Pulling off a team presentation can feel like herding cats.
There are so many voices to integrate – and typically someone with more power swooping in at the last-minute to tell you to change something, or not to say this/that which can really throw you off. And who has time to prep!? All together, no less?! Ugh.
But when a team presentation goes well, it can be a powerful experience – communal, purpose-driven, empowering, even fun!
It feels good to nail that kind of presentation, doesn’t it?!
But nailing a team presentation doesn’t just happen.
One of my all-time favorite clients is a team of women who present together a few times a year. Working with them is complicated as we try and coordinate and integrate so many competing needs – keeps me on my toes! – but together we have mastered a few key elements to making it work without it causing unnecessary stress, keeping the team aligned, empowering them as individuals and as a team – and nailing that presentation!
Here are 5 key tips to making your next team presentation awesome:
1. Coordinate - your schedule and your message.
Start by blocking off time on everyone’s schedule – more than you think you need – and bring in a coach to hold you to that time.
One of the best things to come out of working with a presentation coach is s/he will help you be accountable to a timeline. Of course, the presentation is coming – ready or not! – but so often, especially in situations when you have to coordinate many people’s schedules and varying levels of comfort/confidence/interest, it’s a behemoth’s job. So having an outside person you’re paying to come in and help you ensures you’ll show up and give it your all.
I can’t tell you how many of my clients have said to me, “Knowing you were coming in today, I finally put in some time…” and “Thank goodness you are here – otherwise, this would never move forward…”
Once you have your schedule set up (which will undoubtedly change and need to be adjusted, but you’ve at least laid out a road map) – then you can think about content.
There are many ways to approach coordinating a message – but I always start with asking the group a series of questions. Speaking these things out loud, together, gets everyone on the same page. Here are just some of the questions you need to answer before you dive into your content:
– What is the goal?
– Who needs/gets input?
– How long do you have with your audience?
– What do you want them to experience? How do you want them to feel?
Once you’re on the same page, you can begin to block it out. Every team I’ve worked with does it differently – from using an existing deck and working off of that (which creates as many problems as it eliminates – a post for another time), to outlining the basic flow, to sketching it out visually first.
The goal is that you have put in the effort to PLAN and COORDINATE the best you can – so that the presenting team knows what to expect.
2. Practice Together.
3. Make Your Teammates Look Brilliant.
4. Know Who Has the Con
5. Focus on beginnings, endings and transitions.
Many times, people come to me seeking help for a big team presentation with just a few business days to go before ‘go time.’ We are always running short on preparation time.
So – if this is you (and this has been me, too many times to count), focus on these three things:
If you have a strong beginning and end – and create smooth transitions between elements (from speaker to speaker, or speaker to video, or from video to speaker to music – whatever it may be) – the overall FEEL of the presentation will be positive.
As we all know, audiences remember so little… so depressingly little! But, they DO remember how we made them FEEL. And strong beginnings, endings and transitions help an audience feel positive things.
And the contrary is true: if you have a tentative beginning – and totally nail that middle section – and then sort of back out slowly at the end… well, all they’ll remember is that awkward ending. They’ll have totally forgotten that middle section you nailed.
So – when time is short – or you’re in your final stages of preparation – make sure of this:
Nail your beginnings, endings and transitions.