7 tips for a winning Q&A

To engage your audience, answer their queries and get real-time input on your presentation, offer a question-and-answer session near—not after—the end of your talk. Here’s what to do.

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For connecting your leaders to your dispersed workforce, a Q&A can be a powerful tool, even in times of crisis.

Adding a Q&A to your talk can be a great way to get instant feedback, engage your audience in conversation and ensure you’ve covered everything.

Managed poorly, though, a Q&A can be sloppy, get out of hand and torpedo an otherwise great presentation.

So, here are seven tips to ensure your next Q&A goes smoothly:

1. Do not hold Q&A after you’ve finished your talk. The Q&A portion of your talk should come just before your conclusion. This allows your presentation to end on a high note rather than fizzle out with, “I guess there are no more questions.” Finish answering your last question, and then launch into a short conclusion that ends with a bang.

2. Invite questions. Set up your Q&A in a welcoming tone by saying, “What questions do you have?” rather than, “Does anyone have any questions?” This will position you as open-minded and will elicit a better audience response.

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