. Otherwise your visuals may look disjointed and unpolished.
- Schedule deadlines with some padding. When you are working by yourself, you might have the flexibility to pull long hours right before a presentation. However, when you are working with a group, you must plan ahead. Set due-dates for research and written contributions. Allow plenty of time for the person creating the visuals to put the presentation together. Furthermore, make sure the group has adequate time to rehearse with the final visuals and to practice transitions.
- Make time to meet. While you can finish some of the preliminary work individually, you will need to meet as a group for parts of the presentation. Aside from your first meeting to determine goals, roles and deadlines, meet in person at least three more times to share your progress and practice giving your whole presentation. You’ll be more comfortable as a team, and you might discover kinks you can iron out before the main event.
- Adjust your style when necessary. As you practice your presentation, remember that harmony is key. If your standard presentation style doesn’t fit with your group members’, modify your plans to improve the flow. For example, if you don’t plan to use visuals, but everyone else is using them, incorporate a few into your portion. The audience might find it awkward if a chunk of the presentation is different than the rest. Not only will stretching yourself in that way ensure that the presentation is seamless, but you will learn some new tricks that you can apply to future solo presentations.
- Converse naturally. One of the benefits of group presentations is that they provide an opportunity for natural dialogue and banter. Take advantage of that. If your group members are only taking turns presenting, but never talking with one another, you’re missing an opportunity to engage your audience.
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Delivered each month, American Speaker Forum offers you public-speaking advice and tips for wowing your audience during your next presentation. This resource also offers you a way to ask for feedback on your next speaking engagement and to share your own experience with your colleagues.