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How to handle difficult questions while giving a presentation.

The other day, one of my clients had a question about how to handle difficult questions while giving a presentation.

I wanted to share it with you too in case you have similar questions.

Answering questions under pressure can make you say things you shouldn’t have - the nerves can force you to give an inappropriate response. In your panic you might have misinterpreted the question or given away company information that was sensitive.

Use the following framework to help you respond effectively to your audience.

✅ You don’t have to answer a question immediately. Pause for a few seconds, actively listen to all parts of the question and think about the best way to answer.

✅ If you are worried that you haven’t understood a question, ask them to clarify what they mean.

✅ When you reply to a question, direct your answer to both the questioner and other members of the audience.

✅ Avoid answering questions that fall outside of the scope of your talk:

“I’m afraid that really falls outside of my objectives for today’s presentation. Perhaps we can resume discussion of that particular point later?”

Does that make sense to you?

Want to learn more and looking for guidance and more speaking practice?


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