How To Handle Audience Questions Effectively

For some reason, the prospect of having to answer audience questions fills many presenters with dread and fear. Looking at it in a positive way however, it's an ideal opportunity for you to satisfy the audience further, and you can continue to drive your main points home adding emphasis to your talk.

As with so many aspects of public speaking and presentations, the key is to be prepared. Make a list of all the logical questions that you are likely to receive, and think carefully about how you would answer each one in a satisfactory way.

When it comes to the moment after the talk where questions are invited, relax and stay in control.

As the question is asked, look the person in the eye and stay focused on them, nodding your head to show that you are listening. Respectfully wait until they have finished speaking, even if you know the answer mid-way through the question.

After each question is asked, thank the person, and if the rest of the audience did not hear the question, it is a kindness to repeat it so that everyone else is on the same page.

Take your time in answering questions. Don't feel rushed into giving an answer. If someone is trying to be awkward, continue to treat them respectfully. Never ridicule or be unkind to someone like that ? let them be the bad guy, not you.

Resist the temptation to give an answer if you are not sure. It's better to admit you don't know and offer to find out the answer and get back to the person, than to guess and possibly get it wrong.

Some people want to hog the question time, and will try to ask you a stream of questions. If the first few are easily answered within a reasonable time, then you might choose to go ahead and answer them, but if the person continues to ask more questions, you should tactfully invite them to speak to you afterwards, in order to give others the opportunity to ask questions.

If you are unsure about a confusing question, or you don't hear the person fully, don't be afraid to ask them to repeat it or clarify what they mean. Never guess! If you are still unsure, you might rephrase what you heard and ask them to confirm if that's what they were asking.

Lastly, learn from the questions you are asked. For example, if you find that you are commonly asked about something you know you covered in your presentation, you probably need to review that section to make it clearer in future presentations. Likewise, if there is a particular area of interest that consistently arises in questions, you may want to devote more time to that area in the future.

Paul Daniels is often described as The Johnny Carson of England. In his home country he is a household name due to his more than 20 years of prime-time TV shows that have been broadcast to 41 countries. Paul's course: The Stress Free Guide To Public Speaking and Presentations is the International best selling speaking course - visit: http://www.stressfreepublicspeaking.com for more information.

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Lose Stagefright Over Your Lunch Hour

While teaching a two-day Speaking Confidence program to a group... Read More

Earn Your Cs as A Speaker

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had some good advice for the public... Read More

Public Speaking Tips

1. No speech is ever perfect. Perfectionism creates more fear.... Read More

How To Dramatically Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

This Article Is For Those Who Understand How Persuasive Communication,... Read More

Speak in Public! Who Me?

The first time I had to speak in front of... Read More

Giving Your Audience Great Benefits

What benefit do you provide the audience?People should listen to... Read More

Five Tired, Worn Out Speaking Cliches

The subject of public speaking is riddled with tired, worn... Read More

For Speaking Ease, Forgive Your Younger Self

I love the Disney movie The Kid with Bruce Willis.... Read More

A Simple Guide to Writing (and Giving) a Speech

Nearly as dreaded as snakes and spiders, public speaking ranks... Read More

Speaker Partnership Offers Trade Show Value

Want to gain added exposure at a trade show? Consider... Read More

Voice Coaching - Training Your Voice to Give Better Presentations

Picture a cool crisp autumn morning in the wide open... Read More

Fear!

I am terrified of heights. The thought of skydiving, for... Read More

How To Start With Public Speaking

I don't know how many books, articles, manuals and scripts... Read More

The Porch Light* Method to Speaking Confidence

You know the feeling. Looking out at a sea of... Read More

Timing - Why You Should Never Go Overtime with Your Presentation or Speech

In a conference setting, nothing annoys audiences more than talks... Read More

Be a Guest Speaker and Attract Business

Being a guest speaker in front of the right audience... Read More

The Ps and Qs of Public Speaking

Avoid the painWhich would you prefer - root canal dental... Read More

Ten Steps to Fearless Public Speaking

There is plenty of dubious material which suggests you can... Read More

Speech Writing Tips: The 14 Speech Writing Secrets of President Bill Clinton

Speaking in public can be a powerful way to build... Read More

What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters.... Toastmasters....What is Toastmasters?Is it a bunch of guys in... Read More

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Knocking knees, butterflies (who came up with that word?) in... Read More

How To Get Paid Every Time You Speak - REALLY!

For many, speaking or training is a full time business.... Read More

Ethics in Speaking: A Practical Point of View

Often managers have to deliver presentations with unpleasant content. The... Read More

Feedback

I believe that asking for and acting on objective feedback... Read More

The Ten Ps of Dealing with Questions

Presenters and those making speeches will frequently be faced with... Read More

Making Transitions

Ever notice how smoothly some speakers or writers move you... Read More

Speakers Learn How to Define Your Niche

This is one of the hardest things speakers have to... Read More

How To Make A Blue Ribbon Presentation Every Time

You can make a Blue Ribbon presentation each and every... Read More

Top 7 Steps to Better Public Speaking

Whether you want to be a part time, full time... Read More

Speak With E?s Part 2

"Educate, Energize, Entertain, and provide an experience for your audience"1.... Read More

Five Tips for Overcoming Public Speaking Nerves

Your mouth is dry, heart palpitating, and knees knocking. You... Read More

How to Promote yourself as a Speaker on the Web

Why use the web for promoting your speaking engagements?Most people... Read More

How to Get Started In Public Speaking

Public speaking is among the five most feared activities human... Read More