Bad Ass Q&A - stop undermining your presentation

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    11-Aug-2014
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This deck is built for entrepreneurs who want help with their presentation Q&A skills.

Transcript of Bad Ass Q&A - stop undermining your presentation

  • BAD-ASS Q&A STOP UNDERMINING YOUR GREAT PRESENTATION
  • your presentation material and delivery are obviously important
  • but it is in Q&A where the rubber really hits the road
  • where I really decide if I trust you
  • so, if you handle Q&A poorly
  • all your effort on the deck will have been for naught
  • because you'll have lost the room
  • most entrepreneurs should spend just as much time on Q&A prep as they do on presentation prep
  • but they don't
  • so to make sure you're not one of the unprepared bozos
  • here are 14 practical things you should do for Q&A
  • ONE stay on message
  • Q&A is not something separate from the presentation
  • you are answering questions for the same reason you presented
  • to influence your audience
  • to make them think something
  • to make them feel something
  • to make them do something
  • so the objectives of Q&A are the same as they were for the slide deck
  • youve got marketing messages to push
  • so push them
  • even if that means taking a question
  • giving a complete answer
  • and
  • pivoting from there to one of your messages
  • most importantly
  • dont allow a single, aggressive member of the audience to take you down a line of questioning that drives you off message
  • pivot
  • pivot politely
  • but pivot all the same
  • TWO predict the questions
  • good presenters
  • are good
  • because they prepare and practice
  • the same is true with Q&A
  • the best way to predict what questions will come out during Q&A
  • is to do Q&A 4-5 times in advance
  • with friends, family, and strangers
  • and prepare answers to the 10 most common question themes that come up
  • in addition
  • remember we just talked about the importance of messaging
  • so, in addition to preparing answers to the top 10 questions
  • prepare pivots
  • from the most common topics back to your marketing messages
  • so you have scripted, memorized transitions
  • THREE paraphrase before answering
  • while, you dont want to be monotonous
  • good audience handlers paraphrase questions before answering
  • this makes the questioner feel listened to
  • it also ensures that you really do understand the question
  • and it gives you time to think about your answer
  • FOUR engage everyone
  • make eye contact with the person who asked the question
  • this makes them feel heard
  • but maintain eye contact for only the first 15% of the answer
  • for the next 70% of the answer
  • move your gaze to other audience members
  • and in the last 15%, try landing eye contact on someone who youd like to ask the next question
  • this helps keep everyone engaged
  • even if the topic is not one that everyone cares about personally
  • discourages side conversations
  • or quick email checks
  • and keeps you from getting sucked into a single persons line of questioning that can take you off message or eat up valuable time
  • FIVE be nice
  • don't criticize, belittle, or fight with anyone in the room
  • and never be sarcastic
  • be firm and confident, but friendly, respectful, & inviting
  • if you need to, agree to take confrontational issues offline
  • acknowledging the importance of the disagreement
  • but also the need to cover all questions by all participants, given limited time
  • ultimately, if things go well, the audience are likely to be your implementation partners
  • so you cant burn any bridges
  • SIX dont bullshit
  • just acknowledge if you don't know
  • and commit to a time by which you will get back with the answer
  • oh
  • and actually do get back with the answer
  • SEVEN pass the mic
  • don't let one person hog the microphone
  • you want to show the audience that you have a strong, informed, confident team
  • that can work together
  • that has no weak link
  • consider assigning specific individuals ownership of topics
  • so that everyone on your team is crystal clear who leads for any given answer
  • and then let them lead
  • even if they dont have the 100% perfect answer
  • the statement of teamwork will have greater impact than a clarification in the moment
  • that means you, confident and excited CEO
  • shut up
  • and let your team shine
  • at the same time
  • do your best to ensure that no audience member hijacks the discussion
  • politely, but firmly, encourage everyone to have their chance
  • EIGHT dont end with an answer
  • keep track of time
  • when you have reached the final question
  • save 30 seconds
  • to re-summarize the key presentation points
  • your marketing messages need to be the last thing your audience hears
  • NINE know your audience
  • this is not always possible
  • But, wherever it is possible
  • know everything you can about the audience
  • know who they are
  • know their role in the decision-making process
  • know the relationships between them
  • know their personal communication styles and quirks
  • know what pre-existing knowledge they bring
  • know whats in it for each of them (WIIFM)
  • but if you cant do recon before the session
  • make sure to study them before and during the presentation
  • so that you can make reasoned guesses during Q&A
  • TEN grok the subtleties
  • 98% of the time
  • the questions you are asked, are actually not the questions troubling the audience
  • sometimes, people are not sure yet what they dont understand
  • so they ask a question to help themselves understand what their real question is
  • other times, the questioner has an agenda
  • there is actually a question behind the question
  • and the first question is actually leading you into trap
  • whatever the case, you need to ask yourself
  • why
  • why are they asking this
  • where are they going
  • and how can I short circuit the process and go straight to the real issue
  • this is hard to do on your feet
  • in the moment
  • but if you can learn how to do this, youll be powerful
  • ELEVEN be brief
  • answer the question
  • pivot to a marketing message
  • and then stop
  • and let the audience decide if they want to dig deeper
  • TWELVE dont forget youre still on stage
  • Q&A is still part of the presentation
  • so you must still use all the tricks of a good presenter
  • body language matters
  • where you stand relative to the audience matters
  • gesticulation and eye contact matter
  • fidgeting matters
  • Smile and humor matter
  • rhythm, pace, and volume matter
  • THIRTEEN dont fumble with the slides
  • unless you can flip right to a slide in less than 2 seconds, don't use slides
  • FOURTEEN record the questions
  • the questions are incredibly valuable to you
  • you should record every single one asked
  • so you can ask yourself later why the questions were asked and what that means for next time
  • and if you write them on a notepad during Q&A
  • the audience will feel appreciated
  • FIFTEEN get your mojo on
  • honestly, 2 months later, all they will remember is their impression of you
  • were you confident
  • did they trust you
  • did you impress
  • so showing up ready to rock is often more important than showing up with great content
  • Stop changing your material 24 hours before you go on stage
  • eat some comfort food
  • get a good nights sleep
  • any last-minute changes to the Q&A script (or presentation slides) will make minimal difference
  • but showing up calm and collected will
  • SUMMARY
  • 1. Stay on Message 2. Predict the Questions 3. Paraphrase Before Answering 4. Engage Everyone 5. Be Nice 6. Dont Bullshit 7. Pass the Mic 8. Dont End on an Answer 9. Know Your Audience 10. Grok the Subtleties 11. Be Brief 12. Dont Forget youre still on Stage 13. Dont Fumble with Slides 14. Record the Questions 15. Get your mojo on
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