Have you ever had a huge team presentation where the pressure was high, the outcomes could be career changing, and at the same time, there were many unknowns? As you prepare your slides, you keep running into that quicksand moment where you realize that you are getting ready to drop an information overload bomb on your audience. This is usually the same moment where your confidence crashes and you aren't sure how to create the outcomes you need.
This situation is also exacerbated by the fact that this presentation depends on great individual performances, excellent team synergy, and the team's ability to leave the audience energized, enlightened, and clear on what to do with the information you just shared. This may sound like a daunting task to pull off, but with the right approach to your preparation, you would be amazed at what can seamlessly be done.
Similar to the steps of your personal preparation, you have to start with a clear vision of what success looks like. Since you can't control the audience, this means having a clear vision of what you are in control of - yourselves. What would it look like to be clear, concise, and impactful? How would you hand over topics to a teammate so they don't drop the baton? How could the team support each other to give each other confidence and energy rather than add more pressure? How can you collectively add context, emotion, and flow that none of you could do alone?
To create this shared vision of success, you can start with our common TIGNUM preparation questions: How do we want to be perceived? What do we want the audience to know? How do we want them to feel? As team members share their ideas, you can bring them together into one final team vision of success. Ideally, this should be done before the first graphic, framework, slide, or flip chart is designed. Remember, everything you do, say, and show is part of your communication - if they don't align, you will send mixed messages.
Once you have a shared vision of success based on your shared intentions and what you can control, you can start dividing up the next phase of preparation. Who is going to develop the materials (less is more) to support your vision of success and the key messages you need to convey? Who is going to support the team to show up at their best (think Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, Recovery)? Who is going to orchestrate the flow of the presentation? Who is going to keep everyone on task? Who is going to serve as the Chief Reframer as you get closer to delivery day?
The benefit of this thorough and me-to-we-to-it (the actual presentation) approach is that you will be prepared for both the expected and the unexpected things that will come your way. I know that at TIGNUM, there have been times when one of our team members has fallen ill, missed a flight, or had a personal emergency just before a presentation and couldn't present. One time, we even had a fire alarm right in the middle of a discussion, and we calmly moved the group outside (flip chart and all) to a safe zone where we could continue. This approach to our preparation allowed us to confidently adjust and adapt to almost effortlessly carry on.
There is much that you just can't control, but having a well-prepared, confident team is well within your reach. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts.