Team Presentations bring variety, break monotony, create exposure to fresh ideas and demonstrate team spirit. It’s the classic “2+2=5”. Think of it as an orchestra. Every instrument brings something unique and together all of them make for an amazing experience. How can we emulate the same in our team presentations?
Here are some pitfalls we should avoid when presenting in a team:
1) Not knowing our teammates. There is nothing worse than forgetting the names of our own team members or what they do. I have seen this happen a few times and it’s just awkward. Take the effort to get to know each other. How about going for a drink and breaking the ice?
2) Stealing the limelight. Have you been in a presentation where one speaker tries to hog up all the attention by interrupting conversations? To contribute is great, but we should not disrupt the process.
3) More than ‘4’ is a crowd. The length and complexity of the content usually determines how many speakers are needed. However, more important is to plan the story and the key characters needed to tell it. As a general rule of thumb, we should not exceed 3-4 presenters.
4) No clear roles. A ‘must-have’ in our team presentations should be clarity on roles. Define and dissect the presentation into parts that our team members should clearly be aware off and “own”. Do this well in advance so that any issues can be ironed out before it is too late.
5) Not playing to strengths. Team presentations are great as we can bind different strengths into one forum. Doing an audit at the planning stages is critical to identify member strengths and then assign tasks and presentation sections that are most relevant.
6) No Script. Identify who says what and when! This is why a script is quite important. It may be just in bullet points but is hugely helpful in making sure our whole team is on the same page. It avoids embarrassing pauses and confusion.
7) Body Language. In a recent presentation, I noticed that one team member was fiddling around with her phone. Her body language was so distracting and I just tuned off. When we present as a team, our body language should compliment the speaker. This is through a natural posture, eye contact to the audience and even a series of nods when the speaker makes an important point.
8) Practice, Practice, Practice. This is a basic essential of any presentation, but the need is compounded in a team presentation. Lack of practice leaves ‘blind spots’ in our presentations that can be easily avoided through a few practice sessions.
Team presentations can be extremely impactful in getting audience engagement, but needs planning, preparation and ruthless execution.