group work

How To Present With A Group: 14 Expert Tips

If we consider the research and writing part of a presentation, then a group presentation doesn’t seem that different from a single-person presentation. 

If you wish to deliver a successful presentation, you still need to put in a fair deal of individual research, writing, and practice. Even for the presenting bit: when you speak, the onus of delivering a great speech, as well as the audience’s attention, is going to be on you. 

However, a group presentation is significantly different from a normal presentation. 

While you’ll still have to do your own research, the amount of research you’ll have to do will probably be decreased, as the research material will be divided amongst all the members. Practice and delivery of the speech will not be merely an individual thing: you’ll have to work and synch it with the rest of the group.

Moreover, while it might seem that the individual responsibility is going to reduce if you’re delivering a presentation with more than one person, often the case is quite the opposite. This is because if a single person messes up–or simply doesn’t wish to put in as much effort as the others–the repercussions are going to be faced by the entire group. 

However, group presentations don’t necessarily have to be a difficult thing. Think of your most favorite sports team: what makes the team the best? What makes them stand out from other teams? How are they successful?

The answer for what makes a sports team the best isn’t much different from what makes a group presentation the best: 

Advance planning and division of work, having a strong leader, fostering a sense of comariderie between group members, as well as staying vigilant and supportive on the big day are the key to delivering an awesome group presentation. 

And the goal isn’t as tough to achieve as you might think. 

Stick till the end of this article to find out! 

What Is A Group Presentation?

A group presentation is a collaborative exercise in which a team of speakers works together to create and deliver a presentation on a given topic. The number of members in a group presentation can range from anything between two to over ten! Group presentations are used in a variety of settings like school, workplace, colleges, seminars, etc. 

While the task of presenting with a group of people might feel daunting, especially if you identify as a lone wolf, group presentations can be a great learning experience and teach you how to better navigate the task of dealing with a multitude of people with a multitude of opinions and experiences. 

By keeping in mind a few things, group presentations can be delivered just as efficiently as single-speaker presentations.

Is A Group Presentation For You? 

To decide whether you should deliver a group presentation or not, you need to decide whether the pros of a group presentation outweigh the cons for you. 

Group presentations are great because they decrease workload, increase efficiency, improve the quantity and quality of ideas, and also provide you with experience to work in a group setting. 

However, there are a few fall-backs to group presentation as well. 

Sometimes, a few group members might not work as hard as the other ones, thus increasing the workload on the other members. Also, group members might have different ideas and opinions, which can cause clashes within the group. Coordinating between the group members might be a problem. And if you’re a shy person, you might find it difficult to speak out and voice your opinion in front of other group members. 

So, there is no single answer to whether you should do a group presentation or not. Weigh in the pros and cons of doing one before making your decision. 

Tips For Delivering A Group Presentation: The Preparation Stage 

working with a group

1. Decide On The Purpose Of Your Presentation

First and foremost, you must determine what is the purpose of your presentation. It might seem like a redundant step, but trust me: it’s not. You’ll be surprised by how different people perceive and understand the same topic.

So, say you’re delivering a research paper on the topic “The Effect Of The Coronavirus Pandemic On Street Animals”, sit down together and ask your group members what each individual person thinks the topic is about and the points they feel we need to include in it.

If possible, one member can jot down all the points that the other speakers make, and once all the members are done talking, you can come to a consensus about what to and what not to include in the presentation. 

2. Choose A Presentation Moderator 

In the simplest terms, the presentation moderator is the designated “leader” of a group. That is, they’re the one responsible for the effective functioning of the group, and to make sure that the group achieves their shared purpose i.e giving the presentation.

They sort out any potential conflicts in the group, help out other members when they ask for guidance, and also have the final say on important decisions that the group makes. The best and the simplest way to select the presentation moderator is by vote. This will ensure that every member has a say, and avoid any potential conflicts in the future. 

3. Divide The Work Fairly  

The next step is to divide the work. The best way to do this is to break your presentation into equal parts, and then to assign them to group members. While doing so, you can keep in mind individuals’ preferences, experience, and expertise. For example, if there are three people, you can divide your presentation into three sections: the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Then you can ask which member would feel more comfortable with a particular section, and assign the sections accordingly. In case of any overlap, the individual members can be asked to decide themselves who’s the better fit for the part. Alternatively, if the situation doesn’t seem to resolve, the presentation moderator can step in and assign parts randomly to the members; the members can do this themselves, too. 

4. Do A Member Analysis 

To know the individual strengths and weaknesses of group members, it’s important to carry out a member analysis. Not everyone feels comfortable in front of a crowd. Or, someone could be great at building presentations, but not so good with speaking into a mic. On the contrary, a member might be an excellent orator but terrible with technology.

So, in order to efficiently divide the work and to have a seamless presentation, carry out a member analysis beforehand. 

5. Individual And Group Practice Are Equally Important 

Individual practice is important as it helps you prepare the presentation in solitude, as you would if you were the only speaker. Practicing alone is generally more comfortable, as you do not have to worry about other people watching or judging you.

It also allows you to prepare at your own convenience and time, while for group practice you’ll have to adjust to when it’s convenient for the other members to practice, as well.

Besides, the individual practice also saves the group’s time as each member can simultaneously but separately prep their own part, while group practice sessions are often longer as the other members generally have to pay attention to the speaking member instead of their own bit.

However, it’s essential to do group practice at least three to four times before delivering your presentation. This is important not just for the smooth delivery of the presentation, but also for the group members to grow comfortable with each other.

Group practice sessions also help you time out the total duration of the presentation, have smooth transitions between speakers, avoid repetitions, and also sort out any potential hiccups or fallbacks in the presentation. 

6. Perfect The Transitions 

A common fallback of group presentations is having awkward transitions between members. Not only will this be an unpleasant experience for the audience, but it might also make you waste precious time.

So, make sure you practice and perfect the transitions before the big day. It doesn’t have to be too long–even a single line will do. What matters is how well you execute it. 

7. Bond With The Group Members 

Bonding with the group is a great way to enhance the overall presentation experience; both, for yourself as well as the audience. This is because a better bond between the group members will make for the smoother functioning of the group, reduce potential conflicts, make decisions quickly and more easily, and also make the presentation fun!

The audience will also be able to sense, maybe even witness, this camaraderie between the members. They will thus have a better viewing experience.

There are many ways to improve the bonding between group members. Before the presentation, you could go out for dinner, a movie, or even meet up at one location–like somebody’s house–to get to know each other better. Group calls are another option. You could also play an ice-breaker if you’re up for some fun games!

8. Watch Other Group Presentations Together 

This is another great way of bonding with the team and also improving your presentation skills as you do so. By listening to other group presentations, you will be able to glean a better idea of how you can better strategize your own presentation. As you watch the presentation, make note of things like the time division, the way the topics are divided, the transition between speakers, etc. 

A few presentations you could watch are: 

Delivering A Successful Team Presentation 

Takeaway: This is a great video to learn how to deliver a  great group presentation. As you watch the video, make note of all the different tips that each speaker gives, and also how they incorporate  them in their own presentation, which goes on simulatenously with the tips. 

Sample Group Presentation: Non-Verbal Communication

Takeaway: This is another great video that depicts how you can deliver a presentation with a group. Notice how the topics are divided, the transition between different speakers, and also the use of visuals in the presentation. 

AthleteTranx Team Presentation- 2012 Business Plan Competition

Takeaway: Another great example of a group presentation that you can watch with your own group. In this video, keep a lookout for how the different speakers smoothly transition, their body language, and the way the presentation itself is organized to make it an amazing audience experience. 

Tips For Delivering A Group Presentation: The Presentation Stage  

presenting with people

1.Introduce All Members 

A good idea to keep in mind while delivering a group presentation is to introduce all members at the onset of the presentation. This will familiarize the audience with them, and also work to ease the member’s nerves.

Besides, an introduction will make the members feel more included, and if done correctly, can also give a more shy member a confidence boost. The simplest way of introducing members is to have the person beginning the speech do it. Alternatively, the presentation moderator could do it. 

Need some tips on how to introduce people? Check out our article on How To Introduce A Speaker In Any Setting (And Amaze Your Audience).

2. Coordinate Your Dressing 

What better way to make people believe that you’re a team than dressing up as one? 

Coordinated dressing not only makes the group stand out from the audience, but it can also make the group members feel more like one team. 

A general rule of thumb is to dress one level more formally than your audience. Don’t wear your casual clothes: remember that it’s a formal event and your clothing must reflect that. Also, keep in mind individual preferences and beliefs while choosing the clothing.

This is important as if a person is uncomfortably dressed, it can have a negative impact on their performance, which will eventually be detrimental to the group performance. 

Confused about what to wear on the presentation day? Check out our article on Guide: Colors To Wear During A Presentation.

3. Make Sure To Incorporate Visual & Audio Aids

Visual elements like photographs, videos, graphs, etc. Are a must in all presentations, group or otherwise. This is because visual aids help the audience better understand the topic, besides making the presentation a better experience overall. Same goes with audio elements, which include things like audio clips, music, background sounds etc. 

So, if you wish to have your audience’s attention, make sure to incorporate tons of visual and audio elements in your presentation. You could also divide the kind of visual elements you use between different members: for example, one person could show a short documentary to expand on their point, and the other could make use of memes and animation to add a dose of fun to their part. 

4. Pay Attention To What Others Are Saying 

Another thing to keep in mind while delivering your speech is to pay attention to what the other speakers are saying. While it might be tempting to tune out others and use the extra time to rehearse your own presentation, it’s not a good idea to do so.

Remember that the audience can see each speaker on the stage. If you don’t look interested, then why should they pay attention? Besides, your lack of attention can make the speaker feel bad: if their own team members aren’t listening to them speaking, does that mean they’re doing a bad job? So, make sure to keep your eyes and ears on your teammate as they deliver their speech.

5. Remember All Speech Parts By Heart 

This is a great way to ensure that you have a seamless presentation. One of the primary benefits of having a team to work with is knowing that you can turn to them for help if something goes wrong.

So, it’s important to not just practice and work together but to also be well-versed in what other group members are going to be saying. This will make it easier for you to cue or help someone if they forget their part. Also, if there’s an emergency or if a member is not able to make it to the speech, the other members can easily take their place.

6. Work Together For A Question And Answer Session 

Q & A sessions are a common element in most presentations. They might seem daunting to an individual speaker, however, a group setting makes the session much easier. This is because an individual speaker doesn’t have to know everything about the topic.

The presentation moderator can simply refer to the speaker who is the most well-versed about the topic or is best able to answer the question from the group, and they can answer it. 

Creative Ideas To Make Use Of Multiple Presenters! 

teamwork

There are many ways by which you can use the fact that there’s not just one single presentator but many to your advantage. A few of them are: 

1. Add A Dose Of Fun With Skits! 

Adding a dose of creativity to your presentation will greatly enhance its appeal to the audience, and make it more likely that they will remember your presentation in the future! 

One way of doing this is by having a short skirt in the opening. This is another great way of introducing the members, and of warming up the audience to them.

A fun skit can not only expand on the topic you’re about to present but will also elevate the audience’s mood, which will improve their attention span as well as their opinion of you! What else could you ask for?

2. Make Them Engage With Cosplay! 

Cosplay is another great way of making your presentation stand apart! This can make the presentation more interactive for the audience, as well, and earn you that sought-after dose of chuckling.

It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive costumes or be perfect in your cosplay, either. You can pick an outfit that’s easy to drape over your other outfit, and pick props that are easy to carry as well as versatile so that you can use them in other parts of your presentation as well. 

3. Write & Sing A Song Together!

Listen, you don’t have to be a professional singer or composer to do this. You’re not trying to sell a studio album. All you need is a little dose of creativity and some brainstorming, and you can write a song that helps you explain a component of your speech better.

You could even summarize the entire topic in that song, and sing it in the end as a sort of post-credits scene (thank you, Marvel). Alternatively, the song doesn’t necessarily have to explain your speech, but can simply be a surprise element after you’re done with the main part of your speech! 

4. Record A Short Film!

If you don’t want to have a live skit, another creative way to add fun to your skit is by recording a short film beforehand and playing it during your presentation. The film doesn’t have to be very long–even a few minutes work.

What matters is the content of the film, and how well-made it is. If not all members wish to act or record themselves, the ones that are not up for it can do the editing and compilation, or even write the script! After all, it’s not just actors that make a film successful: a strong director and writer are just as important! 

5. Have A Continuous Story 

Another great way to make the presentation seem more connected and seamless is by incorporating a continuous story. You can pick a story–or even make one up–related to your topic and break it up in sections.

Then, assign a section to each speaker. This will not only make the presentation more intriguing but if done right will also hook your audience’s attention and make them anticipate what comes next. Awesome, right? 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. HOW DO I BEGIN A GROUP PRESENTATION?

To begin a group presentation, have the moderator or any other group member introduce all other members and the topic that they’ll be speaking on. This might seem like a redundancy, however it is anything but useless.

This gives the chance to the audience to become familiar with the speakers, which is necessary if you want them to grow comfortable with you. Also, prior introduction of members saves the audience’s time, as each speaker will not have to re-introduce themself before driving into their topic. 

If each member wishes to individually introduce themselves, then that can be done too. However, make sure that you’ve practiced transitioning between members smoothly, so as to avoid making the switch look awkward.

Next, share a brief summary of what you’re going to be talking about. Like the introduction, you could even split the summary among yourselves, with each speaker describing briefly what they’re going to be talking about. Tell the audience why it’s relevant, and how you’re planning to go about giving the speech. Incorporating attention-grabbing statements is another good idea.

This could be a sneak peek into what’s going to be coming in your presentation, or simply a relevant statement, fact or statistic. Make sure the introduction doesn’t last too long, as you want to keep the audience fresh and primed for the main content of your speech. 

For some awesome opening lines, check out our article on 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines (And How To Create Your Own).

Q. HOW DO I TRANSITION BETWEEN DIFFERENT SPEAKERS?

As mentioned before, having a smooth transition between speakers in the group is imperative to provide the audience with a seamless experience. The abrupt way of doing this would be to simply have the first speaker stop and for the other speaker to begin speaking.

However, a better way to transition would be by using transitional phrases. Pass the baton to the next speaker by introducing them. You could do this by saying something like, “To talk about the next topic we have…” Or something like, “Now I would like to invite…” 

After verbally introducing them, it’s also a good idea to motion towards or look towards the new speaker. Also, if you’re the next speaker, it’s always good manners to thank the previous one. 

Transitioning is one place where many presentations go wrong. Practicing the transition might seem redundant, but it’s anything but that. In fact, it’s as necessary as the practice of the other elements of your speech. Also, make sure to incorporate both, verbal and non-verbal cues while moving to the next speaker. That is, don’t just say that ‘A’ is going to be speaking now and then walk away.

Make eye contact with the speaker, motion for them towards the podium, or smile at them. That is, both speakers should acknowledge the presence of each other.

Make sure to practice this beforehand too. If you want, you could also have the moderator do the transitioning and introduce all speakers. However, make sure that your transitions are brief, as you don’t want to take up too much time from the main presentation.

Q. HOW DO I END A GROUP PRESENTATION? 

For the ending of the presentation, have the moderator or any other group member step forward again. They can provide a quick summary of the presentation, before thanking the audience and asking them if they have any questions.

The moderator doesn’t have to answer all the questions by themselves: the members can pitch in to answer the question that relates to their individual part. If there’s another group presenting after you, the moderator can conclude by verbally introducing them or saying that the next group will take over now. 

During the end, you could have all the presenters on the stage together, as this will provide a united front to your audience. If you don’t wish to finish the presentation with a Q & A, you could also end it by a call to action.

Or, you could loop back and make a reference to the opening of your presentation, or the main part of your speech. If you’d set up a question at the beginning, now would be a good time to answer it. This will increase the impact of your speech.

Make sure that the closing words aren’t vague. The audience should know it’s the end of the presentation, and not like you’re keeping them hanging for something more. Make sure to thank and acknowledge your audience, and any other speakers or dignitaries present. Lastly, just like the opening and the transitioning, practice the ending before you step onto the stage!  

Want some inspiration for closing lines? Check out our article on 15 Powerful Speech Ending Lines (And Tips To Create Your Own).

Q. HOW DO I INTRODUCE THE NEXT SPEAKER IN A GROUP PRESENTATION? 

There are many ways by which you can introduce the next speaker in the presentation. For starters, you could wrap up your presentation by simply summarizing what you said (make sure it’s a brief summary) and then saying the other speaker will take over from this point.

Or, you could finish with your topic and then give a brief introduction of the next speaker and what they’re going to be talking about. The introduction can be simply the name of the speaker, or you could also provide a brief description of them and their achievements if any.

To lighten the mood, you could even add a fun fact about the speaker in your introduction–this is, of course, provided that you’re both comfortable with it. You could also ask for a round of applause to welcome them onto the stage.

However you choose to approach the transition, make sure that your introduction is short, and not more than two minutes at the maximum. Remember that it’s the next speaker’s turn to speak–not yours. If you’re the incoming speaker, make sure to thank the speaker who introduced you. You could also respond to their description or fun fact about you. A smile doesn’t hurt, either!

Conclusion 

To sum up, while group presentations might seem daunting at first, if planned and executed properly, they don’t have to be difficult at all! On the contrary, they can make the presentation a more seamless and fun experience overall. By doing thorough preparation in advance, dividing the work properly, as well as staying vigilant and supportive during the presentation, you can execute your next group presentation as easily as an individual project! 

Hrideep Barot is the founder and chief writer at Frantically Speaking, a portal to help people learn everything about public speaking. The purpose of franticallyspeaking.com is to showcase the lessons that he has learned (and still learning) from his numerous stage experiences and mentors over all these years.