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The Art of Q&A: WHEN?



A great Q&A session can add value to your presentation.

This part of presenting, if it goes awry, can also ruin an otherwise great talk. 

The first opportunity for challenges in Q&A is . . . WHEN to take questions. It is essential, in the Opening of your speech, to tell the audience WHEN you will be taking questions. 

Not giving those instructions can result in people raising their hands early in your talk. They might ask questions about something you just mentioned, or, they could ask about items you’ve not yet covered and perhaps won’t speak about. 

Regardless of the question, having it asked whenever someone feels the need to do so, infringes on your allotted time and can sabotage your talk. 

How many times have you been to a talk and the speaker, because they’ve been diverted by random questions, says, "I just checked my watch and have only five minutes left but about twelve minutes of talk to deliver." They then proceed to zip through their remaining slides with little relevant commentary.

Here is an example of how I do this. After my Opening, I say.

"Going forward, I’m going to talk about the components, parts, and elements of a presentation.

I’ll name them, explain, them, and give examples.

After each section, I have time set aside for a few questions, just on that component.

I have time set aside at the end for questions.

Then, I’ll conclude my presentation."

This usually eliminates any interruptions.

Note: Questions are taken before the closing because of the Law of Primacy and Recency.

Asking for questions, after each section, goes like this:

"In my opening I said I’d take a few questions after each section.The questions should be only about material I just presented. This is that time. What questions do you have for me."

Two Tips:

1. If I had asked "Do you have any questions?" that phrase elicits a 'Yes' or 'No' response.

You do want questions!

2. To ensure questions commence when you ask for them, raise your hand high. 

If someone should raise their hand other than when I'm asking for questions, I’ll say, 

"Do me a favor, please, and write that questions down. If I don’t cover it by the end of my talk, please grab me afterwards and we’ll figure it out. Thank you!"

Follow this guideline for WHEN to ask for questions and I guarantee your presentations will be absolutely, positively, - NO SWEAT! ————————————————————————————————————————————————

Q&A is easier to handle after reading 'NO SWEAT Public Speaking!"

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!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!



  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

Subscribe to my YouTube ChannelPodcast Channel, and connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

My books can be purchased on NO SWEAT Public Speaking” NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!” This is the THIRD Edition and contains lots of new material!


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