Master the Q&A at Your Next Presentation

Presenters often dread the Q&A session of their presentation. During the Q&A, presenters often feel vulnerable because they are no longer in complete control of where the conversation goes. It can be difficult to answer those tough questions in a professional manner.

Here are some tips to help restore your confidence at the end of your presentation:

1. Step into the question
Literally. When faced with an uncomfortable question, step toward the audience. It conveys to the audience that you are in control and confident.

2. Look at them
It is easy to let your eyes fall to the floor if you don’t know the answer to a question. But in doing this, you convey to your audience that your confidence has been diminished. Instead, hold eye contact with the questioner in the audience only, and forget about everyone else. Retaining eye contact exudes confident and helps you remain in control.

3. Answer it anyway
It is possible that a member of your audience will ask you a question that you simply don’t know the answer to. When this happens, don’t make something up. Acknowledge that you don’t have an exact answer, and then offer your thoughts or views on the question before you look for the correct answer.

4. Learn from them
Being asked a question that you don’t know the answer to creates a learning opportunity. Don’t get caught up on losing credibility. Instead try to see the opportunity in the situation. You get to find out the answer to something you don’t know, and potentially connect with a fellow professional.

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