Tip for presenting with someone else

Sometimes, we have to share the stage when we present, be it literally or figuratively.   And if we don’t plan ahead, that can be disastrous!  Nothing is worse then speaking over someone else or having someone else speak over us.  The audience thinks the one speaking over is a jerk and that the two folks on stage don’t like each other.  9 times out of 10, that’s not the case!  (Well, in general, we all have our off days)  So, for that reason, we’d like to provide some tips so you can avoid disaster:

  • Write the presentation together – this way you both feel ownership of the storyline.  Make sure you read each others pages
  • Use the same language – make sure you are using the same words to indicate the same things.  If you’re giving a presentation about “Women in Media”  you should both be using the word “Women”  versus say “Ladies”  “Non-Men”  “Chicks”, you get the idea.  This is especially important for any new concepts for the audience that are introduced in your presentation.  If you work in a “Media Center,” you should both say that.  If one calls it the acronym and the other calls it “the Center”  your audience won’t realize you’re talking about the same thing.  And they may be confused on whether or not you have the same values.
  • Split up the presentation – Audiences liked varied voices and like to see that everyone is contributing.  So, split up the pages so each of you has as much time to speak.  You should own your pages, your co-speaker his/hers.  Do not re-present each others pages.
  • Support each other on stage – Make it clear that you’re a team and you agree with your co-presenter.  Don’t visually fight on the stage, even if you think they messed up.  Instead use phrases like “As my wonderful colleague said”  “thank you for the insights you’ve just shared, I’m going to build on them with these next few ideas” “You know what, I know a lot about that, but my colleague knows a bit more, *look to co-presenter* Would you take that question?”  Sometimes it’s even appropriate to introduce each other.
  • Similar visuals – even if you split up your document, it’s got to look like you’re on the same team.  Make sure you’ve got the same visual language.  It’s ideal to use the same designer.
  • PRACTICE –  PRACTICE PRACTICE!  It’s even more complicated to present when there are two or more of you.  This is when you make sure you’re saying the same language, saying the same amount of content, not contradicting each other, etc.  The more you practice with each other, the better.

Happy team presenting!

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