General Guidelines for Presenting As a Team - Fast Forward MBA in Business communication

  • Practice the presentation together as a team. While you may be familiar with the material, especially if you are presenting from a team-written document, the team presentation should appear as a unified whole not as a series of mini presentations. Additionally, practicing team presentations helps you to revisit the content of the presentation for accuracy, as well as to identify any areas of overlap or redundancy. It gives you a chance to make sure your visual aids work well from a mechanical standpoint (e.g., "Can this computer projection system read my PowerPoint disk?") as well as a visual standpoint ("Oops, the fluorescent colors really don't look too professional, do they?"). You can also use rehearsal time to help one another on delivery skills (as in, "Joe, be sure not to block the screen with your body when you show that slide.") and improve overall comfort level within the team.
  • Introduce yourself and the members of the team. Where appropriate, provide some background on your involvement with the project. Unless you can be 100 percent sure that everyone in the room knows each presenter, this step is essential. It will establish some familiarity with the team and enhance your credibility as speakers.
  • Use the introduction to preview the content of the presentation and how the team will present it. This preview will give your audience a framework demonstrating how you will proceed, making it easier to follow. The preview could be something as simple as this: "First, I'll be describing some background information on the project and how we approached our study. Then Joe will describe the data we collected and our forecast for the next year. Next, Mary will discuss some of the liabilities of going along with this project. And I'll be back at the end to talk about some of our recommendations."
  • Plan clear transitions between speaker segments. Transitions serve as signposts for your listeners so they can follow the presentation more easily. A common team transition is the internal summary, where the speaker might say something like, "Now that I have shown you how the data supports this project, I'll turn this over to Mary, who will discuss some concerns about liabilities."
  • Visual aids used in the presentation should all follow the same format. Many speakers today use Microsoft PowerPoint, and if you do, the presentation slides should be done in a consistent template, as a package. We have seen teams where each speaker did his or her own visuals, and the results generally appear unprofessional and uncoordinated. If this is indeed a team presentation, then there needs to be consistency among medium, format, and appearance to help tie the parts of the presentation together.
  • All team members should be available for the question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation. In addition to following the guidelines in Chapter for handling the Q&A, the team members should discuss ahead of time who will handle questions in specific areas. It is helpful to have all team members participate in the Q&A, but they should be neither competing to answer questions nor reluctant to respond to a concern.
  • As with individual presentations, the team presentation should not drift lamely to a close at the end of the Q&A. One team member should signal when time is up and offer an appropriate closing comment on behalf of the group.

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