If your job involves making frequent presentations, I’m sure you will agree on the importance of making an impression during the question and answer session. Some people love it, while others hate it! Either way, it is something you cannot avoid, especially if you want to drive your point across to the audience. Here’s how you can nail every Q& A session:
Understand the importance of a Question and Answer Session:
The best PowerPoint presentations and the most effective speeches are bound to fail if you cannot answer your audience’s questions honestly and clearly. The audience understands that it is easy to present a pre-prepared content than to field questions that are randomly thrown at you. It is during the question and answers session that your knowledge and communication skills are tested to the hilt. Naturally, this challenge opens a new opportunity where you can spend time understanding your concept. It is also the best way to build credibility and authority with the audience.
Know Your Audience:
It is important to know the kind of people you’ll be addressing to anticipate their questions and customize answers that suit the questioner. Some of the factors that help understand the audience include knowing the age demographics, your relationship with the audience, the degree of formality that is required, etc. The answer to all of these questions can help you tailor your response and ensure that the audience is comfortable. This also encourages them to participate in the Q&A session – a must if you are looking to sell your idea.
There’s nothing that an audience hates more than an unprepared presenter. As we earlier said, the Q& A session only offers a new opportunity wherein you can explore the finest aspects of your product and be prepared for an answer. You could also come up with a few questions of your own. This way, if your audience does not ask questions, you can use these backup questions to encourage them and open communication channels. It also helps break the ice.
Repeat The Question:
Whenever you are asked a question, remember to rephrase it to make sure you have understood the question clearly. You can also use this time to think and gather your thoughts about the answer, as in the facts that should be presented first, a topic that should be omitted, etc. Once you’ve started answering, turn your gaze to the general audience – it is odd to keep staring at the questioner. You are still speaking to a wider audience, and hence it is important that everyone should hear you. And do not go to the person asking the question, unless you have to do it. This could make others feel left out and make the questioner feel uncomfortable.
You Don’t Have To Answer All The Questions:
Some questions come with a hidden agenda. For example, someone may ask you about your profit, or taxes. Answers to some questions may not be as straightforward as it may seem. It is best to avoid answering loaded questions. You can deflect the issue by carefully rephrasing the question. This can help you avoid arguments and yet drive your point across. If the person insists on an answer, politely ask him to meet you after the session where you can explain things in detail.
Don’t Praise Questions:
A quick way to get your question and answer session out of hand is to evaluate and praise the question. You don’t want people to feel superior about asking a question. You’ll alienate not only the others but also make way for pointless questions. Instead, thank them and move on to an answer.
Stay In Control:
It is important to stay in control of the situation when engaging with an audience. You can afford to lose your cool even if the other person is deliberately trying to show you in a bad light with their question – especially if you’re there to sell an idea or concept. You can do this by planning and make a list of uncomfortable questions that the audience is likely to ask.
Good presentation not only requires good skills but an effective presentation design as well. If you are looking for professionals who can help you design an effective presentation, contact us!