What happens to presenters who are nervous when it’s time for questions? Often the presenter is simply too nervous to listen to the query, and just starts talking without providing a specific response. Or the presenter may not address the question at all, instead speaking about something else that is a “hot topic” and defending a particular position. Now the presenter is really in trouble: the questioner did not get an answer and a topic has been brought up that many people were hoping would not have to be discussed.
How do you stop this behavior? First, you must learn to ignore the chatter in your head that is saying:
This self-defeating internal dialogue prevents you from answering a question concisely and to the point. Instead, you should be saying to yourself:
Here are some other techniques that work, depending on the situation:
Finally, to be concise, to-the-point, and brief, you need to practice being asked questions and answering them, out loud.
Claudyne Wilder coaches executives, managers, and salespeople on how to deliver presentations that get to the message. Her clients give compelling, passionate presentations. Her company has an ongoing contract to give her Get to the Message: Present with a Purpose workshop at a Fortune 100 Global Pharmaceutical Company. Claudyne brings a unique and invigorating perspective to her work from her years of studying the Argentine Tango.
Do visit Claudyne’s site at Wilder Presentations to sign up for her blog, her tweets or to download some free presenting tools.
Claudyne’s next Get to the Message Workshop in Boston is March 25 and 26. It is a very small intimate group with only ten people.
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