University of Hawai'i Maui Community College Speech Department
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Group Project Guidelines
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Here is some information to help you with Group Presentations.
refer to The Art of Public Speaking, Stephen Lucas, 8th Ed. Ch. 18
Guidelines for Planning a Group Project
While every group (and every project for that matter)
is unique, certain tasks seem to present themselves no matter what the particular
group's assigned project is. Click here to view the objectives for the SP 151 Team Project.
The following group project task list offers a suggested order for approaching
a project. It's certainly possible to do these steps in a different order
if you wish. But taking the time to accomplish each step will help you produce
It's also likely that you'll have to go back and forth between steps. In
other words, your group may decide that it needs to repeat one or more of
these steps in order to correct deficiencies that become apparent after
the group thinks that it has "finished" one part of its preparation.
GROUP PROJECT TASK LIST
STEP #1: ORIENTATION
- Group members need to learn who everyone is
-- exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. and keep a record of this
- Discuss what the group is expected to do -- don't
assume that the
requirements of the group project are clear to everyone. More often
than not, people are not always sure about what the group is expected to
STEP #2: DIVISION OF LABOR
- Divide the project up into a series of smaller
steps or parts
- Put the parts of the project into a time sequence
-- in what order must each step or part of the project be done?
- Agree on a time table -- when must each part of
the project be finished?
- Agree on who is responsible for each part of the
- Agree on what each person must PRODUCE for their
part of the project
by the agreed upon deadline. BE SPECIFIC -- everyone in the group
must agree to turn in something tangible to the group at a stated time.
- Agree about what to do if people in the group "get
behind" and won't be able to meet a deadline.
- Agree upon a schedule of meetings -- most groups
think all they need to do is divide up the work, meet five minutes before
the presentation, and "whip it together." You can do it this way,
but the approach rarely works!
STEP #3. ASSESSMENT
- Use some of your group meetings to review what members
have accomplished up to that point.
- Have group members provide feedback about each other's
work -- is the material provided by the member what the group needs, is
something missing, what else needs to be done?
- Set new expectations and deadlines as appropriate
-- group's usually discover as the project moves along that the original
time table and division of group member responsibilities needs to be modified.
Take the time to do that so that the work doesn't all pile up at the end.
- Pay attention to possible gaps in the group's work
-- are there important topics or tasks that the group is overlooking?
STEP #4. PRESENTATION PLANNING
- Once the research on the project is fairly far along,
the group needs to turn its attention to the question of HOW to orally present
the material the group gathered. MANY GROUPS MAKE THE MISTAKE OF WANTING
TO TALK ABOUT THE PLAN FOR THE PRESENTATION TOO SOON. Wait until the group
has a pretty good idea of what they'll be talking about.
- Decide on a presentation topic
- Determine who will serve as the presentation moderator
Decide on audio/visual aids for the presentation
- Make decisions about physical arrangements for the presentation
- Work to improve delivery
skills of the group members
What do you think?
Do you have any questions,
comments, concerns, suggestions, or group presentation tips that you would like to share? If so, contact me,
Ron St. John,
with your feedback. I will get back to you as soon
as possible. Be sure to state the title or subject
matter, so I know to what material you are referring. Thank you for visiting the Public Speakers' Sites!
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Ron St. John
Copyright © 2002 - Ka Leo Kumu
Last Revised: January 16, 2002