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Chapter 9. Improving Your Nonverbal Comm... > Tip 47 For Complex Answers, Use the ...

Tip 47 For Complex Answers, Use the Q-Best-Q-Recipe

Some questions require complex answers with supporting evidence. Organize your answers so that the examples and evidence support a clear “bottom line” response, which you deliver first. If you give evidence too soon, the audience may not know if it works. If they haven’t heard what your evidence supports, they won’t be able to evaluate it. They may even think you’re being evasive. To organize longer answers, try the Q-BEST-Q recipe:

  1. Q=Question Repetition. Repeat the question if the audience is large; summarize the question if the question is long. Rephrase it to make sure you’re addressing the right issue.

    In restating the question, use either direct or indirect restatement. Direct restatement retains the question format: “You’re asking if I favor the four-day, 40-hour work week, right? My view is….” Indirect restatement incorporates the question in the first sentence of the answer: “With regard to the issue of the four-day, 40-hour work week, my view is….”

  2. B=Bottom-line Answer. Make it short and sweet. Aim for 25 words or less.

  3. E=Evidence. Support your answer in a concise, rapid-fire fashion. For example: “Let me tell you why: the four day week will keep our office open longer every day, which helps our customers. Employees’ morale will go up because they’ll have more days off. We’ll make better use of our computer terminals. We’ll suffer no loss in output. And we’ll even reduce traffic jams in our parking lot.”

  4. S=Summary of the Bottom Line. Restate the bottom-line answer, and incorporate the issue by indirectly restating the question: “For these reasons, I believe that yes, we should have a four-day, 40-hour work week.”

  5. T=Time Awareness. Even though you’ve given a complex answer, think conciseness all the way through. Aim for less than a minute.

  6. Q=Questioner Satisfied? Ask the questioner, “Have I answered your question?” If he wants more, oblige him. If he’s satisfied, move on. When you check back with questioners, you can keep your answers short because the questioner can always ask you for more.



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