Questions are a normal part of any presentation, whether you’re leading a workshop, speaking at an industry conference or presenting your marketing plan to an executive.
I’ve scoured the four dusty corners of the web to assemble this awesome list of tips for handling questions like a pro:
1. Program questions into your talk
2. Don’t ask “Are there any questions?”. Instead ask
3. Don’t use the phrase “Great Question!”. It’s condescending (I know, that’s why I asked it) and insults others in the room (what was wrong with MY question?). Instead train yourself to select from this menu of delicious options:
“I am glad that you asked that question.”
“You raise an interesting point.”
“Thank you for asking”
“I wonder how many others in the room have the same question?”
“I was hoping someone would ask that question”
“Your question gives me a chance to … (clarify, emphasize, etc.)”
“Let’s talk about that!”
“That’s a good question because many people wonder if (a relevant point they might not have thought of) and the answer is…”
or my PERSONAL favorite…
“Ah! If I had a million dollars for every time I heard that question!”
4. Manage the Q&A period well
5. If you expect hecklers or critics
You may also want to check out the book In the Line of Fire by Jerry Weissman, with his advice for handling questions in high-stakes presentations, like investor pitches and political speeches. I hope some of these tips pay off for you during the Q&A of your next presentation.
About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.