People usually prepare sufficiently for a presentation, but not many of them are as equally well geared up for the questions raised during and upon completion of the presentation. Making sure you are ready for the onrush is bound to produce better results as it will reflect your knowledge on the topic. So, how should you go about this?
Anticipation is the key here. Whilst you are preparing your presentation material you will become aware of what questions are likely to be asked. If you know what to expect and make ready your responses you will look professional and well-informed.
To prevent potential panic as to the level of your preparation you should write down what questions you expect to be asked and then carry on with your work. At any point you can go back to the questions and add more as they come to mind. Make a point of telling your audience at which point you will be taking questions, for example, during the presentation or when it has finished.
If you decide to take the questions at the end, do so about ten minutes before your planned finishing time. This will allow you time to answer the questions and then give you the opportunity to draw the presentation to a conclusion. Doing it this way avoids the presentation just drying up when the questions finish, which is what happens if you leave the questions right until the very end.
Show respect at all times to the person asking the question. Make sure you listen to him or her properly in order to understand the intent of the question fully.
Repeat the general outline of the question to show you have understood. This method also allows you a few extra seconds to think about your answer. It also ensures that anyone who missed the question when it was asked, hears it the second time around.
When you answer the question, make sure you look at the audience as a whole, and not just at the person asking the question. You do not want to find yourself engaged in conversation with just one of the attendees which may well result in you losing the attention of the rest of them.
Don’t fall into the trap of becoming too relaxed once the speech is over. This will only lead to you rambling on with your answers instead of keeping them to the point and precise.
If you do not know the answer to the question, be honest and say so. Tell them that you will find out the answer and get back to them by email or on a contact number.
You may find yourself in a situation where no questions are asked. You cannot just pack up and leave, so have a couple of questions prepared and tell the audience that these are typical questions and continue by answering them yourself. This may encourage those who were just thinking about asking a question to actually get on with it and take up the opportunity of gleaning even more information from your presentation.