How Important is the
Question & Answer Session?
When giving presentations to a large audience,
question-and-answer sessions are great opportunities to know about
the audience, who involved your program and closely watch your
communication skills, oration, observe your body language etc. It is
a good opportunity to show off your sense of humor & intelligence if
you are engaged with an audience participating a public speaking
engagement or simply a business presentation session.
Yo can choice any topic to start a Q&A session, which you
feel interesting to yourself and others, you can also ask
uncomplicated questions to draw in the participation of the
audience. To be a honest presenter you must take every opportunity
to do something different from others and the norms. To prepare for
Q & A sessions you should spend some time, anticipating questions
and creating various answers to use before you give the real answer.
Be careful not to sound like a smart when delivering the humorous
part of the answer.
When a witty response is offered to an audience question it
appears to be spontaneous, but you can easily be ready with
well-rehearsed responses. If you want to take more control of the
humor used in a Q & A session, you can easily do that too. Here are
two solid methods that I use all the time. The first is to plant
interests in the audience. The second is a variation on an old
standby Q & A method.
When you invoke interest in the audience, it usually mean
that you can select one or more of the audience members to help you.
You contact these people either by phone when you are doing your
pre-program research or during the time you are schmoozing with
audience members before the program. You simply ask them for some
help during the talk. If they agree, tell them to raise their hand
during the Q & A portion of the talk. They will be asking the fake
question you have given them.
The question itself may be funny or your preplanned answer
could be the zinger. Either way should get a laugh. Here's the hard
part. You must supply the question. The more customized it is to the
group, the better it will be. It might be funny if you got the
president of the company to ask a really dumb question like, 'How
much did we pay you to be here?'
It might be funny if you got one of the top salespeople to
ask when they get to take the company jet to their next sales call.
Who knows what might be funny to your group? I sure don't.
In Mahabharata, the great Indian Epic, written some millioniums ago,
there is a question answer session, between the elder pandava
Yudishtira with a Yaksha (actually it was Dharma, who pretended to
be a Yaksha to test the intelligence of Yudishtira), who captured
other Pandavas and insisted Yudishtira to answer his questions and
get freed his brothers, it goes like:
Dharma: What is heavier than earth, higher than heavens, faster than
the wind and more numerous than sorrows?
Yudhishthira: One's mother is heavier than the earth; one's father
is higher than the mountains. The mind is faster than wind and our
worries are more numerous than sorrows.
Dharma: Who is the friend of a traveler? Who is the friend of one
who is ill and one who is dying?
Yudhishthira: The friend of a traveler is his companion. The
physician is the friend of one who is sick and a dying man's friend
Dharma: What is that which, when renounced, makes one lovable? What
is that which is renounced makes happy and wealthy?
Yudhishthira: Pride, if renounced makes one lovable; by renouncing
desire one becomes wealthy; and to renounce avarice is to obtain
Dharma: What enemy is invincible? What constitutes an incurable
disease? What sort of man is noble and what sort is ignoble?
Yudhishthira: Anger is the invincible enemy. Covetousness
constitutes a disease that is incurable. He is noble who desires the
well-being of all creatures, and he is ignoble who is without mercy.
Dharma: Who is truly happy? What is the greatest wonder? What is the
path? And what is the news?
Yudhishthira: He who has no debts is truly happy. Day after day
countless people die. Yet the living wish to live forever. O Lord,
what can be a greater wonder? Argument leads to no certain
conclusion, the Srutis are different from one another; there is not
even one Rishi whose opinion can be accepted by all; the truth about
Dharma and duty is hid in caves: therefore, that alone is the path
along which the great have trod. This world full of ignorance is
like a pan. The sun is fire, the days and nights are fuel. The
months and the seasons constitute the wooden ladle. Time is the cook
that is cooking all creatures in that pan (with such aids); this is
and answers are little bit relevant to universality, nobody other
than an intellectual can give such answers to such questions and
this shows the true wisdom in answering to those typical questions.
This also have relevance in the common era of management, where
everybody has to prepare presentations to show to their clients and
in various meeting with their seniors/colleagues. After every
presentation, the presenter must be ready to face flooding questions
on various issues of relevance of different types as well as from
various corners and if one is not able to answer the questions
correctly and appropriately, it will affect his credibility and
credentials and can put roadblocks in his growth.
During the presentation, allowing the audience to ask
questions after your presentation is an excellent way to reinforce
your message and continue to sell your ideas. In addition, because
listeners can ask for clarification, audience members are less
likely to leave your presentation or speech with misconceptions
about the concepts you delivered. Because of these benefits, the
question and answer period is actually another presentation and
vital to most speaking situations. It is like a presentation after
Jodhpur, Rajasthan (India) is working with an Indian MNC as
secretary, has 20 years of experience. His hobbies are
reading, watching movies, and writing inspirational articles.
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