Join Petrula Vrontikis for an in-depth discussion in this video Facilitating a formal Q&A, part of Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills.
In a formal presentation, say when you're in front of an audience of 20 or more, there may be time set aside for a Q and A. When you get to the Q and A, that's when you can really shine. It can be a wonderful and spontaneous experience, because you're off the script. It's an opportunity to show the depth of your knowledge, and how you can think on your feet. Be clear about how much time you have, before you begin the presentation. If there's a hard-time stop, keep track of your time very carefully. It's your responsibility as the presenter to finish on time.
It's terribly disruptive if people have to leave for another engagement during the Q and A. To get the dialog going, sometimes I'll ask questions the audience to begin the back and forth. Once people feel connected, they'll start asking questions. To make the Q & A more interesting to a larger audience take questions from different quadrants of the room, that way, everyone feels included in the discussion. Another tip, is to never take more than one question from the same person. If you do, it alienates the rest of the audience.
It's proper etiquette to restate the question before you provide your answer. This is especially true if you are miked and the person asking isn't. The Q and A can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of presenting. It gives you an opportunity to know what the audience found most interesting, or if there were any parts that left them confused. Keeping the Q and A lively, deep and meaningful is one of the best ways for everyone to remember your presentation.
- Presenting one-on-one, to a team, or to a larger audience
- Choosing a presentation format
- Introducing your design and providing context
- Persuading your audience
- Developing visual aids
- Creating a great first impression
- Understanding verbal and nonverbal cues
- Getting approval
- Facilitating a Q&A session