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Lesson 16. Handling Questions and Answers > Stay in Control - Pg. 66

Handling Questions and Answers 66 The other listeners usually know what's going on and they expect you to deal with the situation. Without being unpleasant, you can simply tell the listener that you'd be happy to take up this issue at another time after the presentation is over. But this session is not the time or the place to do it. As you finish your statement make sure you're not making eye contact with the questioner, who will try to keep talking. In some especially heated question-and-answer sessions, a listener may stand up while asking a question and begin to approach the speaker. That is a clear attempt to take over the presentation. If this happens to you, immediately put up your hand. Then ask the listener to return to his or her seat. When someone realizes that you're not going to give up control, it's usually enough to persuade the person to sit down. The audience will usually be on your side. Suppose a listener asks you an embarrassing question and, before you can answer it, tries to gather support for his or her position from other members of the audience. Perhaps the person says: "I know everyone here agrees with me," or specifically names several other people and says: "Tell everybody here what you think." That is another blatant attempt by a listener to take over your presentation. Before the person can go any further, make it clear that you'll only deal with his or her problem, and that if anyone else has concerns, you'll be happy to address them one by one. Stay in Control This is your question-and-answer session, and you should stay in charge of it at all times, whenever it occurs during your presentations. Some managers report that their listeners will not wait until the end for questions, but ask them throughout a presentation. In such cases, you must be ready to answer everyone, but after you finish each answer, always segue back into your presentation. Re- peat your central message and remind your listeners of the previous points you covered before going on to introduce any new information. The key is to always land on your feet as you answer each question and to demonstrate to the audience that this is your presentation and you know what you're talking about. The 30-Second Recap In this lesson you learned a proven approach to handling question-and-answer sessions success- fully.