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How well do you deal with challenging Q & A?

Posted by Jeff Hornstein on Dec 6, 2017 11:37:05 AM

Standing in front of an audience and presenting information effectively is often difficult, even with a neutral or ambivalent audience.  What's more challenging is an angry audience peppering you with tough questions while you attempt to maintain composure.  How you handle Q & A will most certainly influence the audience's perception of you, and possibly reflect poorly on your organization.  Do a great job dealing with questions for 45 minutes...they will be impressed.  Stumble and stammer for 5-10 seconds during the first 2 questions, prepare yourself to deal with negative feedback that will likely follow.   

Throughout the course of our career's in the communications field, we've had many participants share some really good ideas that they picked up somewhere along the way.  On the flip side, we've heard some really lousy ideas too, that in some case are totally counter to what we suggest.    

Please take a look at the 5 Q & A techniques listed below.  Let us know which one's you think we'd say were good, and which one's might be counter to our recommendations.  HINT: the techniques below will be a mix of good and lousy ideas.   

1. Don't automatically repeat questions, it can become really annoying and you may occur as an amateur.

2. Especially when you have a long reply, be sure to maintain eye contact with the person that asked the question, they deserve your full attention.

3. You should always reply with the phrase “good question” to all those who ask a question, it will help them feel good about asking.

4. While the questioner is asking their question, try to anticipate what they ultimately want to know.

5. Even if you are certain about what the questioner is going to ask of you, let them finish the question.  They will appreciate your willingness to listen, hear them out, and hopefully to demonstrate your expertise.  

The Speaker’s Choice™ works with companies and business professionals to improve spoken communication, interaction, confidence, and trust with your clients and internal audiences.  We will teach what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what NOT to do. Our training and coaching emphasizes three major areas – Mechanics, Messages, and Mindset… To empower our clients, the methods used by the team at The Speaker’s Choice™ includes: video-recording with balanced feedback, group and individual coaching, role playing, and real application and practice of our suggested techniques. For more information:

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Communication is consistently ranked the #1 business skill for career advancement.  One distinction between written and spoken communication is profound: Spoken communication is a one-time shot.  You can prepare to speak, but you can't proofread what you’ve said after the fact.

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