How to Present with Another Speaker

 Learn how to co-present the right way with the first in a two-part article.

Lisa B. Marshall
4-minute read
Episode #88

Tip #1 for Presenting with Someone Else: Practice

When presenting as a team, every team member should understand all of the material and possibly even be able to present all of the material.

My overall biggest tip for co-presenting is practice, practice, practice way ahead of time! Don’t wait until the night before like Bob and I did. Anytime you present with another person, you need to plan for at least double--and perhaps even triple--the time it normally takes to prepare and practice a presentation you deliver on your own. When presenting as a team, every team member should at least understand all of the material and possibly even be able to present ALL of the material --and that takes time!

How to Prepare for a Presentation with Someone Else

What typically happens during a multi-person presentation is that different presenters know certain portions of the material best, or the one person who created the presentation knows the flow of the presentation better than the others. However, it’s important that everyone feels completely comfortable with the both the content and the organization when delivering as a team. That means reviewing every slide together and respectfully making changes and revisions until each presenter feels joint ownership of the material. Many teams simply don’t take the time to do this step. Or if they do an extensive review, they end up running out of time to practice delivering jointly.

Tip #2: Remember to Practice Transitions

When there are multiple people, transitions become very important and can’t be overlooked. If you’re delivering a presentation alone and the transitions aren’t strong, it’s usually not obvious or detrimental. However, poor transitions get magnified during team presentations; so you’ll need to pay close attention to them.

Use the Review/Preview Transition

When following a tag team approach—that’s when one presenter follows another—the transition needs to be smooth. I suggest using a review/preview type of transition. That’s when the first speaker summarizes their part and then previews the main ideas the next speaker will present.

Instead what I often hear, is "And Joan is going to talk next." Sometimes it's even worse. Joan doesn't even realize she's next and the speaker says, "Joan, you’re going next, right?"

When using the review/preview transition, the new speaker should assume control of the presentation by very briefly recognizing the previous speaker and then quickly moving onto the new topic. “So, what we learned from Lisa is X, but what about Y?”

Next week I’ll cover how to spice up a tag team presentation when following the PEP model--that’s the Point, Evidence, Point model that I’ve written about before. I’ll also talk about how to make effective transitions when using the duet style or equal partner approach. Finally next week, we’ll talk about defining and maintaining roles. 

This is, Lisa B. Marshall, The Public Speaker. Passionate about communication, your success is my business.

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If you have a question, send email to publicspeaker@quickanddirtytips.com. For information about keynote speeches or workshops, visit lisabmarshall.com.

Two Presenters image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.