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Bad Ass Q&A - stop undermining your presentation


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This deck is built for entrepreneurs who want help with their presentation Q&A skills.

Published in: Business, Technology

Bad Ass Q&A - stop undermining your presentation

  2. your presentation material and delivery are obviously important
  3. but it is in Q&A where the rubber really hits the road
  4. where I really decide if I trust you
  5. so, if you handle Q&A poorly
  6. all your effort on the deck will have been for naught
  7. because you'll have lost the room
  8. most entrepreneurs should spend just as much time on Q&A prep as they do on presentation prep
  9. but they don't
  10. so to make sure you're not one of the unprepared bozos
  11. here are 14 practical things you should do for Q&A
  12. ONE stay on message
  13. Q&A is not something separate from the presentation
  14. you are answering questions for the same reason you presented
  15. to influence your audience
  16. to make them think something
  17. to make them feel something
  18. to make them do something
  19. so the objectives of Q&A are the same as they were for the slide deck
  20. you’ve got marketing messages to push
  21. so push them
  22. even if that means taking a question
  23. giving a complete answer
  24. and
  25. pivoting from there to one of your messages
  26. most importantly
  27. don’t allow a single, aggressive member of the audience to take you down a line of questioning that drives you off message
  28. pivot
  29. pivot politely
  30. but pivot all the same
  31. TWO predict the questions
  32. good presenters
  33. are good
  34. because they prepare and practice
  35. the same is true with Q&A
  36. the best way to predict what questions will come out during Q&A
  37. is to do Q&A 4-5 times in advance
  38. with friends, family, and strangers
  39. and prepare answers to the 10 most common question themes that come up
  40. in addition
  41. remember we just talked about the importance of messaging
  42. so, in addition to preparing answers to the top 10 questions
  43. prepare pivots
  44. from the most common topics back to your marketing messages
  45. so you have scripted, memorized transitions
  46. THREE paraphrase before answering
  47. while, you don’t want to be monotonous
  48. good audience handlers paraphrase questions before answering
  49. this makes the questioner feel listened to
  50. it also ensures that you really do understand the question
  51. and it gives you time to think about your answer
  52. FOUR engage everyone
  53. make eye contact with the person who asked the question
  54. this makes them feel heard
  55. but maintain eye contact for only the first 15% of the answer
  56. for the next 70% of the answer
  57. move your gaze to other audience members
  58. and in the last 15%, try landing eye contact on someone who you’d like to ask the next question
  59. this helps keep everyone engaged
  60. even if the topic is not one that everyone cares about personally
  61. discourages side conversations
  62. or quick email checks
  63. and keeps you from getting sucked into a single person’s line of questioning that can take you off message or eat up valuable time
  64. FIVE be nice
  65. don't criticize, belittle, or fight with anyone in the room
  66. and never be sarcastic
  67. be firm and confident, but friendly, respectful, & inviting
  68. if you need to, agree to take confrontational issues offline
  69. acknowledging the importance of the disagreement
  70. but also the need to cover all questions by all participants, given limited time
  71. ultimately, if things go well, the audience are likely to be your implementation partners
  72. so you can’t burn any bridges
  73. SIX don’t bullshit
  74. just acknowledge if you don't know
  75. and commit to a time by which you will get back with the answer
  76. oh
  77. and actually do get back with the answer
  78. SEVEN pass the mic
  79. don't let one person hog the microphone
  80. you want to show the audience that you have a strong, informed, confident team
  81. that can work together
  82. that has no weak link
  83. consider assigning specific individuals ownership of topics
  84. so that everyone on your team is crystal clear who leads for any given answer
  85. and then let them lead
  86. even if they don’t have the 100% perfect answer
  87. the statement of teamwork will have greater impact than a clarification in the moment
  88. that means you, confident and excited CEO
  89. shut up
  90. and let your team shine
  91. at the same time
  92. do your best to ensure that no audience member hijacks the discussion
  93. politely, but firmly, encourage everyone to have their chance
  94. EIGHT don’t end with an answer
  95. keep track of time
  96. when you have reached the final question
  97. save 30 seconds
  98. to re-summarize the key presentation points
  99. your marketing messages need to be the last thing your audience hears
  100. NINE know your audience
  101. this is not always possible
  102. But, wherever it is possible
  103. know everything you can about the audience
  104. know who they are
  105. know their role in the decision-making process
  106. know the relationships between them
  107. know their personal communication styles and quirks
  108. know what pre-existing knowledge they bring
  109. know what’s in it for each of them (WIIFM)
  110. but if you can’t do recon before the session
  111. make sure to study them before and during the presentation
  112. so that you can make reasoned guesses during Q&A
  113. TEN grok the subtleties
  114. 98% of the time
  115. the questions you are asked, are actually not the questions troubling the audience
  116. sometimes, people are not sure yet what they don’t understand
  117. so they ask a question to help themselves understand what their real question is
  118. other times, the questioner has an agenda
  119. there is actually a question behind the question
  120. and the first question is actually leading you into trap
  121. whatever the case, you need to ask yourself
  122. why
  123. why are they asking this
  124. where are they going
  125. and how can I short circuit the process and go straight to the real issue
  126. this is hard to do on your feet
  127. in the moment
  128. but if you can learn how to do this, you’ll be powerful
  129. ELEVEN be brief
  130. answer the question
  131. pivot to a marketing message
  132. and then stop
  133. and let the audience decide if they want to dig deeper
  134. TWELVE don’t forget you’re still on stage
  135. Q&A is still part of the presentation
  136. so you must still use all the tricks of a good presenter
  137. body language matters
  138. where you stand relative to the audience matters
  139. gesticulation and eye contact matter
  140. fidgeting matters
  141. Smile and humor matter
  142. rhythm, pace, and volume matter
  143. THIRTEEN don’t fumble with the slides
  144. unless you can flip right to a slide in less than 2 seconds, don't use slides
  145. FOURTEEN record the questions
  146. the questions are incredibly valuable to you
  147. you should record every single one asked
  148. so you can ask yourself later why the questions were asked and what that means for next time
  149. and if you write them on a notepad during Q&A
  150. the audience will feel appreciated
  151. FIFTEEN get your mojo on
  152. honestly, 2 months later, all they will remember is their impression of you
  153. were you confident
  154. did they trust you
  155. did you impress
  156. so showing up ready to rock is often more important than showing up with great content
  157. Stop changing your material 24 hours before you go on stage
  158. eat some comfort food
  159. get a good night’s sleep
  160. any last-minute changes to the Q&A script (or presentation slides) will make minimal difference
  161. but showing up calm and collected will
  162. SUMMARY
  163. 1. Stay on Message 2. Predict the Questions 3. Paraphrase Before Answering 4. Engage Everyone 5. Be Nice 6. Don’t Bullshit 7. Pass the Mic 8. Don’t End on an Answer 9. Know Your Audience 10. Grok the Subtleties 11. Be Brief 12. Don’t Forget you’re still on Stage 13. Don’t Fumble with Slides 14. Record the Questions 15. Get your mojo on
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