Tips to help you build better team presentations

‘Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.’ – Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese Poet

A topic a lot of people ask about at our presentation skills training sessions is how to make team presentations.

Many companies require employees to make group or team presentations. The topic may be complicated, requiring expertise from many different departments. Or you may just think a group presentation will have more impact.

When a group presentation works well, the members of the team support each other. So the fear of speaking public is decreased. Individuals can relax, knowing the success or failure of the presentation doesn’t rest wholly on their shoulders.

However, if a group presentation is not planned and rehearsed well, you run the risk of failure.

Here are some tips to help you deliver a great team presentation:

Step 1 – Audience

Get all the presenters in the team together for an initial planning session. Begin by discussing the audience: who they are… what do they need to know… how are they likely to react to the presentation as a whole.

Step 2 – Strategy

Discuss the strategy the team will use to convince the audience of the merits of your case. Work out the initial ‘Hook’ or opening – to ensure you really grab the audience’s attention. Get points down for each team member to cover. Each member will have his or her own hook or opening, in addition to the main opening.

Step 3 – Format

Once you know your audience, and you’ve established your strategic goals, figure out the format of your presentation. Pick a team leader. Decide who is going to start the presentation. Will the leader introduce the whole team at the beginning? Or will the leader begin with the hook, and let the introductions evolve organically?

Step 4 – Body language

When one person is speaking, the rest of the group should look at the speaker – not be checking their notes. It’s too late for that anyway. Figure out what the rest of the team is doing when not presenting. Sitting? Standing? Where? No hard and fast rules, except doing what’s best for the audience and the presentation.

Step 5 – Creativity

Don’t confine yourself to a predictable format of one person introducing then speaking. Be creative.  Use a talk show format. Have the leader interview each team member in a television talk show setting. Do skits. Use videos and props. Do whatever it takes to make your message memorable – without distractions. Everything has to be motivated by the need to communicate your message.

Step 6 – Promote

When it’s time to make transitions from one speaker to another, make sure each person promotes the next speaker in a value-added way.

Don’t say:

“Now here’s Anna Jones, our Director of Communication.”

Rather promote her benefit for the client:

“Telling the media about your product is very important. Our Director of Communication knows exactly how to do it. Here’s Anna Jones.”

Step 8 – Rehearse

So often this very important step is neglected. The more you rehearse, the more successful the presentation will be. It’s true for solo performances, and even more so for group presentations.

Stop writing; start talking

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