How to Present in a Group
Presenting in a group can be intimidating. We’ll admit it.
Don’t panic, though. Presenting is a learned skill – and so is group presenting. You can figure this out. And you’ll probably need to. Over the course of your career, chances are good that you’ll find yourself in a group presentation.
So, with that in mind, we’re here to help you succeed. Here are five tips on how to give a great group presentation. Stick to these, and your group presentation will take off.
1. Set Goals as a Group
When you give any presentation, it’s important to have goals – both to help measure your success, and to make sure that you’re working towards the right target. We’ve written about this in greater depth, but determining what you want your audience to take away is a good place to start.
In a group setting, taking the time to set goals together is incredibly important. If you set goals as a group before you begin preparing your presentation, you’ll be able to make sure that you’re working towards the same thing from the get-go. If you don’t set goals together, your presentation will probably be disjointed and far less effective – like people in a canoe paddling in different directions.
2. Delineate Responsibility
Once you know what you want your group presentation to achieve, you should begin delineating responsibility for different segments to the different members of the group.
In many group presentation situations, each member of the group will have expertise in a certain subject area. If this is the case, delegating responsibility is easy. Let the engineer, for example, present about the project designs, while the business strategist takes the reigns during the segment covering the financial details of the project.
Often, though, lines won’t be this easily drawn. Even if all group members have similar expertise, it’s important to clearly delineate the responsibility. Failing to do this will lead to either gaps in what information is covered during the presentation, or overlap between presenters. There are few things more embarrassing than standing in front of a room to present when the previous group member has just said everything that you had prepared.
3. Understand the Whole
While delineating responsibility is important, it’s also important that each member of a group presentation have a functional understanding of the presentation as a whole.
That’s because understanding how the presentation should work as a whole is helpful in making it cohesive. You’ll be able to see how your part ties in to another part. That knowledge may even shape how you present.
Additionally, the more familiar group members are with other segments, the more they’ll be able to help in the event that one of the group members struggles.
Of course, it may be impossible for every group member to have a functional understanding of every part of the presentation. This is especially true for more technical presentations, where group members may not have the same expertise.
However, as much as is possible, everyone in the group should seek to have an understanding of the presentation as a whole.
4. Pay Attention to Transitions
Understanding the presentation as a whole will help to ease transitions, but it will still be necessary to pay extra attention to them to make sure that things run smoothly.
First of all, make sure that everyone in the group understands when transitions happen, and what order they happen in. Secondly, plan how each transition will work – and then start practicing!
5. Rehearse as a Group
And that brings us to our last group presentation tip: make sure to rehearse as a group beforehand – preferably multiple times. We recommend doing this for any presentation, but in a group presentation context, it’s especially important. That’s because, before rehearsal, nobody will have an idea what the presentation will actually look like. Rehearsing together gives you a chance to shape the presentation together, and, of course, it really increases your level of comfort.
In turn, that leads to a more successful group presentation.
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