There may be times when you need to co-present with two or three other people as part of your talk. In order for you and your team to present with impact, follow the steps below.
- Present as a unified force: A group presentation is one presentation with a number of presenters delivering it. It is not a number of different presentations coming together. It must be prepared, structured, and delivered in a unified way. The message, structure, slides and team must appear and behave as one. All slides must look and feel the same. Agree the font, headings and graphics in advance of slide preparation.
- Appoint a group leader: One person from the group needs to set the tone, introduce and close the talk, manage the Q&A, refer questions if necessary, and take responsibility for managing any difficulties that may arise. Before the talk, the group leader should introduce themselves and their team members. The group leader can pre-frame the talk by saying how long the presentation will be and that questions will be dealt with at the end.
- Speaker handovers: One of the most challenging parts of a group presentation is transitioning from one presenter to the next. Each presenter must know how they will be introduced and how they will hand over to the next person. Ideally you want to summarise your talk and tell the audience how the next person will add to this. For example: ‘Now that I have provided an overview the client, Catherine is going to go through the financial results.’
- Rehearse as a group: Practise together out loud and be clear on who is saying what and when. Do not contradict each other. Make sure the time allocation individually adds up to the total time allocation that you have been allowed as a team. Use a timing device on your cell phone to practise and aim to finish at least 1 minute before your allotted time.
- You are always being watched: In a group presentation, even if you are not presenting, you are still visible to the audience. Be aware of your body language and how you are sitting or standing. Don’t slouch or appear bored or uninterested when others are speaking. As a team, decide if you will be seated or standing.
- Support each other: The presentation is being judged as a whole so you are only as good as your weakest link. Make sure that everyone in the group is performing to the best of their ability. In answering questions make sure each person gets a chance to speak and contribute.
- Distracting movements: Avoid texting on your phone, shifting on the spot, yawning or shuffling paper when you are not talking.
- Mindful breathing: If you are the second or third speaker – manage your nerves through deep breathing. Breathe in and out slowly while counting to 10.
- Choice of clothing: Decide on the dress code as a team and if you will wear similar colours.
- Use and rehearse with a clicker: Don’t let a team member control your presentation – ever.
- Strong speaker: Your most confident speaker should start and end the presentation.
Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA) Business Owner and Public Speaking Trainer