Knowhow-Now Article

How To Handle Public Speaking Questions

One of the factors that decide whether a public speaking presentation is a success is by how well a public speaker or presenter handled the questions of the audience. It also becomes very important if you are pitching for a business. Here are some tips on how to handle questions raised by an audience after listening to a presentation:

* Always be ready for the questions. When you are preparing your presentation, think about the possible questions that are likely to be raised by the audience and prepare the answers for them.
* Never end your presentation with unanswered questions. Always ask for questions at least five to ten minutes before ending the presentation. Once you get some questions, answer them and end the presentation by summarizing your main points.
* Whenever a question is asked, listen to it carefully and do look like you are listening. You might have encountered the said question and have answered it already; but remember, treat the questioner with respect and don?t play down their question.
* Always thank the questioner. It?s polite and shows respect. It also allows for time to think about your answer.
* Repeat the questions aloud since not all people in the audience may have heard the question, and it may not make sense to them. This also makes you look in control of everything.
* When you answer a question, answer to everyone in the audience and not just to the questioner. What usually happens is that if the questioner is in the front, the speaker ends up having conversation with him and everyone else is being left out.
* Always it simple. By the time you reach the question and answer portion, most of the audience might drag the session with too many questions.
* Don?t try to fool your audience. If someone asks you a question and you don?t know the answer, simply tell him that you will get back to him after you have the answer.

It is also possible that no one asks any questions from the audience. This may lead to an awkward silence. People might need some time to understand what you said and then ask. But, a good way to avoid that awkward moment and finish the presentation is to ask the questions yourself (since you?ve prepared for any possible questions that they might have), and head for the summary and closing statement.

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