Co-Presenting With Someone You Do Not Respect
In the last couple of posts I have been sharing my experience in co-presenting. This time I am going to expand on a situation that, whilst uncomfortable, is one you may not be able to avoid.
As we gain experience and expertise in our chosen fields, increasingly we get to know others in the field or associated fields and may be asked to co-present with someone whose views or approach you don’t share.
There are some simple rules I follow:
- Stay professional, no interaction on a personal level before, during or after the presentation.
- Prepare my contribution to the joint presentation and do not comment on the content or method of presentation by the co-presenter.
- When it is over, remain professional for the benefit of the audience who are actually not interested in whether the co-presenters get along famously or not.
On rare occasions I have had to decline a presentation because I simply do not want to be associated with the co-presenter. It was an occasion where I could do this, you may not have the option. It is worth asking the question though, in case you have assumed incorrectly.
Practically, in staying professional I can prepare and practice my presentation on the basis of the information I want to impart, just the same way I would do it for any presentation. The professional approach takes away some of the stress and anxiety associated with this kind of co-presentation and puts it in its place. It keeps me focused on the “why” and “who” (the audience).
Think about political interchanges – do you remember what they said or how they behaved? I’m sure you would rather have your audience remember what you said.
Once again I’ll remind you about not overthinking the outcome. When your presentation is over, it’s done. There is no value in revisiting and trying to think of smart rejoinders or responses – just move on to the next presentation you are required to do.
By all means analyse your performance but base your analysis on YOUR performance not the interaction or reaction to someone else who may have shared the presentation platform with you.