Q Part 2: Q is for Questions—and your Great Answers

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    Now what about handling questions when they come your way? Some of us love questions and deliver great answers. Others freeze or get defensive.

    Here are three tips for preparing to answer questions from your audience, whether they are easy or challenging.

    1. Think ahead. The worst questions are the ones we didn’t see coming. Take time during your preparation to consider your audience and what they are likely to ask you. If you aren’t sure, ask someone else to help you dream up the tough questions. Then prepare a great response.
    2. Stay calm. When you get the tough question, the one you really didn’t want to hear, take a breath. Relax your body. Open your hands. Put an interested, neutral look on your face. Tell yourself you will be able to handle it. You will!
    3. Handle with care. Take your time, even though adrenaline is coursing through your body. Rephrase the question using a neutral bridge, such as “The question is about _____________.” Answer if you can. Or say you don’t know and you will get the information for the audience. Then move on to the next question.

    By planning, practicing, and keeping your cool, you will be able to handle even the toughest questions that come your way. Get started today.