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‘My presentation group is leaving me to do all the work’


Can you advise this student nurse?

“Basically we’ve been put into groups for a presentation that we need to give in two weeks on health inequalities and my group is so disorganised.

“At first we all messed around a bit and had a laugh but then I thought we’d all just get on with it. I went away and did a bit of research, thinking everyone would do the same, but when we met up after a lecture the other day I was the only one who’d done anything.

“Everyone just jumped on what I’d done and now that’s basically the whole presentation with no-one else doing any work towards it.

“I’m trying not to let it bother me but I’m so annoyed! One of my friends (in a different group) thinks I need to talk to the tutor about it but I’m not sure, I don’t want to look like I’m complaining but it does feel really unfair.

“What would you do in this situation?”

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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Readers' comments (4)

  • You should definitely tell the tutor it's not fair they would probably expect you to do all the work for them. Although I would suggest confronting them first before telling the tutor. At the end of the fathers them that's gonna look silly when they have nothing to present.

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  • Get your group together and show them what you have done so far and ask for their input to complete it. Emphasise the timescales for completion. I am pretty sure they won't want to be embarrassed. If that doesn't work talk to your tutor. Afterwards use this experience as a reflective exercise.

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  • michael stone

    Ignore my input - your question just caught my attention.

    I'm not sure 'how the presentation' is intended to go ?

    But, my immediate thought went like this:

    If you and your group 'stand up and present something' then my temptation would be to warn the rest of the group that unless they put some effort in, you see things not as a group, but as an individual. Then come the presentation, you stand up first, and you open with 'We've all decided to contribute sequentially on this presentation, and I'm speaking first, before everyone else speaks'. Then give 'your presentation', and sit down with everyone else ten waiting for your 'colleagues' to add their contributions'.

    You would need a very thick skin, and to not be 'of a nervous disposition' to actually do that - but it is 'a nice mental picture'.

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  • It depends on how the marks will be awarded.

    If marks will be awarded 'individually' then do as Micheal Stone previously adviced...,prepare well for your part and good luck to the others.

    However, from experience, marks are usually awarded to the group and not individually......If that's the case and since you only have 2 weeks left....I'll suggest the following;

    (1) Gently voice your concern to your group regarding how their "weak participation" could affect the outcome of the presentation.

    (2) Develop a table of content/topics that you feel should be included when presenting a topic such as Health inequalities (based on what you've researched) and seek their thoughts/view on your design.

    At this point, two things are likely to happen;

    (1) Its either they all get along with your idea (without any objections) and every one picks a topic and go work on it;


    (2) others in the group could have done some reading and have some suggestions and all...and this will get the group talking and....BOOM...the group is alive again.

    I was once in a similar situation, mine was 1 week to presentation day, a multi-professional group of students studying MH nursing (me), Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy, the group was disorganised at the start, arguments and all....finally someone in the group came up with a plan, we discussed it, and our presentation was perfect.


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