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Seminar Topics: Team Presentations (student module)

Topics included in this module:

The Importance of Good Team Presentations Skills

There are many jobs and specializations where the success of a team is partly dependent on the quality of their presentation. A part of the evaluation or assessment is influenced by how the presentation was made. An effective team will have to be good at presenting its ideas effectively in addition to formulating good strategies or solutions. It is important that the team's recommendations are put across clearly no matter what kind of presentation they are taking part in. The success of a presentation hinges on how the audience perceives or receives the presentation. Therefore a team should place as much importance on the quality of their presentations as they do on the quality of their other team functions.

What the audience takes out from a presentation can have a significant bearing on the success or failure of the team, regardless of the presenter’s good intentions. It is therefore important to do dry runs and get the input from other team members before a presentation can be considered fully ready for a client.

The perceptions of the audience hinges on one or more of the following issues:

  • Proper comprehension of the proposals
  • Proper understanding of research findings, analysis and conclusions
  • Grasp of the intellectual strength in the strategies
  • Insights into the core business benefits inherent in the suggestions
  • Originality and creativity in innovative approaches
  • Credibility of the information and the feeling that the presenter knows his or her facts

The key to presenting anything involves being able to explain clearly, in simplified terms and highlighting relevant points that make a difference to business decisions. The manner in which the recommendations are presented can make or break a presentation. The professional standing of a team with a client or customer can be amplified if the team makes a good presentation and conversely get diminished if the team makes a bad presentation.

The presentation is the contact point or interface where all the work and effort put in by the team is finally on display. An effective team has to give the presentation due importance. The days and weeks that the team spent on strategizing and brainstorming will go to waste if the team is unable to put across its proposals in a convincing manner. The team therefore needs to pay close attention to their presentation skills. The person who front’s the team has to be carefully selected as someone who is confident and is able to clearly express the collective thoughts and ideas of the team.

Broadly a good presentation should have the following features:

  • The presenter has to explain clearly
  • The presenter has to be confident
  • The presenter has to inspire and grab attention; boredom can set in otherwise and the audience will get fidgety
  • The presenter has to convince the audience
  • The presenter should be able to clarify doubts and concerns
  • The presenter has to ensure complete comprehension. A tried and tested method is to first tell the audience what you are going to present to them by giving them an overview, then you can make your presentation and then finally recap everything you’ve just presented. That way you leave no room for ambiguity.
  • Proper presentation aids have to be employed, go high tech if possible. The world today is all about high-tech solutions and multi-media. Using animation, audio, video footage and graphics, is more the norm rather than the exception

So the question is: "Does a team presentation depend solely on the one individual chosen to present it or is it a group activity?" Though a presentation may have one presenter from the team, the team has a few joint responsibilities:

  • Anticipate the likely questions and decide in advance which team member will respond to each question. Everybody has to be alert and ready to offer answers to questions the presenter is unable to tackle
  • Be clued up and fully informed; everybody on the team has to make it his or her business to totally understand what is being presented
  • Carry documentation and relevant support reports to the presentation
  • Be supportive and present a united front. There is nothing more disturbing for a client than a team that has disagreements and starts arguing with one another at the presentation.

Every team member has to be prepared for the presentation and willing to contribute to the discussion that is likely to unfold at the end. 

Presentation How-To Guides

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