The presentation after the presentation: many speaking situations really involve two presentations: the formal presentation and the question-and-answer period. You can ensure success with both presentations by using these techniques for the question-and-answer period.Allowing the audience to ask questions after your presentation is an excellent way to reinforce your message and to continue to sell your ideas. In addition, because listeners can ask for clarification, audience members are less likely to leave your presentation with misconceptions Misconceptions is an American sitcom television series for The WB Network for the 2005-2006 season that never aired. It features Jane Leeves, formerly of Frasier, and French Stewart, formerly of 3rd Rock From the Sun. about the concepts you delivered. Because of these benefits, the question-and-answer period is actually another presentation and vital to most speaking situations.
Here are some suggestions to more effectively handle the question-and-answer period. Create the right mental set among your listeners by telling them early in the presentation that you will have a question-and-answer period at the end of your speech. If you have an introducer, tell that person to mention your willingness to answer questions at the end of the presentation. People are more likely to ask questions if you tell them at the beginning that they will have this opportunity.
Show that you want queries. Say, "Who has the first question?" Look expectant EXPECTANT. Having relation to, or depending upon something; this word is frequently used in connexion with fee, as fee expectant. after you ask the question. If no question is asked, "prime the pump" by asking a question. Say, "A question I'm I'm
Contraction of I am.
Our Living Language Speakers of some scattered varieties of American English sometimes use I'm instead of I've or I have in present perfect constructions, as in often asked is...." Ask the question and then answer it. If there are then no questions, you can finish with "Are there any other questions?" Some of the enthusiasm for your presentation is lost if you have no questions from the audience. Usually, "priming the pump" will motivate audience members to ask questions.
Look at the person asking the question, and repeat it, especially if there is a large audience or if you need a moment to think. By repeating the question you also ensure you understood what the person asked. However, do not continue looking at the person once you start to answer the question. Remember that you are still in a public speaking situation and that the whole audience should hear your answer--not just the person who asked the question. In addition, continue to stand where you are equally distant from all members of your audience. Avoid the temptation Temptation
Terror (See HORROR.)
as fruit of the tree of knowledge in Eden, has come to epitomize temptation. [O.T.: Genesis 3:1–7; Br. Lit. to move directly to the person who asked the question. Visually this will make the rest of the audience feel left out. As you end your answer, look back at the person and his/her facial expression facial expression,
n the use of the facial muscles to communicate or to convey mood. will tell if you answered the question satisfactorily.
Keep your answer concise and to the point. Don't give another speech. The audience will be bored if you take too long to answer a question. In addition, possibly the only person interested in the answer is the one who asked the question! If you can answer with a "yes" or "no," then do so. This keeps the tempo tempo [Ital.,=time], in music, the speed of a composition. The composer's intentions as to tempo are conventionally indicated by a set of Italian terms, of which the principal ones are presto (very fast), vivace (lively), allegro (fast), moving and will help keep the audience's attention.
One of the toughest challenges is the loaded question. Don't answer a loaded question; defuse de·fuse
tr.v. de·fused, de·fus·ing, de·fus·es
1. To remove the fuse from (an explosive device).
2. To make less dangerous, tense, or hostile: it before you answer. Before answering a question such as, "What are you doing with all the money you are making from increased prices?" defuse it by saying, "I understand your frustration with the recent rate increase. I believe what you are asking is, 'Why such a sudden increase in rates?'" Then answer that question. You only get into arguments when you allow yourself to answer the loaded question. If the person is not satisfied with the changing of the question's wording, tell him or her that you will be glad to talk about it following the question-and-answer period and move quickly to the next question.
Sometimes you will have a listener raise his or her hand and instead of asking a question will make an extended comment--or a speech. This person has no question. A way to handle this is to watch the person's speaking rate, and when he or she takes a moment for a breath interrupt A signal that gets the attention of the CPU and is usually generated when I/O is required. For example, hardware interrupts are generated when a key is pressed or when the mouse is moved. Software interrupts are generated by a program requiring disk input or output. with "Thanks for your comment.... Next question?" Look to the other side of the room and the long-winded speaker is not sure whether you interrupted in·ter·rupt
v. in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts
1. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.
2. him or whether you really thought he or she was finished. Do not allow the person to continue with the "speech" because it will deprive de·prive
1. To take something from someone or something.
2. To keep from possessing or enjoying something. other members of the audience of the opportunity to ask questions.
Don't evaluate questions. Avoid saying, "That was a great question," or "Good question." If the next person asks a question and you give no positive adjective adjective, English part of speech, one of the two that refer typically to attributes and together are called modifiers. The other kind of modifier is the adverb. , then the person may think you did not approve of the question and that could stifle others from asking questions. If you want to affirm a specific question, simply say, "Thanks for asking that question." Make everyone feel equally good about asking questions.
Consider having your conclusion after the question-and-answer period. This technique allows you to control the end of your time in front of the audience. Instead of the last question, the audience receives your prepared and planned conclusion. Say, "Before I make some concluding remarks, who has a question to ask?" Then when you take the amount of time you want for the question-and-answer period, go back to your conclusion. Thus you can end in a positive and upbeat way rather than trailing off with, "So if there are no further questions, I guess that's it...."
Always maintain control of the speaking situation. When you open your presentation for audience participation, there are risks of losing control. Anticipate the unexpected. Plan ahead as much as possible. Look at your content and think about likely questions the audience will ask. Prepare your own questions to ask. Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. ," and move on to the next question (you might add that you will be glad to get back to them with an answer at a later time). Be up front with a questioner if you think the question is not relevant and, in a kind way, say so. Your response might be, "Actually, that question doesn't fit the context of our discussion." Work hard not to lose your temper tem·per
1. A state of mind or emotions; mood.
2. A tendency to become easily angry or irritable.
3. An outburst of rage. with someone who is trying to make you look bad by the question asked.
Remember that many speaking situations really involve two presentations: the formal presentation and the question-and-answer period. Ensure success with both presentations by using these techniques for the question-and-answer period.
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP (1) (Certified Systems Professional) An earlier award for successful completion of an ICCP examination in systems development. See ICCP.
(2) (Commerce Service P , is a professor of speech communication at Northern Kentucky University Northern Kentucky University is a public, co-educational university located in Highland Heights, Kentucky, seven miles (11 km) southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. Enrollment is currently about 14,200 students. in Highland Heights, Kentucky Highland Heights is a city in Campbell County, Kentucky in the United States. The population was 6,554 at the 2000 census.
Highland Heights is home to Northern Kentucky University. . He is also a trainer in communication who presents more than 60 seminars and workshops a year to corporations and associations. See additional articles and resources at www.sboyd.com. He can be reached at 800-727-6520 or at email@example.com.