Answering Questions–Don’t Announce Limits

Here’s a great tip from communications guru Dianna Booher about
answering questions after a speech or presentation.

Never Announce a Certain Amount of Time or a Specific Number of Questions
To do so limits your flexibility and creates dangers along the way. If you announce that you will take questions for half an hour and you get only two questions, the audience walks away with the impression that you gave a disappointing presentation that did not generate the expected interest. If you say that you will take another three questions and the third question is a hostile one, you may be forced to end on a negative note from which it will be difficult to recover. Stay flexible simply by making a general statement that you will take a few questions before you wrap up. Then, if there are none or only a few, you are safe to go directly into your prepared close. And if you get a challenging question or if a negative issue surfaces, you can prolong the discussion until you can find an opportunity to bridge to a more positive closing note.

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