University of Hawai'i Maui Community College Speech Department

Group Project Guidelines

Here is some information to help you with Group Presentations.
Also 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 better work.

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 members need to learn who everyone is -- exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. and keep a record of this information.
  • 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 do.


  • 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 project.
  • 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!


  • 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?


  • 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
  • Practice
  • 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!

The Public Speakers' Resources
|Public Speakers' Page | Speech 151 | Speech 251 | Public Speaking Resources|
|Supporting Your Speech | Sample Speeches | Speech Practice | Speaking Tips|
|Speech Anxiety | Team Presentations | Group Communication | Interviewing|
|Using Visual Aids | ESL Links | Anonymous Feedback | Ron St. John|
|The Learning Center | MCC Library | Maui Language Institute|
|Distance Education Academic Support Services|
|The Ho'oulu OnLine (Student Newspaper)|
|The University of Hawai'i at Manoa|

Page Designer: Ron St. John
Copyright 2002 - Ka Leo Kumu
Last Revised: January 16, 2002