Introduction

A row of people sitting at a table in front of an audienceImagine you have been assigned to a group for a project requiring a presentation at the end. “Now is the busiest time in my schedule and I do not have time to fit all these people into it,” the voice in your head reminds you. Then you ask the question: “Is there ever a non-busy time for assembling a group together for a presentation?” These thoughts are a part of a group presentation assignment. The combined expertise of several individuals is becoming increasingly necessary in many vocational (related to a specific occupation) and avocational (outside a specific occupation) presentations.

Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

—Vince Lombardi

Group presentations in business may range from a business team exchanging sales data; research and development teams discussing business expansion ideas; to annual report presentations by boards of directors. Also, the government, private, and public sectors have many committees that participate in briefings, conference presentations, and other formal presentations. It is common for group presentations to be requested, created, and delivered to bring together the expertise of several people in one presentation. Thus, the task of deciding the most valuable information for audience members has become a coordination task involving several individuals. All group members are responsible for coordinating things such as themes, strong support/evidence, and different personalities and approaches in a specified time period. Coordination is defined in the dictionary as harmonious combination or interaction, as of functions or parts. This chapter focuses on how the group, the speech assignment, the audience, and the presentation design play a role in the harmonious combination of planning, organization, and delivery for group presentations.

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

—Margaret Mead