“No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.” George Bernard Shaw
When was the last time you gave a presentation in English? Did you invite questions at the end? How did it go? Were you prepared for those questions or did they leave you frozen?
Let’s face it, most of us hope for simple questions to which the answer is easy. However, you are inevitably going to be asked more complex questions that often have to be negotiated between you and the questioner.
Sometimes those questions are welcome because they give you the opportunity to expand on the topic of your presentation. But other times, the exchange can be uncomfortable.
Whichever way the exchange goes, you should prepare for these questions before your presentation.
Listen to the lesson
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Try and think of the sort of questions you’re likely to be asked and make a list of them. Then, you can do two things
#1: You can answer some questions during your presentation.
When thinking of the list of questions, you may find that your presentation should answer some of the questions. You could, therefore, include these questions and answer them during the presentation.
#2: You can decide which questions you don’t want to answer during your presentation.
Make a list of these questions and think how you would respond to them if asked. Some of them will be simple and easily answered.
Others will need even more thought and preparation.
In last week’s lesson, I covered 4 types of questions you could have and how to comment on them while giving yourself precious thinking time.
This week I want to give you examples of how you could negotiate a Q & A (Questions & Answers) with one questioner by giving you a few examples of possible exchanges.
#1 Inviting Questions
Are there any questions?
Yes, I have a question. You spoke about the need to reduce our carbon emissions.
That’s right, we see this as an urgent need over the next five years.
Could I ask which industries are most likely to be affected by this reduction?
Well, obviously the airlines would be one; oil probably another.
#2 Querying a Point
When you were looking at corn production, you mentioned Canada.
Yes, it’s difficult not to mention Canada when discussing corn production.
Indeed. Did you say there might be a possibility of a reduction in supply?
I did. There is talk that there could be a drought which will affect supply.
Well, that would be good news for you, wouldn’t it? After all, that’s where most of your profit is made.
Well not quite, but I take your point. A drought would help our profit margins.
#3 Referring to an earlier point
Going back to what you were saying about financial regulation,……
Ah yes, I thought someone might mention this.
You suggested there was an over-realiance on self-regulation. Within the banks, I suppose?
Not only the banks but also in other financial institutions like investment managers.
I see. It seems to be one rule for the large institutions and another for the small independent adviser.
#4 Making a criticism
I want to take you up on the point you made about our over-reliance on the service sector.
You’re not convinced?
No, not really. The service sector has seen a decline in the last years. Surely, we’re far less reliant on it than we were three years ago?
Actually, the latest economic figures show that we’re still over-reliant on the service sector despite its decline.
Well, I’d like to see those figures because I am not convinced this is the case.
I can certainly let you have those figures.
Over to you
Think back to the last presentation you gave.
Taking the above scenarios, prepare a Q & A session for each.
Then, practise the exchange with someone.
If you don’t have someone to share the exchange with, share it with me in the comments box and I’ll give you feedback.
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 to explore and get your very own emergency toolbox.
I am going to show you how to deal with hostile questions and how to answer them firmly but diplomatically.
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 by Mark Powell