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Taking Questions


Often, speakers  start taking questions after they’ve completed their talk.

Usually, this is not the best time to do this because the audience doesn’t leave having the impact of your closing on the their minds.

In fact, depending upon the questions and answers. they could exit with a completely different mindset then you intended to give.

The Law of Primacy & Recency tells us we’ll best remember the first and last things we hear. (That’s why you always want a strong opening and a strong closing.)

There are several preferred ways to handle questions.

After your opening, explain how you’ll be handling questions.

  1. You’ll take them throughout the presentation.

  2. You’ll take them, in written form, during the break and answer them before closing your speech. (This is nice because you can pick and choose the ones to answer.)

  3. Before closing, you’ll take a few questions.

If you don’t know the answer, or it’s too long, or it’s time to move on in your talk, say, “I’ll be glad to discuss this with you after my talk.” or “If I don’t get to your question, or you want more information, email me and I’ll be glad to respond.”

Sometimes the audience is shy about asking questions.

One proven way to get the questioning process started is to say, “I’m often asked . . .” If you don’t know the answer, one solution is to throw it out to the audience and ask, “Can anyone in the audience respond to this?

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Three ways to keep the attention of your audience.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

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