Q&A is not the time to make a speech

 In Delivery, Environment, Journalist, Mindset, News, Q&A, The Winning Voice, What not to do

A few weeks ago I went to Stanton Library in North Sydney to hear author Alexandra Smith give a presentation about her recently published book, The Secret, a book about former New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian.

Smith fielded questions after the presentation.

One questioner rose from his chair with a A4 pad of paper in hand. (Always a worrying sign). The man rambled for over 60 seconds repeating his question three to four times interspersed with free association commentary.

My view is this…

A Q&A session’s purpose is to give as many audience members as possible, time to ask a question. The rambling questioner cut into the Q&A time for other participants.

Own the Conversation

During a Q&A session this is what I suggest:

  • That you don’t use the time to make a comment.
  • Don’t wait for the Q&A session to prepare your question. While the presenter is speaking and a questions comes to mind, write them down.
  • When asking your question aim to speak for a maximum of 20 seconds.
  • Stop speaking after you ask the question.
  • Don’t ask a follow-up question to the presenter’s answer to your first question.

p.s. This post When you open Q&A – never use this question might interest.

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