The lecturer shares useful information – this is the reason they are here. We strongly advise you not to pass up question and answer session, moreover, during your presentation it is better to use various types of questionnaires - polls and surveys that will help you to interact with the audience as efficiently as possible.
It is important to know that if you are asked questions, one day there will be at least once of them that you find difficult to answer. And sometimes you will be asked questions that you can’t answer at all.
Today we are going to teach you how to cope with such situations, in order to keep respect for you as a lecturer, and not to spoil the impression of the presentation - to make sure that its goal was achieved, listeners got knowledge, and you got their attention and efficient audience engagement.
So, you are being asked a difficult question. We will talk about two kinds of such problems. The first one is a question difficult to answer and requiring some additional excursus into your information materials or the Internet. The second one is a question you don't know how to answer and can't find it out now.
Rule number one. Do not refuse to answer
Listeners' respect and your authority are built on your knowledge. A presentation is your product (even if you present a real product). Now you are selling yourself and your ability of public speaking, you are trying to speak with confidence, persuade and help them believe in your words. Failure of answering a particular question, or questions at all, has a very negative effect on the confidence of the listener, your knowledge and your authority.
Remember! Never, under any circumstances, DO NOT dodge answering, pretending that you did not hear the question, or just skipping it around your ears. Believe, every single listener definitely will pay attention to this. They will notice everything - and this will be the biggest failure of your presentation!
Rule number two. Do not start to excuse and defend yourself if you can't answer the question immediately
Your listeners are here not to spoil your presentation or to make you fail and run out of the hall. They respect your knowledge and want to receive the necessary information. They know that you are not an all-knowing and walking encyclopedia. Therefore, it is quite normal not to know something if it is not about ALL. It's very bad only in one situation - when you can't answer questions at all and say "I don't know" or "I need to read" to every single question. But if you prepare well, this will not happen. Not answering SOME questions is quite normal.
Rule number three. Don't be afraid to admit that you don't know the answer
But only if you do not really know it, and can't find out the answer right now using additional sources of information. This should be in an exceptional case, very rarely! So, thank the listener for the question and say that you do not know the answer. How to proceed? There are several solutions. The first is to finding an answer with reasoning. Most likely, the question is asked on a topic that you know well. So, you can quite easily imagine what the answer might be. The second is to suggest finding an answer together. Let people express their ideas about what the answer might be. These two options are the best. In some cases, you can promise to tell them the answer during the next lecture or presentation, if it is planned. But it is better to use previous decisions.
You shouldn't say "I do not know" and go to the next question. Make efforts or at least their visibility. Believe, the public will appreciate it and your authority will stay on a high level.
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