If stating the words “We will now open a Q&A session” sends a surge of anxiety through your body, you are not alone. Opening a presentation up to audience members and their unknown questions, comments, and concerns can be scary. As engaging and interesting as Q&A’s can be for audience members, their candidness can scare presenters off from utilizing them. However, with a few tips from your top dogs at Dog and Pony Show, you can run a Q&A session with confidence and ease. Let’s get answer some questions!
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare
When reviewing your content before presenting, anticipate questions that might arise from your audience. This might involve more complicated concepts from your speech, or the details of your call-to-action. Having solid responses to these kinds of questions prepared ensures that you will represent your company and cause well.
2. Practice Responding
What you say is only as important as how you say it. Being aware of your tone of voice, body language, and posture is extremely important when presenting, and even more so when answering tough questions. After you’ve brainstormed potential questions from your audience and your answers to them, practice saying them to others or in front of your mirror. This practice will help you fine-tune the presentation of your answers.
3. Be Honest
If you’ve prepared all you can, and but one audience member poses a question that stumps you, honesty is the best policy. If you don’t know how to answer something, say so. It is better to be transparent with your knowledge than to formulate a questionable response on your feet. After sharing your honest response, be sure to ask for the audience member’s contact information to send resources and an official response in a timely manner.