One of the reasons people started to get nervous when asked to present to an audience, is because of the Question & Answer segment. Most people are afraid of not being able to answer correctly; and that they are fear of being judged by the answer they give.
Here, let me share my "8-Simple Steps on How to Handle Questions after a Presentation". These steps can be used whether when you are making a presentation or attending job interviews.
Step 1: Positively 'Position' Yourself
If you are thinking that the people who are going to ask you are going to drill you down, the negative mindset has already taking over you. Instead, have a paradigm shift. Position yourself in a way that you are going to have a conversation, instead of answering a question. (You do not get nervous when you converse with your friends, do you? ) In this way, you'll be at ease right from the beginning.
Step 2: Listen Attentively
The cornerstone of communication is Listening. If we listen wrongly, we will respond differently. That is how information gets out of point; or miscommunication happens..
Step 3: Thank the Person
It is basic courtesy to thank the person for the question. For one to take the trouble to ask you a question, it shows that the person is interested in your topic.
Step 4: Clarify by Paraphrasing
After the questioner has asked you the question, immediately, AND ALWAYS, clarify. By clarifying, use your words and paraphrase the question. I cannot stress this out more. There are a few reasons for doing so:
1) Paraphrasing shows that you understand the question. So you will not go out of point addressing it.
2) Some of the audience might not be able to hear the question earlier, probably due to soft voice of the questioner or faulty mic. So paraphrasing the question will be very helpful.
3) The time you take to paraphrase is also useful for you to "buy" time, as you start to search for the most suitable answer.
Step 5: Take a moment to structure your answer
It is okay to be quiet for a moment as you gather your answers and begin to structure them. One of the better ways is to structure your answers are in this format;
If you need to jot down the points, do so to help you remember. In this manner, the questioner and the audience can digest your answer easily later.
Step 6: Share your answer
After you have gathered and structured your information, present your answer.
Step 7: Ask if the question has been addressed
After sharing your answer, ask the questioner if question has been addressed. If you have hit it right, the questioner will be happy with your answer.
Step 8: Thank again
Close the loop by thanking the questioner again.
Towards your continued success.
Business Creativity & Speaking Strategist
Author of 4 books, including "The Stage Fright Antidote"
Founder, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6100 2306
Hazriq Idrus is Asia's Trusted Business Creativity and Speaking Strategist. He founded The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd with a mission to help corporate professionals elevate their values & visibility in their industry. Hazriq is also the author of The Stage Fright Antidote and co-authored three other books.
If you would like Hazriq to speak at your organisation, or would like to attend Hazriq's executive coaching sessions on presentation skills, please contact (65) 6100 2306 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to check his availability.
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