Every Tuesday, sales expert Andy Bounds shares his top tips to improve your sales and communications. This week’s is…
Handling challenging Q&A sessions
We have all sat through good presentations which were ruined by a tedious Q&A. Never pleasant for anyone…
Since the way you respond to questions can make or break your presentation, it’s critical you excel with them. Here are some simple techniques to help you do so:
1. Be quick. When Person X asks a question, it is quite possible that only Person X wants to know the answer. Don’t assume that the whole audience does. Once you realise this, your answers become much more punchy
2. Once Person X is happy with your answer, move on (even if you know more about the topic they asked about)
3. The audience thinks your Q&A is part of your allotted time. So, don’t allow the Q&A to cause you to overrun – nobody is ever grateful you did. If you think things might overrun, ask your audience whether they would like to do so, or whether you should wrap things up now
4. Prepare for likely questions, including the ones you’re dreading. After all, if you don’t, you will have to come up with an answer anyway… except that it will be in front of a potentially hostile audience
5. If you know the audience is worried about a particular topic, pre-empt and remove their concern in your presentation – ‘I know that many of you are worried about the cost implications of this project. Let me put your minds at rest…’ If you don’t do this, they might ask awkward questions about it; or – even worse – they don’t, so leave the room still worried
6. If you don’t know the answer to a question, never ever, ever, ever, ever guess. Simply say ‘that’s a great question. I don’t have all the information to be able to answer that properly now. I’ll make a note of it, speak to X this afternoon, and get back to you before the end of the day’
Will there be a Q&A during/after your next presentation? If so, ensure you allow enough prep time to be ready for both your presentation and the questions that will come.
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Emma Merry(PA): +44 (0) 7900 217 929
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