Tuesday, July 29, 2008

7 Steps To Perfect Partner Presentations

Writen by Terry Wisner

There have been many famous Partners. They have become famous because they work together seamlessly and take advantage of one another's strengths. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Brooks and Dunn, Abbott and Costello, Sonny and Cher, Martin and Lewis, and Batman and Robin are examples of perfect Partners. How many keynote speakers are Partners? How often do teachers or professors Partner to deliver a class or lecture? It's really not something we see everyday, except in the world of business. It's not unusual to see two presenters at staff meetings, conventions, conferences, and seminars. Often, the boss or a more experienced presenter is the lead person and their "Presentation Partner", is learning from their tutelage.

As anyone who has delivered a day long seminar knows, it is difficult to stay fully engaged and focused all day. That is another reason people team up with another to present a topic.

There are many reason's people provide Partner Presentations and the "Partnering Pro," Terry Wisner shares his seven key success factors for presentation Partners need to consider.

1) First and foremost, introduce yourselves and explain why the two of you are there. Tell them what each of you bring to the party and how they, the audience, will benefit. A great way to begin the presentation is to literally introduce your Partner and tell the participants what portion of the content they will cover. Then, of course, your Partner will deliver an introduction of you and the points you will discuss.

2) As always, the audience needs to know where they are going. Share an agenda and tell them what each Partner is doing. It's a good idea to post this or have a copy on the table for everyone. Here's a tip: Alternate the font (style and color) between speaking Partners on the agenda. This will serve as a visual aid to help the audience see where they are going.

3) The famous Partners mentioned earlier were, and are, successful for many reasons. They often talk about chemistry and how they know what the other Partner is going to do. Make certain you and your Partner know exactly what the other plans to do and say. Don't trip over each other and make sure you display confidence in one another. Meeting attendees will sense any confusion or frustration from the stage and your message will be lost.

4) Abbott and Costello were great Partners on radio and later on the Silver Screen. One of their most famous radio bits was "Who's on First?" Unlike those two in the classic skit, it is extremely important that you agree on which Partner is on first. The alternation between Partners striking a balance of time and content. One of the biggest distractions, in joint presentations, is when the Partner seemingly stands around waiting for their turn, and then gets up on stage, says a few words and just as quickly exits the stage. If there isn't balance, there probably isn't a reason to have the second person on stage.

5) In order to perform #2 well, be sure to make clear transitions. When one Partner has completed their section or topic, make a physical and literal "handoff" to the other Partner. Some ideas that work here are: Handover the microphone, check off the item on the agenda that was just completed, and then introduce the Partner and their topic. Wrap-up your topic and ask your Partner what they are going to talk about. Have a different template or look on your visual aids. There are many ways to make a clear shift during a presentation while maintaining the attention of the listeners.

6) When you're not up…be there! Often, people who regularly co-present or deliver training violate this rule. Have you ever seen a co-presenter go to the back of the room, sit at the "instructors table", and read the USA Today? Partners need to stay in the game. Baseball players don't sit in the dugout reading the paper when their fellow players are up to bat. Neither should a presentation Partner. In fact, the Partner should sit off to one side and actively listen. This also allows them to watch the addresses and evaluate how well they (the audience) are getting the message. It is also important to note that Partners should never interrupt the other. The point you want to make can wait until you get up and make the transition. Besides, the audience probably won't benefit enough to outweigh the distraction.

7) Always wrap-up the presentation with both Partners on stage. Show sincere appreciation for and thank each other. My presentation Partner and I will summarize the other's points, check for acceptance of the audience, and then encourage listeners to implement their action plans.

There are many reasons why most of us don't like to hear Partner Presentations. Basically, they come off as clumsy and awkward. If you find yourself in the discomfited position of having to give one, implement these seven steps. You, your Partner and your audience will be glad you did. Your audience will walk away having enjoyed a Perfect Partner Presentation. Partnering is the hottest thing in the personal change strategy arena. Try it and become more successful.

Terry Wisner is the founder and President of "Partnering To Success." http://www.p2s.us His knowledge of and experience in both organization and individual development is extensive. He holds a BBA from University of Michigan and a Masters in Organization Science from Central Michigan University. However, his true learning has come from working with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals to improve performance. This understanding has generated the "Partnering" process. This process will help business partners, spouses, life partners and roommates become more successful. His energetic, interesting and informative style makes Terry a very popular keynote speaker. Whether before an audience of 8000 or in one of his remarkable retreats, he makes everyone comfortable, engaged, and ready for change. As a consultant, Terry works with organizations to specifically improve the training and organizational developments ROI. After working with a Fortune 500 company, Terry has developed a passion for helping others become more successful, and "Partnering" is just the ticket.

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