The next time you make a presentation, get the most out of the question-and-answer session. This is a powerful opportunity to address your audience’s concerns and drive your point home, according to the Harvard Business Review’s Guide to Persuasive Presentations.
Here are three tips for making the most of it:
- Plan when you'll take questions. Establish early on if you want to field questions throughout your talk or save them until the end. If you need to build a thorough case, ask people at the beginning to hold their questions.
- Anticipate questions. Think through any queries the audience might raise, from the mundane to the hostile. Prepare answers ahead of time so you won't be thrown when all eyes are on you. Rehearse them, but still be mentally prepared for curveballs.
- Admit when you don't know something. Never fake an answer. Your audience will see right through it. If you don't know the answer to a question, tell them — and offer to do some research after the presentation and get back to the group.