When you have a big bid proposal coming up, you want to make sure everything’s perfect. Especially with all the time and effort that’s gone into your content. So when it comes to actually delivering the bid, you want to get it right. But with a whole team, it can be difficult to know how to manage this. Who should present what? Is there a specific order? What is the etiquette? Follow this structure to get the best idea.
Who should present?
It can be tempting, when you have so many subject matter experts, but you really want to keep it down to as few presenters as possible. This minimises disruptions and ensures that the presentation will flow seamlessly. The choice of who to select comes down to seniority, relationship, and expertise, as well as presenting ability. Who has an established relationship with the audience, and so has inherent credibility? Who is the most senior? Who would deliver that section with the most authority?
That said, it can be useful to have extra people in the room who aren’t presenting. A lot of teams feature a few subject matter experts alongside the presenters, such as the engineer of a product. These people should not present and may not even speak at all, but they are there in case a question is asked that only they can answer.
It is important to briefly introduce everyone in your team before your presentation begins, so that the audience are not distracted by wondering who everyone is. The person with the best relationship with the audience should do this, and fundamentally explain why everyone is there. This includes those who aren’t presenting.
The most important thing when delivering as a team of presenters is to establish credibility. Audiences need to know that the presenter is a credible source, or will see no reason to believe or listen to him. So how can you ensure members of the team display this credibility?
It’s very difficult for a presenter to establish his own credibility, as it can sound arrogant, but other methods can feel contrived. So at m62, we recommend presenters follow an Olympic relay team of credibility.
The Relay Team
Using this method, one presenter begins the presentation and sets up the credibility for the others. The first presenter has to be the one with the most innate credibility (the most senior or most well-known with the audience). As he finishes his section, he hands this credibility onto the next presenter, who then passes it on to the presenter following him. As the initial presenter is respected, his recommendation of the presenter following will be trusted.
Passing the baton
Leaving presenters to introduce themselves at the start of their section is not the best way to establish credibility. Presenters will not be able to do this themselves: saying “I am the absolute best person at this” is embarrassing and sounds arrogant.
Instead, each presenter should introduce the next, so that others can say the things they wouldn’t say about themselves. We ask each presenter to write down the one sentence that they would be too embarrassed to say about themselves, and give that to their colleague to use when passing on to the next section of the presentation. So, as presenters move on to the next section, they will each say something like: “So for this I’ll pass you on to Sarah, who knows more about this topic than anyone I’ve ever met.”
This does need to be practised so that it doesn’t sound fake or cheesy. But once it has been rehearsed a few times, the handover should sound natural and credible – ensuring that your audience listen to every single member of your team.