How to handle Q&A session during a presentation?

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Whether you are a one-man army or running an entire organization, you must have had the opportunity to give out presentations to the respective audience at some point in your career. While you are preparing the presentation, it is equally important to be aware of the Q&A session that follows your speech.

Whether it is a conference room filled with the audience or just a few people in the audience, when you are able to handle the Q&A session correctly, it helps in effectively enforcing your message –or undermining the same otherwise. Q&A sessions during presentations offer the audience an opportunity to be enlightened in-depth about a certain topic or the entire presentation. Such sessions are regarded as great for engaging any audience out there. This is because no two Q&A sessions turn out to be alike. Therefore, when you wish to make the best impression on the target audience during your presentation, it is recommended to deliver great performance during the Q&A session.

For your ease, here are a few important tips to ensure the same:

Hold a Briefing Session Before the Presentation:

When you are organizing a briefing session before the presentation, it is important to ensure that everyone is present as well as ready for the same. During the briefing session, you are expected to invite over presenters or speakers, event moderators, and other people involved in the back-end operations of the event including stage managers.

During the given session, you can go on to explain the entire event run-through in a concise manner. When you do so, you can be sure that everyone out there is well-prepared for the event. As such, everyone will be involved in taking relevant steps towards enhancing the overall experience of the audience.

Be Alert About Hidden Aspects:

Most of the questions that people tend to ask in a presentation are genuine and expect hones responses from the speaker. However, there are some questions that are aimed at making the responder appear dumb or making the person who is asking the question appear smart. Whatever might be the intent of asking the given question during a presentation, you should handle the same in a professional manner.

Be Prepared Beforehand:

For your prior preparation, you can consider writing down questions that you anticipate might be asked during the Q&A session. You should typically make a note of the questions that might stir controversy or might be uncomfortable for you to answer. Rehearse your answers well in advance to be assured of the best outcomes. You might as well consider evaluating the answers of other people along with their respective body language. The moments that you fumble in private would allow you to shine in public.

Be Confident:

Always carry a smile as you answer the questioners in the audience. When you are making the eye contact, it reveals that your entire focus is on the given question. Moreover, your smile indicates a notion of accepting the question and establishing a connection with the questioner at the same time. The more confident you are during the Q&A session, the better results you can expect.

Be Aware of the Time Limit:

In addition to making sure that you have ample time to interpret and understand the question, it is equally important to pay attention to the time limit of answering the same. If you think that there are several questions that are still unanswered, then you can suggest continuing the session online. You can allow the audience to ensure the same by following some specific hashtag. As such, you can remain respectful to the given timeframe while answering everyone’s questions diligently.

Make Use of the Right Tools:

When you are planning for the Q&A session, it is important to make sure that you have the right tools or equipment handy for the best outcomes. If you wish the audience to ask questions by raising their voices, then it is imperative for you to ensure that they have access to a microphone. This would make sure that the question is heard across the conference room by all.

Notify the Audience:

Before starting your presentation, you can consider notifying the audience beforehand about the Q&A session. You might as well inform that the Q&A session will conclude the presentation. This will help the audience to make up the mind with respect to preparing the questions during the presentation.

Maintain a Sense of Humor:

As per the experts, the most desirable traits that leaders are expected to have are good ethics and a sense of humor. You should remember the leadership trait of delivering a sense of humor while taking up questions from the audience members. At the same time, you should also be prepared to crack some jokes whenever appropriate during the entire course of the event.

Emanate Warmth:

As your Q&A session proceeds, make it a point to emanate warmth rather than going awkward during the presentation. You should not remain conscious of something unexpected while interacting with the audience. Try creating a sense of vocal warmth by using a tone suggesting that you are leveling with the audience. In case some questions make you uncomfortable during the entire interaction, you can take a moment of pause while regaining your posture. Avoid falling into your emotions that might lead you to generate an angry response.

Delay Whenever Possible:

In case you are thrown some question that you find too difficult to answer or simply don’t know its answer, there is no rush to answer the question right away. When you tend to give an inaccurate or weak answer, it will do more harm than good. Whenever you receive a question requiring in-depth research, you can ask the questioner to reach out to you later on by providing a contact number in the presentation.

Conclusion

Whatever might be your presentation goals, make the most of it by engaging yourself in a highly immersive Q&A session with the audience. All the best!

Image by Jose R. Cabello from Pixabay

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