Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Partnering with Another Presenter by Chris King
I attended a presentation describing several new computer software programs.
In previous articles, I have bemoaned the fact that so many technology-related-presentations
are given by knowledgeable people who have great information to share
but are boring. I was doubly delighted. Not only was the presentation
lively, informative and exciting, it was orchestrated by not one, but
two speakers. This feat in itself offers a huge challenge, and yet, when
accomplished as well as the two men I heard, can be an excellent and effective
way to present. In this article, I will address some of the ins and outs
of partnering for a presentation: the good, the bad, and
a presentation given by two people good, along with being worthwhile,
not only for them, but also for the audience?
preparation, preparation. It was extremely evident that the two
men who were working together they bill themselves as "brothers"
were both well prepared for their portion of the program. They
were also, however, prepared for the parts they shared. It wasnt
just one persons show, followed by the other persons show.
They were working together.
is more important than ever. When two people are presenting together,
they must know exactly how much time to devote to their parts and/or
parts of the time allotted. If one goes way over, it will detract from
the others portion, because the audience will feel they were cheated
out of information. A clever way to handle this and keep the audience
aware of the time was the way the first brother presenting
asked the second brother to keep track of the time and give
him a signal when it was time for him to wind down. As the second brother
started, the first one unobtrusively switched the connection to the
projector from his laptop to his brothers.
comfortable with each other. One of the most important factors that
made yesterdays presentation such a complete success was that
these two men exhibited such an easy camaraderie with each other. They
joked with each other but not too much. They listened to each
other (even though I am sure that they have heard this material many,
many times before they travel the country doing these presentations).
And, most of all, they appeared to sincerely like each other. The rapport
they had with each other multiplied into establishing an easy rapport
with us, the audience.
if your personalities and presentation styles differ, it is imperative
that each of you is a powerful presenter. The two men who were so
impressive could be brothers (I have a feeling they arent), but
they were similar in looks, the way they dressed (appropriately for
the type of meeting they were attending), and both were equally excellent
presenters. Both had enough pizzazz and polish that neither outshone
the other even though I was more interested in the software programs
attacked by the second brother, I still enjoyed the first presentation
tackle the bad and the ugly.
this is a partnership.
When working with another speaker and/or speakers, make sure that one
doesnt upstage another. I have witnessed this with panel discussions
and, if it is too evident that one presenter is trying to outdo another,
it is amazing how quickly the audience will turn against that person.
This takes the attention away from the whole presentation and presenters,
which is a shame and is counter-productive. One must remember that this
is a team effort.
intently to what the other presenter is saying. If one of the partners
appears to be bored, dazed and/or not interested in what the another
is saying, this will also detract from what is being presented. On the
other hand, the positive effect of one presenter really taking an active
part in listening and learning cant be emphasized strongly enough.
It will become obvious to the audience members that this is important
information that they need to hear also.
interrupt, act-up and/or make unpleasant sounds. When two people
are on stage together, it is easy for one to feel like speaking up,
sharing a joke or a comment, or making a funny or distracting face.
Dont. It certainly wont endear you to the audience members.
Even though these brothers joked around with each other,
they knew not to do it while important information was being offered.
what will be covered, so there are no unfortunate surprises.
Even though the two brothers gave the impression that they
were just easily going along with the flow, it was obvious to me that
they were well rehearsed. It was just like an athletic performance that
has been practiced, practiced and practiced. They made it look easy
and that comes from proper preparation. If you have ever presented using
a computer and an LCD projector in a strange place, you know that making
it all look easy takes a huge amount of preparation and confidence.
want to deliver a doubly strong presentation, consider forming a partnership
with another speaker. Just make sure that you choose wisely. You can
work together well, you respect each other and together you have
important and compelling information to share.
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