Learn to handle questions and answers during a presentation

Many presentations have a question and answer period. For some people, this can be the most exciting part of the presentation. For others it can be their worst nightmare. In fact, there are some presenters who avoid the question and answer period on purpose.

Here are some tips to make your next Q&A session easier. You can also follow more tips on how to present in our blog and posts like this one.

Set the rules at the beginning

You have to think about where you will fit the Q&A into your presentation. Are you the type of person who prefers all questions last? Brilliant. Just make sure to announce it at the beginning of your presentation, so that people don’t interrupt you in the middle of your presentation. Another option is to take a question break after finishing a specific topic. This way, you make sure that your audience understands it. In addition, you are involving much more people.

Anticipate all questions

When you’ve prepared your presentation and mastered your content, it’s time to go through everything again and look for questions your audience members might ask. Make a list of all possible questions, write them down, and then answer each one.

A good technique to anticipate questions is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and see yourself presenting. If you were a member of your audience, how would you perceive the content? Do you need to ask a technical question to understand? Do you agree with what is said?

If you can't answer it, don't

There will be a time when someone will throw a question at you to which you will not have an answer. Even the best presenters face this, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

The best thing to do here is NOT to answer the question. This does not mean that you stay silent and make your audience alarmed for a few minutes. Instead, say something like this:

“I have to confess, I don’t know how to properly answer your question right now. But please give me your contact information and I’ll be happy to communicate the answer to your question once I’ve looked into it.”

listen to the whole question

Listen to the entire question before beginning to answer any questions. Many people begin to answer a question before the full question is asked. Not waiting to hear all the questions may result in an answer that has nothing to do with the question. Force yourself to listen to the entire question and make sure you understand it.

Thanks to the person for asking the question

You can say something like “That was a great question” or “I’m glad you asked that question” or even “A lot of people have asked me that question.” A motivational phrase, but keep in mind that if you give importance to one person for asking a question, make sure you give it to all members of your audience for asking a question. Don’t make people feel like their question wasn’t that important.

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