Now that you have created your team presentation and prepared it thoroughly, it is “game on.” Time to deliver the presentation with power, punch and professionalism. These 10 tips will take you from “good enough” to “best of show.”
- Take your marks. Decide where each person will stand during the presentation so it is easy to move to and from center. If you are using slides, be sure no on stands in the light from the projector.
- Use a remote slide advancer. This is an easy way for the speaker to control his/her own flow through the slide presentation, and it looks smooth and professional. Hand if off to the next speaker when doing the transition.
- Dress as a team. The general rule is to dress one level more formally than your audience, and whatever you wear must fit perfectly and be clean and pressed. Never wear your usual clothes for a group presentation. It is a special occasion and your attire should reflect that.
- Introduce your team and topic. Even if the audience knows the presenters, it is still important as a way of kicking off the presentation. Alternatively, introduce your team and your agenda together: “Bill will be discussing the benefits of this approach.”
- Tune in. Even when you are not presenting, you are still part of the presentation. Watch your body language, don’t chat with your co-presenters or allow a bored or disinterested look on your face. presentation. Be aware of the message you are sending your audience as you observe others in your team presenting.
- Underscore key points. Wherever appropriate, each presenter should include brief references to the points made by the other speakers. This reinforces key messages and helps your audience retain information, an important consideration given that your listeners are receiving much more input than they would from a solo presentation.
- Finish strong. Always end the presentation with a brief summary and recap of the next steps. This may be done by the final speaker or the team leader, but it needs to be planned, rehearsed and done with enthusiasm. Each presenter should know the close and be prepared to close if needed.
- Close on a positive note. Try to close after an upbeat comment or question, not after a negative one. If you have a negative question toward the end of the presentation, consider asking for one more question. If that question is more positive, or you are able to turn around a negative question, end there. Remember, your audience is more likely to remember what they hear first and last, so try to make those as positive as possible.
- Know when to quit. Decide in advance who will make the decision to end the presentation. Try to end on a positive note, for example: “clearly we need to provide you with additional information based on what has come out of this meeting. Could we arrange a follow-up meeting for early next week?” Everyone should practice this step and be prepared to do it in an emergency. However, don’t be too quick to pull the plug. Expect some resistance and be prepared to respond.
- Debrief every team presentation. A flip chart can be prepared with space for both positive and negative feedback. Alternatively, comments can be written down, then exchanged, and read out loud by another person to maintain anonymity. In any case, capture both positives and negatives, while they are fresh so they can be put to use in the next presentation.
What challenges do you face when delivering team presentations? Do you have a favorite tip you would add? What else have you done to help your team deliver winning team presentations?