Handling Questions and Answers 65 Step Four: Answering the Question Begin your answer by making eye contact with the listener who asked the question. Then involve other members of the audience by making eye contact with them. As you come to the end, don't look back at the person who asked you the question. Finish your answer by making eye contact with someone else. This may be a difficult technique to remember but it can be extremely useful. Why? If a listener has asked you a provocative question, and you complete your answer by making eye contact with the questioner, it's an open invitation for him or her to try to embarrass you again. The best tactic is to ignore the questioner, and it's much easier to do if you're looking at someone else when you finish your answer. Otherwise, the entire session can become a repartee between you and the questioner, who may eventually get the upper hand. Remember the employee at the be- ginning of this lesson who drove the CEO from the podium. Caution If the key decision-maker wants to keep asking you questions, you may have no choice but to keep going back and answering them. This person must be fully satisfied or your pre- sentation may not be successful. Step Five: Completing the Session Once you've come to the end of the session and answered the final question, you might say: "That's all I have time for today." At this point, you should do one more thing: Repeat your central message as well as your call to action, if you have one. Listeners remember only a small part of a presentation. You want to make sure they don't forget your most important idea. Instead of closing with the last answer to the last question, close with your central message and call