Team presentations “present” special challenges. Google “top ten team presentations” or “group presentations” and you’ll end up with a lot of half-baked advice and a couple of bad examples. Google “top TED group presentations,” and the search results will include nothing about group talks; as a rule, TED talks are solo, with few exceptions. At least nine times of ten, group presentations do not work. They are difficult, and it’s much easier to come across as the Three Stooges than it is to have the gravitas of Cirque de Soleil or the power of your favorite rock band.
Much more than a solo presentation, group presentations require crackerjack timing, rehearsal, structure, and excellent writing. In other words, they are a remarkably advanced and special kind of performance. Only the most gifted improvisers can make a team effort captivate an audience on the fly, without scripting and predetermined content, and usually only as comedy (not that there’s anything wrong with comedy!). Notably, the power of a group presentation is usually determined by its weakest link, by the least-effective presenter in the team.
Yet there are distinct reasons why team presentations make sense. Are you presenting complex information, ideas which embody multiple subtopics or knowledges which require multiple experts? Does cross-promoting or combining your collective following bring weight and marketing power to your talk? For political, personal, or social reasons, is it simply important to share the stage?
If so, it’s important that the presentation land professionally, that is be structurally sound, and that every presenter rises to the challenge. The Moxy Lab can help, both with the structuring of your talk and with the training necessary for every team member to shine. Somatic or physical training can help most presenters in short order, but advanced training in articulation, writing, and presence can really augment your message.
Group presentations are difficult, people. Would you try to fly a plane or charm a snake without some instruction? No? Don’t get into a stage, either, without help from The Moxy Lab, not unless you want to leave an impression like Curly, Larry, and Moe.
For one methodology, among many possible approaches, see what I have to say about Many Voices, One Message. In the weeks and months to come, check back to our blog to learn more about interview-style presentations, banter, improvisation, and other skills which can strengthen teams on stage.