Dale Ludwig - Jul 31, 2017

What everyone ought to know about delivering team presentations

I’ve written a lot about how important it is for presenters to initiate and manage a genuine conversation with their audiences. How it’s the presenter’s responsibility to focus on making listening and understanding easy for everyone.

But what if there is a team involved? What are the challenges unique to that situation?

Let’s say you’re a member of a team that delivers research to the executives in your organization. Or maybe several people in your organization deliver sales pitches to potential clients as a team. How do the requirements for a successful presentation change when there are other people involved?

Every Team Member Needs to Be Engaged

The answer is that every team member needs to be engaged, whether you’re speaking or not. Success requires not only being attentive but appearing attentive as well.

Being attentive is important for these reasons:

  • You need to follow the conversation closely in order to fit the information you’re delivering into the conversation that is actually taking place.
  • That means you need to connect dots to what has been said and what will be said.
  • You also need to support others on the team in case they need your input or help, especially when questions are asked.

Appearing attentive is also necessary because doing otherwise undermines the cohesiveness of the team and distracts the audience. Every team member is “presenting” whether they’re speaking or not. That means that everyone on the team should:

  • Appear genuinely interested in what others are saying. No matter how many times you’ve heard them say it.
  • Sit up, put down your phone, take notes. Look happy to be there.
  • During transitions, treat other team members with respect. That means you may want to thank them after they’ve passed things over to you. Use their names when referring to what they said before you. Use “we” instead of “I” when appropriate.

All of these behaviors will communicate a positive impression of your team—that you are cooperative, cohesive, and get along—and that will help the audience stay focused on the message you are communicating.

Wondering if it's time to provide training for your team? Contact us today.

Written by Dale Ludwig

Dale Ludwig has a Ph.D. in Communication and, prior to Turpin, taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He founded Turpin Communication in 1992 with the mission to provide the best presentation and facilitation skills training possible. Since then he has worked to do just that. In addition to being one of Turpin’s lead instructors, he also serves as our Chief Learning Architect when tailoring learning engagements for our clients. Dale is a frequent blogger and the co-author of the book "The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined." He’s excited about his latest book, also co-authored with Greg Owen-Boger, "Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide to Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning."