For context, I've been on a team of 8 for a year now and recently my team has taken on a very big project for the company. Because of this, naturally, a lot of managers want presentations of what is going on. While we do have presentations within the team, our company has scheduled a bi-weekly demo for anyone who wants to demo anything in front of the company (this is set up in such a way that there is a casual gathering in front of 50+ people) but naturally we are more required to give a presentations given our project.

Needless to say, most of my team members do not feel comfortable giving presentations. This is a very related question and I would say most of my team members have been fairly vocal about not wanting to give presentations. We have a few new members on our team and it sets a pretty bad precedence which ends up discouraging them from wanting to present their work either. I think what makes it more challenging is the senior engineer and our team lead on our team are very reluctant to give presentations.

Inevitably, while I also don't feel comfortable giving presentations, because I gave one recently and I am willing to give them since I understand it's good for my career, I am always nominated and assigned the task. There have been times I have said no and yet I still get assigned. Since I am the "most comfortable", I've become a scapegoat to give presentations and I believe my manager recognizes that. The truth is, I don't mind giving the presentations sometimes but I feel I can't always give the presentations.

I had a talk with my manager about how we can motivate and encourage the team to give presentations and he said "this is something we'll have to work on together over time."

I am just wondering if there is anything I can do or perhaps something I can suggest to my manager to help with this? I really liked the suggestion in this question's answer (How to request senior team members to prepare well for the team meeting?) where there was a way to not come off rude towards more senior members but it doesn't really seem applicable for my situation as it isn't just the senior engineers that have the issue of not wanting to share the responsibility of speaking.

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    Anytime someone, be it a person or a group, let me do the job because they lack confidence, or skill, or just don't want to get involved, I find it an opportunity to improve my skills, and, sometimes, leadership. Someone has to do the job, anyway... Don't you think ?
    – OldPadawan
    Aug 2, 2017 at 10:25
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    Scapegoat? I would see it the other way: They are making you the public face of the team and the project. Isn't that great? Use that chance. Aug 2, 2017 at 12:26

3 Answers 3


I am just wondering if there is anything I can do or perhaps something I can suggest to my manager to help with this?

Here is good article about how to get your team involved: Secrets to a team presentation

Here are a couple of my favorite excerpts:

The best way to involve your team members is to assign out slides they will own. Help them prepare and practice. Weave in their pitch to an overall pitch narrative. But I find when you don’t assign slides that each person owns, often the quiet team members get silenced.

My golden rule is that if somebody on your team is attending the meeting, they need to talk. Otherwise they end up looking ineffective or insignificant, and this is especially troublesome if you’re raising money. It’s okay to attend a first meeting on your own, but eventually people want to meet the team.

If you try all of the articles suggestions, without putting your team-mates in a bad light I don't think there is much you can do here regarding management involvement.

What I would suggest is that you embrace the opportunity to be the face of the team. This will serve you well as you progress in your career, because virtually all leadership roles ( technical or pure managerial ) will require this skill.


There will be a few differing opinions on this, but consider the following:

Why should your team do those presentations? If it's good practice for you on presenting and speaking skills, what's the problem?

Since I am the "most comfortable", I've become a scapegoat to give presentations and I believe my manager recognizes that.

This seems like the opposite of a problem. Your manager trusts you to give these presentations, and it seems like their confidence is not misplaced, as you say. Additionally, you're helping yourself stand out among your coworkers. Displaying your work, presenting it, it's all building your credibility as a software engineer. The same likely can't be said for your coworkers.


I work on a small team and usually everyone pitches into the project at some point in time. We divide presentations equally among whoever had input into the project and if someone did not have input then they usually aren't invited to the presentation meeting.

What I have found effective is a few days or even a week before the presentation, approach your team members and say something like "OK, we need to decide who is talking which slides." Then from a printout we mark each slide with a person's name to present. If someone blatantly discourages assigning themself slides, just proceed to assign them anyway. My team evenly distributes slides regardless of the effort that went into the presentation. For example, I just presented a 30 slide presentation with 2 other team members. I did maybe 60% of the work, with another team member doing 30%, and the last doing 10%. We all talked roughly 10 slides each though.

Also, open discourse is encouraged. A trick I have learned to keep myself from becoming nervous is to have someone "chime in" early in my speech. It seems the longer I speak to dead silence, the more nervous I get, but once someone else says something it calms me down a great deal.

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