Three Ways to Control Question and Answer Sessions

Q & A sessions can get out of hand and lose their effectiveness unless the speaker maintains strict control of them.  Remember, the Question and Answer session is still part of your presentation – use it to further your POV (Point Of View.) It’s the only way you can be sure to have a positive impact – AND keep the experience interesting.

Here are three techniques that are guaranteed to help you stay in charge:

1. Have listeners raise their hands if they have a question – just like we all learned in school.  This way, you can choose to answer questions as they arise – if there aren’t too many – or you can ask that the questions be saved for a specific time in the agenda.

2. If a questioner goes on and on, beating all around the bush and back, complicating the question for everyone, interrupt them. If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification. If you do understand, paraphrase the question for everyone’s benefit and answer it right away to avoid further rambling by the participant.

3. Discourage audience discussion after a question has been raised.  The participants are there to hear your thoughts and experiences, not those of fellow audience members.  Don’t hesitate to interrupt the banter. Move quickly back into your presentation.

One comment on “Three Ways to Control Question and Answer Sessions

  1. Yeah….I have done one big presentation in my university for 8mins last week, and I didn’t have a Q&A sessions. I’m really dissapointed with it now, but some quetsions from listeners might be effective with the impact of the presentation. I really agree with your opinion. Sometimes, during my presentation, some friends give me good answers when I ask some questions. I think this is good way to improve my talking. Therefore Question time after that should be also good. I would like to try these techniques from you next time I’m going to present in my university. THANK YOU!!