January 22, 2018

6 teamwork tips for leading student activities

Working in campus activities, when the outcome is on you, you might feel pulled in a thousand directions dealing with all the details, disruptions, headaches and nightmares of your next campus event. Dealing with the details is necessary, but I’m sure you can do without the ‘disruptions, headaches and nightmares’ part.

6 Teamwork Tips - Photo Copyright 2010 Rick Sherrell

Instead, I suggest you go for teamwork, smooth sailing, and ‘a good time was had by all.’  You do that by grabbing the leadership bull by the horns and making sure your team functions as a team. Here’s six ways to do that that will make both you and your team stand out.

Include your team in the planning – Have planning meetings early in the process so you and your team can brainstorm all the details. You’ll create a sense of ownership by getting others involved early- and when they own it, they’ll work harder. You’ll get more volunteers, a greater commitment and better follow through.

Tap all of your resources– , Students, faculty, staff, community and parents are all likely resources. Though often overlooked, the professional speaker you hired might be your best resource. Ask the speaker what prewritten promotional or marketing materials they may have. The speaker’s just as interested in making your event a success as you are!

Delegate the details – You can’t be expected to do it all so learn to delegate now. To keep your eye on the bigger picture – and to keep from being exhausted – delegate smaller details to your team members and volunteers according to their job duties. Break the larger event into smaller pieces and delegate others to lead that part of the project. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for skills that you can match with tasks.

Get it done early – Create a master checklist of what needs to be done, who’s assigned to get it done and when it’s supposed to be completed. Setting some checkpoints along the way might not be a bad idea either. Allow enough time to address everything – all of the details and the possible last minute emergencies. It’s easier to be proactive than reactive. (aka ‘ drama-free’)

Follow Up, follow up, follow up– This is a really big part of your job as a leader. Even though you might have delegated tasks and assigned other responsibilities, the buck still stops with you. Have a final meeting a few days in advance of the event to make sure everything’s on schedule. You’ll still have time to fix those few things that will inevitably get screwed up.

Say “Thank You” – AHEM… I said, say “Thank You!” – Still one of the two magic words if you ask me. (…know what the other one is?) A thankful, gracious and appreciative leader is a great leader. Let your team know you couldn’t have done it without them. They’ll appreciate it and might just volunteer again next time!

My last two words of wisdom… Get organized and get it done right… and the measure of a great leader is not how many followers he/she has, but how many other leaders he/she creates.


This series of posts will help you get better student turnout at all of your campus events and will work especially well for speaker-based events. Remember to always enlist the help your guest speaker or trainer in your promotional efforts. Look for powerful Student Learning Outcomes that lead to immediate or future success.

Series Navigation<< Market your campus event like an 800-Pound Desktop GorillaMore than one way to cut the cost of bringing a speaker to your campus >>
About the Author: Rick Sherréll (12 Posts)

Rick Sherréll is the Blogitor (Blog Editor) here at CampusTalkBlog and agent for the college speakers at Pro Speakers Bureau. In his entrepreneurial life he has been a writer, editor, speaker, trainer, marketer, coach, IT specialist, consultant, event planner, broadcaster, fundraiser and innovator. Find out more at www.RickSherrell.com and www.ProSpeakersBureau.com/about.


  1. Good steps, Rick! One that I would add is to hold a debriefing session after the event is over. Get all of the team together and discuss all aspects of the event, planning, promotion, and execution. Don’t dwell on things, particularly things out of your control. For example, if there is a huge snowstorm that affects attendance, don’t spend a lot of time on that, other than to consider possible alternatives. You can’t control it and in most circumstances, the “problem” is not likely to recurr.

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