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Presentation Secrets: Do What you Never Thought Possible With Your Presentations by Alexei Kapterev

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ADDRESSING ANY QUESTIONS

As far as questions are concerned, there are two separate topics, form and content: what you say and how you say it. From the content perspective, answering questions is no different from any other type of improvisation. In fact, it's simpler because you already have a topic. So, the most general advice is, “just say whatever you honestly think,” which sometimes isn't easy. I'll discuss the challenges of being honest in this way in Chapter 10, which has to do with improvisation. This chapter deals with the form—how to say it. According to the research by Estrada et al., when addressing questions, it is highly desirable to follow these guidelines:

  1. Repeat the question. Some people speak in a very low voice and the only reason you were able to hear them is because they spoke in your direction. Chances are you are the only person in the room who got it. Repeat the question louder. Don't look at the person who asked the question! This is not for them; this is for the rest of the audience. Make sure that everyone else heard it. Sometimes, you need to interpret the question because the person used jargon or some insider knowledge that nobody else has. You have to make sure everybody understands the question. Repeat it and watch for their reaction. Are they interested? Use their feedback to assess how detailed your answer should be. Again, the research by Estrada et al. states that people hate when you spend too much time answering a question no one really cares ...

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