Getting Your Group Presentations ON!


Active Learning

Making the Grade in Group Presentations

Group presentations are often necessary in the classroom and in the workplace — working as an effective member of a team is a skill that can be essential in work and life. To be successful, all members must work as a team to deliver a consistent and memorable presentation to the audience. In Becoming a Master Student, author Dave Ellis outlines three key strategies that anyone working with a group can follow as a path toward successful group presentations. Read on for your own benefit, share with your students, or both!

1. Get Organized. Once you have your task, appoint a leader and make sure you have all group members’ contact information. Then, compare your calendars and schedule times to work on all stages of your project: planning, researching, writing and practicing. At the first group meeting, create a detailed to-do list of all the tasks involved in successfully completing the presentation. Once you have created this list, distribute the tasks evenly to group members, keeping in mind the strengths of each individual in your group. For example, some members may be great writers, while others may shine on the visually creative side of the project.Next, the group should clearly define the topic and thesis of the presentation and begin to gather and brainstorm quotations, visuals, facts and anecdotes that support the main point of the project. While completing all of these steps it’s important to keep in mind how your project will be evaluated, so you can be sure to meet expectations.
2. Get Coordinated. “Practice makes perfect” is an old adage for a reason, so get the group together and rehearse the presentation! Focus on creating smooth transitions between speakers and keep track of time to ensure that you stay within the time allotted. Additionally, be sure to practice using your visuals, as they are a key component to the success of the overall presentation. To give visuals their full impact, keep in mind the room where you will be presenting when creating them, and be sure that the text is large enough to be seen from anywhere in the room.
3. Get Cooperation. Teamwork and planning are the keys to a successful evaluation of your group presentation. Communicate with all group members in a respectful and open way. Share your ideas, and be responsive to the ideas and suggestions from others. When everyone in your group cooperates, you’re more likely to deliver a successful presentation. (p. 265)

Reference: Content adapted from Ellis, Dave. 2013. Becoming a Master Student, 14th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

These useful ideas are reblogged from Cengage eLearning Newsletter.

I suspect my students will find these tips helpful as they prepare for their group presentations related to their Book Club Books. Each Teaching Collective will create a group blog which will host any of their presentation materials as well as their group’s book review. Read more details on that assignment.