So what are the secrets of a good group presentation?
Here is a list of do's and don'ts.
- Prepare your material carefully and logically.
Tell a story. The story should have four parts:
In a group presentation, this story should be divided
between the participants.
Hint: There is an old saying among good
speakers that describes a presentation from the
communication viewpoint: "Tell 'em what you are going to
tell 'em. Tell 'em. Then tell 'em what you told 'em."
People generally don’t absorb information the first time
they hear it, so it is okay to repeat yourself a little
and mention some of your conclusions in the
- Don't put in too much material. Here is a good
rule of thumb - each slide takes about one to one
and a half minutes to show. Thus a 15-minute talk
should only have 12-15 slides.
Hint: Have only a few conclusion points. The
fact is, people will only remember one or two things
from your talk - you might as well tell them what to
remember rather than let them figure it out for
Hint: Avoid equations. Show only very simple
equations if you show any at all.
- Polish your graphics. Here is a list of hints
for better graphics:
- Use large letters (no fonts smaller than
- Keep the graphic simple. Don't show
graphs you won't need. If someone in your
group has some artistic talent (and you
don't) ask for help or opinions.
- Use color. Color makes the graphic stand
- Practice your talk. There is no excuse for a
lack of preparation. When working with a group, be
sure to practice the transitions between presenters
and each presenter should speak for at least 5
minutes. Too many speakers during a single talk
distracts from the material at hand.
Hint: Remember to talk to the audience not
to the screen!
- When working with a group, discuss
ahead of time how questions will be
handled. For example, who will answer
each type of potential question?
Hint: When answering a question in a group
presentation format, be personable and honest. The
audience does not expect you to know the answer to every
question and it is better to stop there than dig
yourself into a bigger hole. If you don’t know what to
say, see if another group member might have a better
- General etiquette. It is always a
good idea to acknowledge people who
helped you. Also, groups should discuss
clothing choices so that members look
like a team. The audience will be there
to hear your material, but when you
dress up you send the message that you
care enough about the audience to look
nice for them.