Two-Person Presentations

One way to make your presentation more memorable is to invite another student or person to present with you. This is not always possible, depending on your assignment or the purpose of the presentation, but there will be times throughout your academic career and work life when you will either be asked or required to present with someone else. When two-person presentations are well done, they can make a topic much more interesting, fun, and exciting.

Some Tips and Advice for Developing and Delivering a Two-Person Presentation

    • When you and your co-presenter are developing your presentation, work together. It may be tempting to let each person write their own parts separately, but you are sure to end up having to redo them (because of information holes or overlap) if they’re not written together by both parties.
    • Capitalize on each person’s strengths. If one person is more comfortable using humor, give him the humorous parts. If the other person is a whiz at going over PowerPoint slides, let her handle this task. If both of you are equally adept at all facets, you’re in luck. Each can choose to do what he or she likes best.
  • Build in natural cues that signal when the other person speaks. Some team presenters add a cue to the bottom of a PowerPoint slide. Others use a natural cue like changing the slide. However you do it, it should seem natural and seamless to your listeners.
  • The major benefit of presenting together is the give and take or talk between the two presenters. Audiences enjoy friendly banter or teasing or even well synchronized teamwork. Don’t let it always be one person speaking, and then the other. There’s no real benefit to that. Make sure you include some dual discussion in the presentation.
  • Rehearse twice as much as you would for a solo presentation. Every time you give your presentation it’s going to play out a bit differently. The more you and your co-presenter rehearse, the less likely you’ll be thrown by a slight change on his or her part. Don’t forget to rehearse in front of other people. The two of you might think you’ve got it down, but an objective, trusted third party may be able to offer some valuable suggestions for improvement.
  • Put aside egos. A successful two-person presentation communicates a message in a dynamic way. It shouldn’t appear as if the two presenters are vying for attention or competing with each other (unless in a lighthearted, joking way that’s planned, effective, and related to the topic). One person should never raise his or her voice to be heard over the other or interrupt the other presenter.

Presentation Skills Advice – Main Page