October 19, 2017 - Dom Barnard

The concerns at the finish of a presentation have the right to be terrifying for many speakers together they can not be controlled and also are hard to prepare for. However, inquiries form critical part of the presentation because that the totality audience together they allow for clarification and also consolidation of learning.

You are watching: When conducting a question-and-answer session, you should

The presenter have the right to enhance the usefulness of the question and answer conference by treating it together a formal part of the presentation that calls for as much cautious planning and also control as the delivery of the main point material.

Identify feasible questions and scope in her preparation

The background job-related that you embarked on whilst planning your presentation is the vital to dealing with questions effectively and also understanding what kind of audience you"ll be faced with. If friend have characterized a focus for her presentation and also have explored this thoroughly in your research and planning, friend are an ext likely to have the ability to confidently respond come questions.

When planning her presentation, girlfriend will have to prepare prompts for questions that are open and straightforward, for example saying “That’s the finish of my presentation. I’ll be taking concerns for the next 10 minutes”.

You might likewise want to specify topics for discussion prior to taking questions, by stating the areas you’re willing to field questions in. Your preparation will assist you identify topics you room not i was sure with and also want to avoid in the questioning.


Set some rules for questioning questions

At the begin of her presentation, make it clear when you would prefer to attend to questions - as you go follow me or at the end of the presentation.

Some speakers like questions to be increased as they arise throughout the presentation. The advantage of this strategy is that any misunderstandings deserve to be faced immediately. However, there is likewise a peril that the question will disrupt or distract the speaker, or that questions are raised that would have actually been covered later in the presentation.

If you leave questions until the end, arrangement to leave plenty that time for inquiries so that the audience doesn’t feel rushed.

Framework because that responding to questions

Answering concerns under pressure can make friend say points you shouldn’t have actually - the nerves can pressure you to provide an unreasonable response. In your panic you might have misinterpreted the question or provided away company information that was sensitive. Usage the adhering to framework to assist you respond properly to her audience.

1. Listen to the whole question

You don’t need to answer a inquiry immediately. Stop for a couple of seconds, actively listen come all components of the question and also think about the best means to answer.

Frequently concerns can change direction at the critical moment, specifically if the questioner is thinking on their feet. This deserve to throw you if girlfriend have currently started to prepare an answer. Remember that questioners will frequently try to make a point whilst questioning their concern – it’s therefore important come both listen the content of the question and try to decipher the questioner’s intention.


2. Know the context

If you are worried that you haven’t taken a question, ask them to clarify what lock mean. Check for check by paraphrasing the question back to the questioner - “You desire me to perform the enhancements of X?”.

3. Indicate the whole audience

It is necessary to psychic that also though you room taking a concern from one member that the audience, you room still responsible because that the attention of the various other audience members. This is an especially important in large groups together the audience will come to be bored if the presentation descends right into a series of one-to-one discussions.

To indicate the rest of the audience, make certain the totality audience has heard and understood the concern by repeating the or paraphrasing it come the audience.

4. Answer concisely

When you reply to a question, straight your answer come both the questioner and other members the the audience. Shot to store your responses as concentrated as possible, leaving an are for various other questions. To prevent going into too lot detail, check back with the questioner to check out if you have answered their query – “Does that answer your inquiry in enough detail?”.

We’ll cover various ways come respond in a later on section.

5. Enable follow-up inquiries via email

You can additionally encourage her audience to ask questions after the occasion has finished by giving your email address. This mirrors a high level that respect for her audience and also implies the the object still has much additional scope because that enquiry.

Two an excellent resources for handling questions

Options because that answering the question

There space five possible choices depending on how fine you understand and can answer the question. It’s okay to say the you don’t recognize the answer to something. This can add to your credibility instead of trying to waffle through an answer you don’t really know.


If you have actually a great answer because that the inquiry from the audience, go ahead and also answer that in a short and clear message.


Ask a question back the audience member, such as “Can you clarify what you average by that”. Girlfriend can likewise attack the question if the is not related to the issue, factually inaccurate, an individual or based on false assumptions. Be mindful with this method.


Ask the question ago to the audience or happen it to another panel member if possible. If suitable, another an approach is to indicate the question has been inquiry already, through you stating you don’t desire to cover old ground.


Tell the audience member you will certainly talk come them after ~ the event. This offers you more time to think that a great answer and there is much less pressure to provide a perfect answer.

Or cite that that allude is comes up in a slide.


This requires answering the concern but an altering the subject. Girlfriend can also give a partial prize or provide a an adverse answer, saying that something rather will happen instead.

Avoid answering concerns that fall exterior of the assigned work of her talk: “I’m afraid that really falls exterior of my objectives for today’s presentation. Possibly we have the right to resume discussion of that certain point later?”


Diagram Explained: once you obtain a question, you’ll have actually a few moments to think around it and reframe it in a way that makes sense to you. This will provide you five choices on just how to reaction - you can answer, reflect, deflect, defer or readjust the scope of the question. As soon as you’ve answer concisely, you deserve to then follow up to check if the human being asking the question is satisfied and also then continue with the presentation.

Strategies to use as soon as struggling come answer

Here room some tactics to use when you are struggling to answer the inquiry posed come you. For much more information, review this post on Dodging the Question.

acknowledge the concern without answering it - "That’s a an excellent question, let’s consider the influence by looking at..." assault the question, ~ above the basis of: The question falls short to handle the important issue. The concern is based upon a false assumption. The concern is factually inaccurate. The inquiry is too personal or objectionable. decrease to answer. Refuse to answer on the basis that it is no your area of obligation or the is sensitive agency information - "You will have to ask because I wasn’t connected in that particular project." offer an incomplete answer Partial answer begin to price but change the subject negative answer. Girlfriend state what won’t occur instead that what will happen Answer a comparable question State or imply the question has currently been reply - "We’ve already covered that topic"

Things come avoid

When managing questions and answers, you will still should be as skilled as you have actually been for the main shipment of her presentation. There space some common dangers to avoid.

comment the concern you wished you’d to be asked

A common trick play by politicians, this strategy ignores the an accurate nature of the question and uses a predetermined answer to the broad topic area. If taken on poorly, this method is an extremely obvious come the audience and frustrating to the questioner.

providing a lengthy response

This is the process whereby you make a an extensive response, consisting of all the details you’d left out in to plan the main presentation. Her unplanned response will it is in unstructured and rambling, so store things focused and also brief. If you discover yourself rambling, ask castle to speak to you after.

happen the reference

Passing the reprimand to others comes throughout as weak and also evasive. If an idea from the audience is a good one, identify its value. If that isn’t, make a polite rebuttal and move on.

defensive answers

Occasionally, questions deserve to really placed you top top the spot, yet it is necessary to stay calm and also in control. An wild or defensive reply will certainly be viewed as weakness on your component and will spoil the effect of one otherwise successful presentation.

Handling complicated questions

It is necessary not to start responding come a challenging question prior to you have thought around the answer. Repeating the question and also asking for clarification will help create some an are for your thoughts.

Sometimes friend will must think about a inquiry for a moment before responding. You may have the ability to buy a small bit of reasoning time to help focus her response. Useful strategies encompass searching for an proper visual aid to help focus your solution or just pausing because that a moment or two to think. Because that even much more time, indicate that you’ll come back to the topic later on (but nothing forget to execute this).

7 myths as soon as answering tough questions throughout presentations

Sometimes inquiries are too challenging to answer. Nothing worry about admitting the you don’t recognize something or haven’t taken into consideration an alternate approach. An enthusiastic “That’s an amazing idea, I’d not thought of that” is much more positive 보다 a mumbled “I don’t know ”. Remember that a presentation is a two-way process and it is important to show that you are learning from your audience as well.

Finally, you deserve to come across a questioner who disagrees strongly with your argument. Although this deserve to feel very awkward, remember that you room still responsible because that the entirety audience and also that you can not allocate all of your question time to one individual.

See more: Watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 11, Watch Brooklyn Nine

If you feel the you have answered the early stage question, announce that you will relocate on and suggest the you might proceed discussion ~ the presentation. If the questioner persists, assert your position calmly by saying “I’m afraid I need to move on”.