So you’ve planned your presentation carefully and you’ve rehearsed it in front of the mirror. You walk into the room, you bring up your first slide, and you begin. But you’ve hardly finished your introduction when someone throws out a question. How do you deal with it?
You’d better be ready for this situation, because you know it’s coming. How often do people actually wait for you to finish before politely raising their hands and asking you questions? It just doesn’t happen. So you need to learn how to respond on the fly. You need to read the situation and react accordingly. Your presentation isn’t ruined if you know the right things to say and do.
Today we’ll look at some of the techniques we can use to handle questions and keep our presentation flowing. These techniques include anticipating questions before they’re asked, using a question to transition to another point, and buying time. We’ll also learn about dismissing a question that you’ve already answered and redirecting a question to the entire group.
In the dialog, we’ll hear part of a meeting in a publishing company. Amy is giving a presentation about a potential overseas partnership. Brenda and Dennis, two senior managers, are asking Amy some tough questions along the way.
1. What does Amy anticipate that the audience might be wondering about?
2. Which topic does Amy have to ”˜buy time’ for before talking about it?
3. When Brenda asks about priorities, how does Amy deal with the question?