Planning a Group Presentation


While every group (and every project for that matter) is unique, certain tasks seem to present themselves no matter what the particular group’s assigned project is.

The following group project task list offers a suggested order for approaching a project. It’s certainly possible to do these steps in a different order if you wish. But taking the time to accomplish each step will help you produce better work.

It’s also likely that you’ll have to go back and forth between steps. In other words, your group may decide that it needs to repeat one or more of these steps in order to correct deficiencies that become apparent after the group thinks that it has “finished” one part of its preparation.


Group members need to learn who everyone is– exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. and keep a record of this information.
Discuss what the group is expected to do — don’t assume that the requirements of the group project are clear to everyone. More often than not, people are not always sure about what the group is expected to do.

Divide the project up into a series of smaller steps or parts.
Put the parts of the project into a time sequence — in what order must each step or part of the project be done?
Agree on a time table — when must each part of the project be finished?
Agree on who is responsible for each part of the project.
Agree on what each person must PRODUCE for their part of the project by the agreed upon deadline. BE SPECIFIC — everyone in the group must agree to turn in something tangible to the group at a stated time.
Agree about what to do if people in the group “get behind” and won’t be able to meet a deadline.
Agree upon a schedule of meetings — most groups think all they need to do is divide up the work, meet five minutes before the presentation, and “whip it together.” You can do it this way, but the approach rarely works!

STEP #3. ASSESSMENT Use some of your group meetings to review what members have accomplished up to that point.
Have group members provide feedback about each other’s work — is the material provided by the member what the group needs, is something missing, what else needs to be done?
Set new expectations and deadlines as appropriate — group’s usually discover as the project moves along that the original time table and division of group member responsibilities needs to be modified. Take the time to do that so that the work doesn’t all pile up at the end.
Pay attention to possible gaps in the group’s work — are there important topics or tasks that the group is overlooking?

STEP #4. PRESENTATION PLANNING Once the research on the project is fairly far along, the group needs to turn its attention to the question of HOW to orally present the material the group gathered. MANY GROUPS MAKE THE MISTAKE OF WANTING TO TALK ABOUT THE PLAN FOR THE PRESENTATION TOO SOON. Wait until the group has a pretty good idea of what they’ll be talking about.
Decide on a presentation format
Determine who will serve as the presentation moderator
Decide on audio/visual aids for the presentation
Make decisions about physical arrangements for the presentation
Work to improve delivery skills of group members