Everything you need to know about mastering audience Q&A

Follow this guidance to determine how and when to field questions, as well as smart ways to handle tough queries.

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Effective public speakers should put as much energy and attention into managing audience Q&A as they do their presentation.

The planning begins with a fundamental question: Are you going to conduct an audience Q&A?

Of course, you don’t have to take any questions. Not every presentation calls for them—such as a large keynote address. An audience Q&A introduces unpredictability, which can be an unnerving situation even for experienced speakers.

Still, the audience Q&A session can provide some of the more memorable and energetic moments of your presentation. If you manage your audience Q&A deftly and with care, you potentially gain valuable information:

Managing your audience Q&A is all about preparation.

Here are some tips for taking questions during your presentations, as well as guidance on how best to respond:

When to take questions

Early in your presentation, let the audience know how and when you plan to take questions. Here are a few ways to seek out those queries:

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