It's scary enough to be on stage for all the world to see, knowing your lousy presentation could forever end your hopes of going on the Larry King Show.
But now, if you blow your part, you can be the ruin of someone else's career (or at least their day.) No one wants their actions to reflect badly on others.
So how do you prepare for a shared presentation?
1. Know your co-presenter. Make sure you have had a chance to hear your co-presenter speak. If you can't see an actual presentation, read something they have written - you can hear their voice in their writing. Does it mesh with yours? If they are deep technical types and you are a light conceptual speaker, there may be a great way to play off the differences. If they share your sarcastic view of the world, you can work from a shared perspective. But you need to know how you fit together.
2. Presentations are like a tennis game. Strong partners make the game better for both players. Don't let a stronger presenter intimidate you - truly great presenters know how to make others look good. Which leads me to my third point.
3. Focus on making them look good. Rather than worrying about what to say that will make you look smarter, funnier, or better on stage, spend your time thinking about how to make them look good. When you speak, refer back to their comments, connect to their message and show that you are actively listening while they speak. Use their name to connect your comments to theirs and engage them in your dialogue. Even if you disagree with their point of view, you can play off of their content to make your own point. (Read The Improv Handbook for more tips on playing nicely with others. )
I had the privilege of sharing the stage with two rock stars last week - James Marshall Berry and Rebecca Ryan. Both bring incredible smarts, insight, and even "hipness" to their presentation. How wonderful to be able to play the nerdy southern CPA against their cool, high energy, socially conscious smarts. Find the angle that works for you and make every shared presentation a blast.
Larry King's agent must just be sitting in your audience. You never know.