Need to do a group presentation? Read this.

First impressions count. A lot.

In a group presentation, be it a choir or just a business presentation, the details count.

People are visual

Look nice. Make sure your shoes are clean and shiny, you don’t look messy and your hair is pulled away from your face.

A little lipstick and makeup for the ladies might help brighten the face, if lights tend to wash you out or draw haggard lines on your face, casting unflattering shadows.

Remember to march up to the stage in a neat, organized row (think military style), with a straight posture, big smile and your best energy.

At this point when I’m about to present, adrenaline tends to kick in, and it somehow washes away all of my stage nervousness.

Even if I am nervous I try not to show it by keeping my body relaxed, calm and most of all still.

Avoid fidgeting, it displays nervousness.

And shifting your body from one foot to another? It’s really annoying and distracting for the audience.

ESPECIALLY when people in the group do it in the background while someone is speaking.

Avoid putting on your glasses and taking them off.

Or fidgeting with your hair while talking or standing on stage.

Or shuffling papers nervously while you’re presenting.

If you have a presentation on many sheets, arrange them out beforehand, so you don’t have to shuffle them and get nervous about losing your rhythm.

It’s uncomfortable for everyone when they see that bead of sweat come down your forehead and the inevitable “umm..uhh.. this.. is.. uhh.. I’ve lost my spot..”

Project an air of CALM and by tricking yourself into thinking it’s possible, it will actually make it happen.

Folders & Papers

Don’t hold it close to your body.

Make sure everyone does the same thing — hold the folder or the papers in the hand closest to the audience, with your arm hanging down and relaxed.

Black is probably the best colour for folders if you are going for neutral and professional, but it’s best if they all at least match in some way, so the audience isn’t distracted.

I don’t see anything wrong in owning a bright red folder or a patterned one — as long as it goes with the look of your group and presentation.

Prep before the Presentation

Know the order you are going to file on stage. Don’t get there, and in hurried whispers, shuffle and get confused about who is going next.

When each person in the group knows exactly where they should go, stand, sit, stay and move, it looks precise, well-thought out and professional.

Prepare the presentation before the Big Day. Run through it once or twice as a dress rehearsal so everyone feels comfortable with the structure of the presentation and can focus on their delivery.

Once on stage, always face the audience.

When you go to leave the stage, leave in the same manner. Back straight, good posture, calm and confident walks. You aren’t out of the woods yet, until you are really out of sight!

Introductions need prepping too

If you are stuck with an emcee, practice with them on how to say your name.

It really sucks when they cop out with a “Her name is too difficult to pronounce, but welcome, nevertheless!”

Accept compliments graciously.

When they tell you “Awesome job!” your (and my) initial reaction would be to dumb it down or play it off in an effort to be humble:

No, it SUCKED. Did you see when I screwed up on that section?

Scratch all that.

Don’t say it. Bite your tongue!

They probably didn’t even notice any mistakes you made.

It may just be in your perfectionist head.

But now that you’ve brought it up…………

When complimented, just reply with a simple “Thank you. Glad you liked it.

If you need to present again and it just wasn’t perfect, do a private pow-wow with your group members later to figure out how to improve on the performance.

Practice makes perfect.

Anything else about group presentations you’d like to point out to everyone?

Chime in, in the comments.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.