Fielding Questions Well

In situations where you find yourself making a presentation—whether a formal presentation or in an interview—a lot of potential rests in the inevitable questions you will be asked. Here are some simple tips to help you go into those moments ready to drive your point home:

  • If this is a formal presentation, plan when you’ll take questions. Verbalize in the beginning if you are open to questions throughout your presentation or if you would like for them to be held until the end. Reasons for asking for them to be held until you are finished is if you need to be able to build a strong case for your point or will likely answer obvious questions as you present.
  • Anticipate questions. Try to come up with the questions that will likely be asked—hostile or inquisitive. Formulate your answer ahead of time and rehearse it. This will give you more confidence and will prepare you to handle those moments with authority. Always remember, though, that no matter how much you prepare and think it through, you may still encounter curveballs.
  • If you don’t have an answer, own it. Don’t fake your way through an answer—people will see through that and lose respect and trust in you. Say that it was a great question and that you would love to give an equally great answer after doing some research.

Questions asked can enhance your presentation or reveal gaps in it. Your preparation is key in creating a cohesive, persuasive presentation with anticipated and well-answered questions.