Consulting toolkit handling qand a

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Consulting toolkit handling qand a

  1. 1. CONSULTING TOOLKIT Communicating your recommendation Handling Q&A© 2007-2012 IESIES Development Ltd. All Ltd. Reserved © 2007-2012 Development Rights All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Your audience will judge your team’s strength in Q&AWHY YOUR AUDIENCE ASKS QUESTIONS • Do they know their stuff? • Is there depth behind their Quality recommendation? • Can they think on their feet? Control • How do they respond to challenge? • Do they have good teamwork? • Confirm key numbers • Ask clarification questions about Improve own how your idea will work • Ask about alternatives understanding • Interaction with team © 2007-2012 IES Development Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Q&A is as important as the presentation itself, and demands greater interpersonal skillsQ&A PREPARATION• Use the hypothesis tree to bullet-proof your presentation• Anticipate likely questions• Write formal Q&A for the most challenging questions• Create a hyperlinked index page for all back-up and presentation pages, structured by type of question (need to hyperlink each page back to index too)• Prepare 2-3 key points you want to reinforce if you get an opportunity• Agree team roles © 2007-2012 IES Development Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. Try to anticipate likely questions you will getANALYSIS OF LIKELY QUESTIONS • Audience perspective • Audience motivations • Gaps in data • Omissions due to time – contingency information provision • Questions against generalisations and distortions e.g. “they say...” “we need to....” “it’s a better way.....” • Apply the “so what” principle to every point © 2007-2012 IES Development Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. Q&A is as important as the presentation itself, and demands greater interpersonal skillsHANDLING Q&A• Body language – engage with audience• Keep control – it is OK to bring in new people, ask questions back, engage in discussion• Stay calm – even the toughest questioning is not personal © 2007-2012 IES Development Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. Project confidence in your Q&ARESPONDING TO QUESTIONS •Breathe – pause to think •Repeat – active listening to rephrase, probe underlying concerns and confirm or reframe/turn the question •Quick judgement – is the question supportive/irrelevant/killer? •Answer – concise and to the point – don’t waste your most valuable presentation time •Reinforce – your key points/messages if appropriate •Confirm – check the questioner is satisfied •Exit – move to next question © 2007-2012 IES Development Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. Stay calm and professional even under hostile questioningRESPONDING TO HOSTILE QUESTIONS •Breathe – pause to think •Stay calm – it is not personal! •Respect the question, but don’t answer it as it stands. Try to find the real issue it is about, reframing/turning the question to make it positive if possible or at least neutral •Only in a debate setting, counter-punch © 2007-2012 IES Development Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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