CTL GuidesTeaching and Learning ToolsZoom Zoom How to give a group presentation in Zoom

How to give a group presentation in Zoom

This guide is to help students prepare for giving a group presentation through Zoom, and will go over the basics of sharing a PowerPoint or Google Slides based presentation. There are other formats for presentations, however these two are the most widely used among students.

Prepare the Presentation

The first step in this process is to prepare your presentation. Through your chosen medium (PowerPoint or Google Slides) create the presentation. You can use plain slides, though it isn't very engaging for the audience. Try playing around with the slide themes, but don't let the visuals get too busy. You want your audience to focus on your message more than the graphic design. Humboldt State Marketing has created a few PowerPoint templates with simple, elegant visuals for consistency in branding. If you need help developing your presentation Humboldt State has the Creating Presentations page with links to the some presentation softwares and instructions on how to distribute your presentation through links or embedding. The National Conference of State Legislatures has distilled Tips for Making Effective PowerPoint Presentations, though you should seek more specific guidance from your department on presentation guidelines.

Prepare a Script

The second step in this process is to prepare what you are going to say. Some courses require students to perform their speeches without the use of note cards or scripts, however, it is good practice to prepare what you are going to say beforehand. By preparing what you say before the presentation, you will reduce the amount of filler words (like, so, and, um, uh) and sound more professional. If your course has no stipulation against scripts you can eliminate most, if not all, of your filler words. By preparing a script for each group member/slide, you can easily identify transitions. Preparing content for each slide also helps in the event of technical difficulties in which a speaker may be dropped from a Zoom call. By placing the script in the notes section of the presentation, it can be seen by all members of the group. It is also advised to create a word document, which can be printed and hung in front of the speaker, or placed in a second window, to appear like they are looking more towards the camera.

Practice the Presentation

The third step in this process is to practice. Whether you love them or hate them, you must practice your presentations at least once before you go live. This will allow you to get a feel for the time delay between advancing slides, and when that advancement is reflected for the other group members. Depending on the internet connection a delay could be up to 1 or 2 seconds, perhaps even longer. By preparing a script and practicing, the members of the group will get a feel for when the end of the content of each slide is coming, and be able to transition to the next slide/member more easily. You can choose to use key words like "next slide," however it does not come across as professionally as a smooth transition will.

Prepare to Share

The third step in this process is giving the presentation itself. Have each member (or as many as possible given technical limitations) download the presentation (or open Google Drive to the presentation) to their computer. In the event someone drops or has internet issues, you want to have contingency for who will pick up the torch and continue where they left off. Determine who in your group has the most stable internet and assign them principal presenter. They will be in charge of advancing the slides for all group members. You don't have to go through the entire presentation (though you should), but have each member get a feel for screen sharing by practicing the principal presenter position. This will allow the entire group to feel more confident in their ability to give an online presentation.

1.) In the Zoom client, press "Share Screen"

This image shows a red box around the "Share Screen" button in the Zoom client.

2.) Select the screen that has your presentation.

You will know you are sharing if you can see the Zoom toolbar with "Stop Share" displayed.

This image shows the Zoom toolbar as it appears during screen sharing.

Present your Hard Work

The last step in this process is the actual presentation itself. While this may seem like the most stressful part, you've already done the work, and should know the general content fairly well by this point. An online presentation is probably less stressful than an in-person presentation, as you can turn the video of your audience off, or at least minimize them (unfortunately there isn't a tool to picture them in their underwear, but maybe one day). If you're allowed your script, make sure you have it handy, and try an position it near the camera (if you are required to have video on).