• Questions are the interactive element of your presentation. They give you a chance to respond to the Why are concerns of your audience by questions adjusting your presentation on the fly. and your • Plus, you can take each one as anresponses opportunity to support your argument and reinforce your so message.important? • Its also an opportunity to learn more about your audience and give them a chance to see you think on your feet.
Whats the best way to prepare for questions?Start by anticipating questions thatmight come up. What questions are likely to be prompted by your presentation?
Once the questionsstart coming, what should you do?
First, listen to the Make sure you hear andquestion. You may have understand the full to go beneath the question before surface and read answering. between the lines. Dont pre-empt the Ask for clarification of questioner by answering anything you dont before the question is understand. fully stated. Be straightforward. If you dont know the answer, dont guess. Admit you dont know; offer to get the answer and provide it to your questioner.
RaiseYour A technique to keep people from shoutingHand out questions, rather than allowing you to call on selected people, is to raise your hand while you ask for questions.
Avoid the Deadly One-on-One In the worst cases, the question and the follow-up comments from the questioner cannot even be heard by the rest of the audience. Your audience quickly loses interest your focus on the questioner who is rebutting your answer leaves all the other questions unasked and unanswered. More importantly, you still risk appearing defensive, unprepared, or less than expert on your subject matter.
Repeat or RephraseCould you repeat the question, please?• Repeat the question before you answer it.• Even better, rephrase the question so that your response can be presented as a positive.• Nod with your head to convey a feeling of acceptance for what you are saying to the audience• One of the most important benefits of repeating or rephrasing the question is that it can buy you time to discern the real question or objection and to formulate an effective response.
Jump, 1-2-3The most carefully craftedpresentation, delivered by anexpert public speaker, will stillface an occasional disruptive ornegative questioner who hastheir own agenda. The Jump, 1- If there are no other questions except for2-3 response can save you. Immediately take a rebuttal from the another question, if original questioner, possible, from the side announce that you of the room away from are out of time and Finish the answer as the original thank the audience far away from the questioner. as you move to exit original questioner as the stage. possible, by moving your eye contact to JUMP! Move your someone of the eye contact to opposite side of the someone on the room. opposite side of the room as you begin to deliver your response. Rephrase a negative question while maintaining eye contact with the questioner. •Subtly, nodding your head up and down while you do so will imply that the questioner agrees with your rephrasing.
The listener who is stillresistant—no matter what.• Stay calm at all costs. If you return the fire, youll only encourage more negative behavior.• Dont judge your entire audience by the reactions of a few, who may not represent the views of everyone. People who interrupt, loudly disagree, or become combative are likely to offend others in the audience as well.• Be sure to address the issue only. Dont put the individual on the defensive and certainly dont criticize anyone personally.• Look for areas of agreement you can build on. You can acknowledge the other persons point of view without agreeing with it.• Stay within the immediate discussion. Avoid offering more facts or opinions that could trigger more disagreement.• End the discussion by saying simply that youve explained your position, but now its time to move on. You can offer to discuss the issue further after your presentation.• Make it clear that time is short and that you want to stay focused on the days agenda.
If someone starts todominate a Q&A session, respond to the first question or comment, then move on to include other people in the interaction. Make sure no one else has a question, before you come back to the same person or call an end to the Q&A session.
If the question is totally irrelevant, allow it if it serves your interest. But again, keep your answer short.General Tips Be quick to correct a questioner who wrongly paraphrases something you said or makes an assumption you dont share. Dont be led into giving yes-or-no answers if youd rather put your answer in context. If someone missed something you said in your presentation, repeat it briefly. Even if youve already answered the question, respond again, being careful not to embarrass someone
If there is no questions:You can grab the chance and turnthe table on them Emphasizeimportant points raised in your presentation
Gathering your thoughts Holding Slowing eye Thinkingdown your contact is clearly pace important for Rememberi ng what to say
one person forcertain periodConnect with Till you finish a sentence or a point, then you move to another person
The goal is toconnect to small Avoid looking togroup of people everyone in theFirst, than slowly room without move to the connecting toother side of the any one. room. Talk to one Avoid jumping person at a time eyes from one than when youside to the other finish with himin the middle of move to another a sentence person