Executive Communication Speaker and Coach Karen Cortell Reisman Q:APart 13: Your 13th Strategy on How to Give a Presentation

“How to give a presentation” Tip 13: Great Q/A Rules

Your last blog in this series focuses on WHEN to answer questions in your speech. Click on Tip 12 for this info.

Now let’s talk about HOW to do Q/A – questions/answers.

Repeat the question unless you’re in a room with less than seven people. Why?

  • Someone will NOT hear the question.
  • It gives you another three seconds to think aobut how you want to formulate your answer.
  • You can reframe the question, IF it was asked with any negativity or tension. Example: Q – “Your ideas will escalate the bidding war. Can you give your reasons behind this?” You reframe as – “The question concerns the financial outcome of Method X. Here’s why Method X gives us the best investor outcome….”

Look at everyone when answering.

You tend to look only at the questioner when giving your answer – turning your conversation into a dialogue with ONE person and not the entire room. TRY to avoid this pattern (not easy to do). Take your eyes off the questioner and perhaps even walk to another area of the stage/conference room and do great eye contact with all. You can look back at the questioner at the end of your response.

Keep your answer CONCISE.

You are not doing another speech here! Think in soundbites.

Be honest.

If you don’t know the answer tell her, “I will get back to you in 24 hours” and do just that. OR, open it to a group conversation by saying, “What do you think about ABC?”

Be judicious.

Don’t let one questioner dominate. This person wants to hear his own voice and prove how smart he is. Thwart this by saying, “Let’s ball park that issue till break.” OR “I will get with you on those concerns after the program/meeting.”

In conclusion…

Watch the clock and control how long you will let Q/A go. When you’re at that point close out Q/A by going into your knockout conclusion. Say, “All in all” OR “Let’s conclude by” OR “In summary”…

Stay tuned to a few more blogs in this series on how to give a presentation and what to do next.

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations and executives on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/

 

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