The ABC’s Of Q & A Sessions in Public Speaking
During presentations, it is the question and answer part that serves as a good occasion to know how much the audience understood or how much they did not understand from all of that speaking you did. It is also the best opportunity to be able to show your sense of humour, if you have one. Also, the question and answer portion is a good means to get your audience to participate.
The most used way, if not the most boring one, to open up the question and answer portion is: are there any questions? Or, “Now let’s take in questions.”
To make the presentation more fun for them as well as for you, as the presenter, to appear you are enjoying your time and are also having fun, why don’t you try saying this as a way to open up the session on question and answer: “The last presentation I had, the first question I received was, “Aren’t you tired yet?” and “Do you have the time?”
In order for you to continually captivate your audience, you should as much as possible try to do something different from the regular presentations people do. It is also a good idea if you prepare for the question and answer part.
Try to spend time thinking of the possible questions some people in your audience may ask after your presentation. Now that you have a fairly good idea, create some good-natured humour to go along with your answers. Use these before you provide the answer that is serious and real.
The audience will think the best of you if you provide them with a witty remark that in their opinion seems spontaneous and does not appear rehearsed, even if it is.
But what if no one dares ask the first question? This problem will be automatically solved by planting – this time – rehearsed questions on some members of the audience.
What you could do is to select some people from the audience and ask them ever so politely to assist you with your post-presentation session. You may ask them as you are researching for the profile of the audience you will be presenting to or while you are warming up to them prior to the program.
If in case they agree to be your accomplice, request that they raise their hand when you open up the session on question and answer. This is the time that they will be asking you that pseudo-question.
The question you will ask them to ask serves two purposes: to break the ice through humour and encourage others to ask their own serious questions or that they should be amused enough to stay still and listen until the end of your presentation.