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Lesson 16. Handling Questions and Answer... > Learn the Five-Step Approach - Pg. 64

Handling Questions and Answers 64 Learn the Five-Step Approach Rehearsing for a question-and-answer session will make you feel more comfortable when you stand in front of an audience. When it actually comes time to deal with their questions, here's a five-step approach that can be very helpful. Step One: The Opening Begin the session by telling your audience that you have a specific amount of time to handle ques- tions--5 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever it is. Then ask the listeners if they have any questions. As you do so, raise your hand. That indicates to the audience that you'd also like them to raise their hands when they ask questions instead of just shouting them out. This technique gives you greater control over the session. Step Two: Listening The question-and-answer session is one of the few times in a presentation when you're expected to listen instead of speak. As the first listener asks a question, listen all the way through. As speakers, our tendency is to begin composing an answer before the listener has finished asking the question. Perhaps it comes from our days in elementary school, when some of us raised our hands to answer a question before the teacher had finished asking it. If the question wasn't what we thought it would be and the teacher called on us, it was very embarrassing if we didn't know the answer. Don't start thinking about your answer until the listener has finished asking the question. It may not be the question you're anticipating, or you may not understand it, especially if the listener is not