January 30, 2011

GREAT Question!

Every public speaking coach I've known advises presenters not to respond to a question from the audience with "That's a good question." The fear is that as inquiries progress, when you do not respond affirmatively, the questioner will feel badly, as if he or she asked a less-than-stellar question.

Well, maybe they did. Maybe the question is irrelevant, or less-than-focused. Maybe it completely distracts from your main point.

A good presentation invites good questions; as a speaker, you are taking time to highlight your main points. Why not also highlight the questions that frame your important responses?

Also, a good presentation is a shared and equitable experience between the presenter and the audience. You are inviting conversation. As a partner in the conversation, you have the right to respond honestly, and to passionately build the discussion.

Responding, "Great question!" is not about passing judgment on your audience; it's about you and your interests, and the information you are excitedly sharing. Don't tamp down your enthusiasm. Great questions service the delivery of great content.

1 comment:

  1. A great question is any question that I can answer using my next slide.



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