You must prepare for possible questions when tasked to present ideas during a meeting. People will ask you about your presentation, and some questions might be hard to answer. The problem is you can’t prepare for all possible questions. You might get stunned upon receiving something unexpected. Here are some tips for responding.
Pause and absorb the question
No one expects you to respond to the questions immediately. Take your time to grasp the essence of the question before answering it. You might even say the wrong words because you rushed the response. When you understand the idea, it’s the only time to respond.
Go back to your slides
Sometimes, the answers to the questions are already on your presentation. The listener probably didn’t notice it or failed to grasp the point. You can reiterate the ideas using the slides. Also, it helps if you have a ceiling mount for projector. You can project information on the screen. Since it’s a permanent fixture, you can call for a meeting whenever you want. After finalising your presentation, the only thing to do is project it during the meeting.
Ask the person to repeat the question
You might think the question is hard, but it’s not. The reason why it’s hard to answer is you didn’t understand the question clearly. Asking for a repeat of the question will allow you to respond easily.
Don’t give an answer
If the question is too difficult and you don’t know the answer, don’t answer. It’s better to say you don’t know or have no idea for now than to say the wrong things. Failing to respond to the question doesn’t mean you’re not smart. It also doesn’t mean you didn’t prepare your presentation. But, again, it doesn’t matter how hard you prepare. You won’t know all the responses.
Crack a joke
Making jokes about the situation may help you respond better. The room may look too serious, and it hinders you from giving the right response. But if you can make someone in the room laugh, it will change the atmosphere. It also helps you relax and be more confident responding to other questions.
Refer to someone else
You weren’t the only person who made the presentation. You have an entire team that helped make things happen. Some team members focused on certain details, and you might not be an expert in answering them. Refer the questions to someone else. There’s nothing wrong with allowing another person to respond. It also shows how strong your team is.
The last thing you should do is panic when you don’t know what to say. It doesn’t help at all. Instead, stay calm and take your time to respond. Ask the person who asked the question if you were clear. Look for a different perspective or try to reword your thoughts if the ideas fail to reach the other side.
You will get better at responding if you keep practising. Of course, it takes time, but you will soon be an expert.