Will you be presenting a panel discussion soon? Participating in a team presentation for work? This article focuses on the importance of picking an effective team leader.
The role of the team leader
For effective team presentations, one of the first things you should do is choose a team leader. A good leader helps the group function more smoothly, allowing team members to maximize their individual efforts and ensuring a seamless, collective delivery on the day of the presentation.
The team leader plays a key role both before and during the presentation. In the days before the presentation, the leader:
* Assists the team in developing an effective, well-organized outline
* Delegates tasks and directs the team throughout the project
* Clarifies expectations regarding timelines and other administrative matters
* Coordinates communications and requests for information and resources
* Schedules and leads the team through practice presentations
On the day of the presentation, the team leader:
* Ensures that everyone arrives early and that the technology is working
* Handles last-minute details as the group gets ready to present
* Introduces team members to the audience, explaining their credentials
* Informs the audience how questions will be handled
* Ensures that the presentation ends on time
Team leaders are project managers
Effective team leaders need strong project management skills, because they must delegate, schedule, direct, and shepherd the team, overseeing outlines and timelines that clarify expectations. They must also be assertive, mandating practice sessions and strictly enforcing time limits so other speakers have adequate time (I’ve been the last presenter on a panel where everyone exceeded their time limit and I was left with about 30% of my allotted time).
Team presentations can be a challenge, but good leadership can decrease your headaches and increase your impact. For a PDF of “TeamSpeak,” a longer article on team presentations, click here.