The presentation or pitch Q and A – a common way to finish but one that is often overlooked in its importance.
The presentation or pitch Q and A is a great opportunity to re-emphasise some of your key points but is often wasted through poor or non-existent planning in advance by the presenter.
So here are 6 tips for a better presentation or pitch Q and A:
1. Talk the organiser through your Q&A plan
Almost always presenters leave the Q&A plan to the organiser. Don’t do this. Instead discuss with the organiser how you would like the Q&A to run and that you want to run it not them. If you’re in charge of taking the questions you can keep your presentation or pitch momentum flowing.
2. Q&A before your summary
Usually the presenter finishes with the delivery of their rousing summary and then the Q&A begins. No one asks any questions, the whole things goes flat and the audience leave, as does the presenter, feeling a bit deflated. Avoid that by having the Q&A before your rousing finish. Try it. It works really well. I explain how to do this in the podcast.
3. Prepare a couple of rhetorical questions
It’s not a great feeling as a presenter if you’ve put everything into your presentation and then the Q&A comes along and no-one asks any questions. Counter this by preparing in advance a couple of questions to ask yourself – and make them about the key points from your pitch or presentation, that then gives the opportunity to re-emphasise those key points.
4. Don’t interrupt but be ready to interrupt
Try and avoid interrupting someone’s question. It can be annoying if you do that. On the other hand some question askers can take an age to ask a question which is not good news if you’ve only got a few minutes for a Q&A so be ready to jump in and answer the first part of their question.
5. Park a question or person
If someone asks a question that is not relevant politely but firmly park it and move on to the next question. If you don’t know an answer simply say ‘I’m sorry I don’t know the answer to your question’. But then agree to find out the answer and contact them after the presentation or pitch. Its a great to re-connect post event. If the same person keeps asking questions, park them.
Bonus Tip: Call a halt to the Q&A so you have enough time to go back to the presentation or pitch and deliver your rousing, motivational, inspiring, call to action summary or finish. Watch out for labouring your answers. Presenters often take far too long to answer a Q&A question. Answer precisely and concisely.
This is episode 209 of the Better Presentations More Sales podcast – the previous 208 episodes are available on your usual podcast app or you can listen and download them via this link.
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