Managing the Q&A

manage q&a

It’s official – the winter holidays are around the corner.

‘Tis the season when many of us gather to break bread with extended family. I’ve been to family holiday gatherings from 4 to 45 guests. It seems no matter the group size, the relatives are always prepared with enough questions to last through the final eggnog toast.

Here are some tips for managing the Q&A – whether coming from the Board of Directors, or dear Aunt Sue.

  • Provide the answer first. The biggest pitfall presenters face in the Q&A is giving all the details before answering the question. Maintain credibility during Q&A by listening closely to understand the question, and respond with a direct answer before giving more details.
  • Check for satisfaction (situational). After responding, ask the questioner a variation of: “Is that clear?” or “Did I answer your question?” If you suspect a hidden agenda, or don’t wish to prolong a line of questioning – move on.
  • Manage the discussion with your eyes. Establishing eye contact with the questioner acknowledges you are listening and builds credibility. To bring others into the conversation – break eye contact with the questioner and address all gathered.

Whether in the board room or dining room, be prepared to come across confident and credible when the Q&A starts coming.

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