Graceful ways to say ‘I don’t know’ during a presentation

Have you ever worried that an audience member would pose a question for which you don’t know the answer? If so, have these responses ready.

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This article was originally published on PR Daily in April 2016.

Have you ever gotten stumped?

Besides fearing that the audience already knows what you’re going to present about and the risks of assuming you know what the audience knows, speakers face another worry: What happens when you don’t know the answer to a question?

Saying “I don’t know” shouldn’t be a stumbling block. Just because someone can formulate a question doesn’t mean there’s a ready answer.

Saying “I don’t know” doesn’t mean you’re stupid or ignorant about your subject matter. It could even boost your credibility.

Even so, many speakers fear an audience member will pose a question for which they won’t have an answer. Saying “I don’t know” feels like a conversation stopper.

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