If you’ve got a standout presenter – or even two on your team, you may think that’s good enough. It isn’t. If you’re presenting to clients or perspective clients about your company or association, everyone on that team needs to present powerfully. Having the right team leader is important, but your team leader is there to guide the team, not cover for bad performances. Make sure each member of the team is ready to present at their best:
It’s about the show, not just the tell. If all you needed to win that business or goodwill was to detail your capabilities, you could simply win that business with emails. Your potential clients was to “see for themselves” what those strengths are so they can judge. Make sure you show them who you are with a powerful performance by the entire team presenting it’s capabilities.
Rehearse Together. However limited your time is for preparation, make sure you use some of it to rehearse with each other so that all of you can weigh in on the team’s performance. Look and listen to the presentation as your client would, as a whole. Help each other understand how the flow of the presentation must be consistent and powerful.
It isn’t acting. Your team can’t ‘pretend’ to be confident. They must actually feel confident.If you see hesitancy or nervousness from any individual team member who presents, get to the root of it before you’re in front of the client. Sometimes a simple change in wording, or some flexibility for personal input is all that’s needed to boost confidence levels. By the same token, if you see discomfort or even disagreement among team members, don’t ignore it. That kind of dissonance is exactly what the potential client might be looking for in deciding whether they want to work with the whole team.
Prepare for success. Make sure your team has what it needs for success.If that means more support for the right content to boost confidence, make sure they have it. Make sure the team understands the strategy and the bigger picture behind what you’re trying to achieve in the presentation and they way you want to achieve it. They can’t be full participants until they know where they’re being led and buy into your vision.
Successful team presentations don’t happen by accident. Yes the content has to be right, but understand that the delivery and how your team works and supports each other is vitally important to your potential client and partners. Work for that success with enough practice time and great coaching feedback for better team and individual performance.
Your presentations are only as good as your weakest team member. Make sure each individual powers up their performance. Get your team trained for success.
Aileen Pincus launched The Pincus Group after more than two decades of communications experience in the fields of journalism, politics and public relations. Aileen has trained senior executives from around the country for one of the nation’s largest public relations firms, Golin/Harris International. Her work in strategy and communications training for Fortune 500 companies included counsel for the pharmaceutical, medical research, banking, automotive, legal, chemical, engineering and technology industries, as well as for political and non-profit groups.