Many presentations end with question-and-answer sessions. Here
are some of the basics to remember:
• Notice I said the end; outside of direct attempts to solicit audience
responses and intentional open-ended parts of the presentation, I recommend
saving questions for the end, to avoid jeopardizing the flow
and taking away from later material.
• Save your final key take-away points and/or message for after the
Q&A so you can dictate the final messaging.
• Repeat questions back to the audience to ensure they are understood
and for people who may not have heard them (this also buys you
some time to formulate answers).
• Avoid rambling; answers should be clear and concise. Yes, this
seems obvious, but it is a critical skill to master.
• Don’t guess. Offer to get back to the overall audience or to the
person who asked the question, or even look for a subject expert
in the audience who may be better suited to answer. It is better to
have the right answer than guess incorrectly. The credibility that
you earned throughout the presentation is still at risk during Q&A
• Be an attentive listener. You should make every effort to not cut off
the question because you anticipate the rest of it. Give the person asking
as much courtesy as he or she has given you.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s business books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work received Honorable Mention in the General Non-Fiction Category at the 2014 Paris Book Festival and Honorable Mention in the Business category at the 2014 New York Book Festival
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World received Honorable Mention in the Business Category at the 2012 New England Book Festival
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference, Honorable Mention at the 2013 New York Book Festival, and Honorable Mention at the 2013 Paris Book Festival.
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MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby