Many presentations end with a question-and-answer session. Clearly, handling questions smoothly can be a challenge. You have probably witnessed speakers ace a presentation and then stumble while responding to questions. The main reason for this ineffectiveness is that many presenters give long-winded answers to listeners’ direct questions.

The main tip is this: Direct questions require direct answers. A direct answer will be about a sentence or so long. It will sound similar to a news headline. The idea is to get right to the point with a little bit of detail and then zip your mouth.

The reason for concise answers is simple. Presentations are like a monologue where the speaker does most of the talking. In contrast, question-and-answer sessions should be a dialogue with lots of back and forth for maximum participation. Also, if you don’t give direct questions to direct answers you may unintentionally sound defensive or evasive.

In the video, we will look at a school testing metaphor as a way to approach answering questions. That is, most direct questions are one of three types: 1) True or false (i.e., yes or no), 2) fill in the blank, and 3) multiple choice.

The video gives you a little bit of practice identifying and answering each of these three types of direct questions to help you develop that smooth, concise, and confident sound.

To learn more, check out the video or the original post here:

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