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Presentations- Q&A answering questions

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In the previous post we discussed techniques so you have time to give a good answer, but what exactly does giving a good answer mean?

 

Well, the answer you give will generally depend on factors such as the type of audience you have and how much time is available. However, in the common situation where time is limited to 10 minutes or even less effective answers often are:

 

1. Direct

2. Logical

3. Concise

 

 

 

1. Direct

Global audiences usually respond favorably to answers that are direct. Give the basic answer first as often as you can. If you are asked a yes/no question, then begin your answer with a yes or no. When somebody asks a question word question (who, which, why etc.), give the target information at the front of your answer.

 

Audience member: Do you plan to resign from your job next year?

 

Presenter: No.

 

Audience member: Can tell me why you predict that costs will fall in the next 10 years?

 

Presenter: New technology will make things a lot cheaper.

 

 

In the situations where you feel it is impossible to give a clear answer, still attempt to do so, but you can “hedge” answers with expressions such as: Basically…, In general.. and In principle...

 

Audience member: Do you plan to resign from your job next year?

 

Presenter: Basically, no. However, I will be reducing my workload considerably.

 

 

 

2. Logical

Use some supporting information to add evidence and weight to your direct answers.

 

Audience member: Can tell me why you predict that costs will fall in the next 10 years?

 

Presenter: New technology will make things a lot cheaper. There is some next generation software coming out soon that will mean that we won’t need to employ as many people.

 

 

Audience member: Do you plan to resign from your job next year?

 

Presenter: Basically, no. However, I will be reducing my workload considerably. In addition, I’m going to promote some staff to increased levels of responsibility.

 

 

 

3. Concise

When time is limited, don’t use a question to make a 5-minute speech. This will not only annoy other audience members who might also want to ask something, but also possibly the original questioner may be only interested in part of your response. Instead, aim for a direct question and a little supporting information. If the questioner needs more depth to part of your answer, they will ask for it in a follow up question.

 

 

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