A group presentation can be a stressful experience – characterised by the unpredictable nature of a group project. To prepare a presentation, teams must put in a lot of hard work, be compatible alongside one another, communicate well, and generally have a positive attitude towards team work… none of which you will find in a group project. So in this article, we take a look at the inevitable stages of a group presentation – from the original communication to the parting of ways at the end. Enjoy!
Stage One: Awaiting the Group Draw
First of all, teams have to be arranged. Unless you have the luxury of being put into teams, your lecturer will choose them for you. This is a nerve-wracking moment. You wait and see who you are about to be launched into a group with – will you have a friend with you, or will that guy who has a reputation of doing nothing in a group project be in your group?! You wait and see what happens.
Stage Two: The First Communication
So the draw is made, and next up, it is time to communicate with your team. Suddenly, you have a range of friend requests on Facebook, and a group chat is hastily constructed. Before you know it, the team start communicating, and agree a meeting place. So far, so good.
Stage Three: The First Group Meeting
At the first meeting, the group seems to have some initial optimism. Everyone wants to do well, and you get the idea everyone is motivated to succeed. A general plan is made, and work is distributed among team members. Everything is looking quite rosy at this point.
Stage Four: First Phase of Work is ‘Done’
Over the following days, work is slowly constructed, to give your presentation a rough draft. Yet you soon see the full meaning of the term ‘rough’. On some slides, a few words are placed, while those who actually want to succeed have written a full-length paragraph. The alarm bells start to sound… the early optimism seems to be slowly fading.
Stage Five: Arranging of the Next Meeting
Soon enough it is time to arrange the next meeting. As shown in the graph above, the level of effort being put in by the team starts to drop. As time goes by, effort falls, and arranging the next meeting is difficult. One member is ‘at work’, another has forgotten a group project exists.
Stage Six: Someone Goes Missing
Within a few weeks of starting the project, it is commonplace for one team member to completely fall off the radar. They don’t show up to meetings, don’t complete work, don’t respond to messages, and you genuinely start to wonder if they are okay. Yet the show must go on, in spite of their prolonged absence.
Stage Seven: Presentation Drafted Out
Eventually, those who still care about the project draft out the presentation, and give the PowerPoint a new lick of paint. Perhaps even the font is changed, if people really care. Anyway, the presentation’s completion moves one step closer.
Stage Eight: The Team Leader Corrects the Mistakes
But the team leader slash person who cares the most – isn’t happy. That night, they work tirelessly to bring the presentation up to a proper standard. By the time everyone else sees it, it is as if the presentation is a foreign object. Anyways, it looks great, and it is time to practice the actual presentation.
Stage Nine: Meet up for Presentation Practice
So finally, the group reunites and partakes in presentation practice. Once the catching up and gossiping is done, it is time for a bitching session. Anyone that hasn’t turned up yet is talked about in a negative fashion. By the time that the group starts practicing, it becomes clear no one has properly learned their lines, and the practice descends into chaos.
Stage Ten: Night Before the Presentation
After some practice, the group looks set to conduct a successful presentation. The night before, some final questions are answered on the group chat, and everyone is urged to put any other work to one side and focus on the presentation. And alas, that person that went missing reemerges, ready to take some credit.
Stage Eleven: The Morning of the Presentation
The next morning, a final meeting place is set. There are some final worries – did we need to reference? What order do we all stand in? Everyone tells each other to remain calm, before going for a final run through.
Stage Twelve: The Presentation
Eventually, after all the preparation, the presentation goes ahead. The presentation will sometimes be a success, while other times you’ll be disappointed. The worst part is the bechmarking – where you compare other groups to your effort. Once your presentation is done, it is time for the all-important Q&A session…
Stage Thirteen: The Questions
The questions are going okay, with many answers being given. But then, to your horror, a question is directed to the person who disappeared for the majority of the preparation. As you see them think, you give a Tiger Woods-style glare across the room, awaiting their answer… and wondering how you will mop up after them.
Stage Fourteen: The Walk of Shame
Eventually, the presentation is done. The questions are dealt with too. As the group walks back to their seats, stares are exchanged with those who asked questions, before smiling sweetly at those assessing your presentation.
Stage Fifteen: The Split
Once all of the groups have done their presentation, it is time for the group to go their separate ways. It has been a good run – but deep down everyone is relieved that the project is over. No tears are shed, but more of a cursory handshake, a few hugs here and there, before everyone walk off. The group chat remains eerily quiet, never to be heard from again.
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Stage Sixteen: The Reflection
As you go back, you are left to reflect on the process. If you didn’t work hard, you feel a great deal of gratitude towards those that did. And for those that did work hard, the above statement is the perfect explanation of how you feel.