How to Stand Out with Your Team Presentation

By Lou Solomon

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Team presentations are common in business, but fantastic team presentations are rare.

Woman leading a group team presentation

I’ve watched countless team presentations, most of which were choppy collections of mini-presentations. Typically, people stand in line while looking at their notes, waiting for their turn to address a handful of busy slides. The transitions sound like, “And now so-and-so is going to cover so-and-so.”

There is an art in orchestrating content, revealed one logical step at a time, with smooth transitions and ease between engaging presenters. Creating flow in a team presentation requires more preparation and additional strategies.

Here are some best practices to make your team presentation a success.

Preparation

Begin with a blueprint meeting. Agree on a strategy for presenting the significant elements of the presentation:

  • The Open and Presenter Introductions
  • The Body: 3 Key Focus Areas
  • Soft Close and Q&A
  • Power Close

Assign presenters to the different segments. Agree on how much time you will spend on each section.

Plan for a minimum number of hand-offs. If you switch presenters too frequently, the presentation will sound less cohesive. Ideally, transitions are seamless. The next presenter simply steps forward at a natural transition point and begins with the next focus area.

Determine a “lead” presenter to orchestrate Q&A. The lead directs questions to the appropriate team member.

If you are presenting online, assign one team member to monitor the chat for your team. With everyone focusing on their roles in the presentation, it is easy to miss incoming questions from your audience.

Learn the entire presentation. Team members get sick at the last minute, so all presenters should know the whole presentation in case of an emergency.

Craft a provocative open and close. To make the presentation more engaging, it should be “book-ended” with an attractive opening and closing.

Delivery

Own the territory. Arrive early to set up, test the technology, and decide where everyone will stand. The active presenter should take center stage or a position in the foreground of the delivery area. Other members should flank the speaker by being visually “behind” the speaker.

Avoid lengthy introductions of team members. It usually works best for one member to introduce everyone briefly rather than have each member introduce.

a man giving a team presentation to a group of peopleBuild in strategic pauses. Rushing stresses your audience, and when one presenter starts rushing, the others will follow. Pause as you transition, after you make a critical point, or before you close.

Pay attention to each other. If you’re waiting for your turn to speak, watch the current speaker with interest. You will set the tone for how your audience will view the speaker.

Consider your body language. The audience is watching. Stand up straight and avoid looking at your notes. Show an appropriate level of enthusiasm in the presentation.

Never interrupt fellow presenters with additional points. The only exception is when the missed point is critical to understanding the message. Then, a member of the team should handle it in a way that the team has decided.

Slides

  • Presenters should organize the content for their slides. It is easier to present your work.
  • Use a clean deck with a unified color scheme that leverages beautiful photographs of your projects.
  • Walk through the deck as a team. Does the message flow fluently and logically? Did you address all critical points at the same level of detail?

Chemistry

Find out who will be in the room and what they are looking for. If they prefer a brief presentation followed by ample time for Q&A to zero in on expenses, for example, plan your presentation accordingly.

Ensure the team is well-practiced. This way, your team doesn’t have to think about the content and can focus more on connecting with the client. Warmth, eye contact, and earnest listening will build chemistry; there’s no replacement for it.

Give people a chance to feel what a collaborative relationship with you will be like. Instead of a one-sided monologue followed by a formal Q&A, create an experience that inspires clients to share their insights.

A Case Study of Team Presentations

A few years ago, Tom, the owner of a respected architectural firm, called on a Tuesday afternoon. He said his team had a big pitch in three days and wasn’t ready.

Tom’s firm had less experience with the type of project they were pitching than the competition. He needed his team to nail the presentation and didn’t have much time to prepare, so he wondered if I could help.

We took the next three days to practice the approach you see in this article. The team became a beautifully orchestrated “reveal” of ideas, expertise, and stories. Their timing and transitions were seamless.

Elated, he called me to share that they had won the business. “I asked the client point blank why they chose us,” Tom said. “And you know what? She said, Tom, your presentation was compelling. You understand what we’re trying to do. It’s going to be a genuine partnership.”

Enhance Your Team Presentation Skills With Interact Studio

We are here to help you and your team nail your next presentation. Our experts can help your team prepare a compelling narrative that delivers a powerful message to an audience of any size. We can also help develop team chemistry and confidence through our various communication courses.

Preparing for your latest team presentation? Download your free copy of the Interact Studio Team Presentation Worksheet to help guide you along the process.

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