Peter Urs Bender   Previous Page  |  Next Page

Preparing for Questions

The question and answer period is when the "real" you shows
up. Be at your best. Audience questions provide you with
another opportunity to emphasize your points, clarify your
ideas and zero-in on what interests people the most.
     Responding effectively and intelligently at this time will
make you look professional. The secret is to prepare in advance.

There are many situations where you will be expected to
answer questions:
  • Presenting a budget proposal to your superiors
  • During a training session with staff
  • When meeting the press
  • During labour/management negotiations
  • Presenting a proposal to prospective clients
  • During a regulatory hearing
  • When introducing a prototype for a new product
  • During a performance evaluation before a panel
     The best and only way to get the most from these situ-
ations is to anticipate in advance all questions that will likely
arise. Depending on your topic, the audience might have
objections to your claim, point out problems they want help
with, or ask you to comment on their own ideas. Some people
will aggressively challenge you.
     It is important to develop responses in advance, espe-
cially with negative feedback, so you won’t be caught off guard
by the tough questions. Ask others to role play when forming
ideas on difficult questions and how to handle them. Get them
to coach you as you rehearse.

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