“I am so glad you asked me that question.”
You can picture the scene, can’t you?
You’ve just finished giving a presentation in English. You feel it went well and you’re quietly patting yourself on the back.
After all, you spent a lot of time preparing for and practising it. Good job done.
You now invite your audience to ask you questions.
That’s when the fun starts!
Listen to the lesson
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Whilst you encourage questions, you dread them at the same time. Simply because you don’t know what question is going to be thrown at you.
According to Mark Powell in his book “Presenting in English”, there are four basic types of question:
These are welcomed and you can thank the person who asked it. These questions often help you get your message across to your audience even better.
These are the ones you can’t or prefer not to answer. When I found myself in this uncomfortable position, I would say I didn’t know the answer, offer to find the answer or asked the questioner what they thought. Or maybe you could direct the question to a colleague if they are with you.
You have probably already answered the question in your presentation and someone asks you the same question. How annoying. The thing is to politely point it out, briefly answer it and move on.
Then there’s the person who asks that question that has got nothing to do with your presentation. You can’t be rude, but you can gently tell them it’s irrelevant and go to the next question.
How could you respond to these questions?
Here are some examples.
They are not the only responses. I am sure you can think of others and have heard other presenters’ responses.
“I’m glad you asked that.”
“You make an excellent point.”
“Thank you for asking that question.”
Note: Try to avoid saying “that’s an excellent question” because you may find yourself repeating the same response to everyone so as not offend the other questioners.
“I don’t know the answer off the top of my head.” (idiomatic expression)
“Can I get back to you on that?”
“That’s interesting. What do you think?”
“I’m afraid I can’t comment on this at this stage.”
“I wish I knew the answer.”
“I’m afraid I don’t have that information with me.”
“My colleague is in a better position to answer your question. If I may, I will ask him/her to give you an answer.”
“I think I answered that earlier.”
“Well, as I said…..”
“Well, as I mentioned at the beginning of the presentation….”
“I’m afraid I don’t quite see the connection.”
“Sorry, I don’t follow you.”
“To be honest, I think that raises a different issue. I’d be happy to discuss it later over coffee.”
Over to you
What questions have you had as a presenter that were good, difficult, unnecessary or irrelevant? How did you respond?
You may have had these situations in your own language.
Now think of how you would answer them in English.
Why don’t you share them with me in the comments box and I’ll tell you if they need changing or if they’re perfect just as they are!
Do you have to present in English?
Many jobs these days often involve you having to give presentations in English. These could be presentations in front of a large audience or during a business meeting.
Whatever the size, you’re always going to want to make a good impression.
If you’re like me, you’ll want to have some tools by your side to help you fix those last-minute issues. That’s why I created an emergency toolbox for you to use in those critical moments when planning and delivering your presentation in English.
And that’s not all…the toolbox has the right tools to also help you in preparing for your next job interview, writing that difficult email and engaging in small talk with a client.
Click on the image and explore to find out how your very own emergency toolbox will get you communicating with ease and confidence.
I am going to show you how to prepare for the exchange of complex questions and answers after your presentation. If you don’t want to miss that lesson, make sure you join the EWAT community today and next week’s lesson will be delivered automatically to your inbox.
Ciao for now
Source: Presenting in English, Mark Powell