Power Presentations Tip 30: Handle Questions with Ease

Include the group in your discussion.
While the person is asking the question maintain eye contact with that person while you move away from that individual. You do this to include the audience between you and the questioner to include everyone in the conversation. This isn't always possible - especially if you are presenting in a boardroom.

Treat questions like a gift.
While the person is asking the question look at them to demonstrate that you are listening. You could smile or nod your head to encourage the person. This also demonstrates your openness to answering questions. And that conveys confidence and aids believability.
I recommend that you don't say, "Thank you. That's a good question" because once you start you might feel compelled to say it every time. Every question might not be a good question so you will appear insincere.
You might say, "Thanks for asking the first question." But don't say, "Thanks for asking the second/third/etc question."

Repeat or reframe the question.
If you did not understand or hear the question then ask the individual to repeat or rephrase the question.
If there is any possibility that some in the audience might not have heard the question, repeat it as you speak to the group. If it was a long question you could summarize it. If the question was convoluted you can rephrase the question and ask the person, "Do I understand your question correctly?"
Repeating or summarizing the question does three things for you.
• It ensures that everyone in your audience hears the question.
• It gives you time to think about your answer.
• It enhances the value of the answer because it makes them wait a little longer for the answer.
Don't respond to the question too quickly because that cheapens the answer. Appear to think about it before responding.
Deliver your answer to the group then look back at the questioner to acknowledge that you answered their question.
In a future tip we will look at how you can successfully deal with difficult and hostile questions.

George Torok

PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.

PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.

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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

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