Creating Synergy – Making the Most of Team Presentations
Working in a team can be both rewarding and challenging, especially when organizing your team for a group presentation. With different personalities, communication styles, and varying comfort levels speaking to an audience, managing the ins and outs of a team presentation takes patience and a high level of organization. At Speakeasy, our business communication consultants often find that team presentations introduce unique challenges related to:
- Balancing the speaking roles amongst all team members
- Utilizing the presentation space to engage the audience
- Preparing all team members to present key information
- Organizing information to deliver a cohesive and well-thought out message
- Understanding how to leverage communication styles
Overtalking one another, having poor transitions between speakers, and only using one person to present a team’s findings are common mistakes teams often make. It is important to remember that each team member serves an essential role and should be encouraged, supported, and prepared to present to an audience. As a team, it is everyone’s responsibility to be informed and ready to address questions from the audience. In some cases, each team member may have specialized knowledge of a particular topic within the scope of the presentation, and in this case, that team member may assume the role of conveying this information to the audience. Otherwise, each team member should be well equipped and comfortable speaking about the team’s work and outcomes.
Team projects are a great way to incorporate new ideas and brainstorm additional solutions that may not have been discovered otherwise. Being a committed team player involves trusting your teammates and being willing to put in the time, effort, and work needed to reach a common goal. Team presentations are ideal opportunities to showcase the diverse abilities of your team and highlight the communication strengths among group members.
Our corporate communication trainers recommend using these three communication strategies to make your next team presentation a success.
- Make a presentation agenda. This is key to ensure you cover the information in a logical order that your audience can follow. You can then map each team member’s expertise to a particular part or topic in the agenda to convey credibility and authority. Consider the communication styles of your teammates, and when possible alternate speakers with varying delivery styles to keep the audience engaged. Find creative ways to transition between speakers and how to handle the physical space during the presentation. For example, if a microphone will be held, position speakers next to each other to make the microphone exchange as quick and seamless as possible. Also, knowing the topics you will discuss during the team presentation will help you brainstorm possible questions the audience may ask and how to best address their questions.
- Practice the presentation at least once. Group presentations can be lengthy and team members may elect to practice their individual parts on their own. This is a good strategy to ensure you are sufficiently prepared for your part, however, a complete run through, as a group is still needed. Without a team presentation trial run transitions between speakers will be hard to practice and tweak as necessary.
- Consider the physical space. If possible, find out where your team presentation will take place and the venue format. Presenting over the phone or in a video conference requires additional considerations such as volume levels or visual fields. When presenting in-person, knowing the dimensions of the physical space can ensure your team is able to utilize the space and can easily (and safely) transition between speakers. If your team will be standing on a stage, determine if everyone can fit on the stage at once, or if each speaker will have to exit the podium area to make room for the next speaker. This may seem like an insignificant point, however, having team members bunched up or too spread out can influence your audience’s engagement and the effectiveness of your team’s overall presentation.
Enhancing your presentation skills takes practice and guidance. If you’re ready to explore additional ways to make your next individual or team presentation more effective, consider registering for one of Speakeasy’s proven interpersonal communication skills programs, by clicking here.