Where Should You Put the Q & A in Your Presentation?


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Question: Where should you put the question and answer portion of your presentation?

A. The beginning

B. The middle

C. Any place you sense it works for the audience

D. All of the above

I grade on an easy curve. No matter which answer you chose, you’re right.

Q & A does a lot of work for you

The Q & A is a great tool to better understand your audience, learn what audience members know, and understand your audience’s point of view.

It gives the audience a break, allows you to debrief and find out how much of the material the audience absorbed and understood.

It’s also a great tool for getting your audience involved and engaged in your presentation.

Where you shouldn’t put the Q & A

There is only one place you shouldn’t put your Q & A: the very end of your presentation.

I was reminded of this last week during a trip to Amsterdam. My wife and I visited the Anne Frank house. Powerful, moving story of a young girl who hid for two years with her family from the Nazis in a small living space behind a warehouse.

The presenter was outstanding.

She used a high-touch, low-tech approach, pulling photos off a large magnet board behind her to move the audience through the timeline of Anne Frank’s life. At the end of a spellbinding half an hour, the presenter looked out at the audience and said, “That concludes our presentation. Are there any questions?”

No one raised a hand or said a word.

The presenter waited. And waited.

The silence got awkward.

The problem with a Q & A close

That’s the danger of closing a presentation with a question and answer session. If there aren’t any questions, or if the Q & A session is a dud then even the best presentation ends on a flat note, feeling off-key.

If the presenter had put the Q & A just before her close, when she saw no hands raised, she could have moved smoothly into her close, the story of how Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, chose to leave the Anne Frank house empty of furniture to remind everyone of all the Nazis took away and of how many people, like his daughters and his wife, never returned to their homes.

Always have a strong close prepared for your presentation.

Be flexible; be prepared

If the Q & A session ahead of it sizzles, you can adjust on the fly and let that stand as the close. But if you don’t have a close prepared and you rely on the Q & A as your close, you run the risk of even a sensational presentation feeling off-mark at the end.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Gerry Sandusky – View the original post .


About the author

Gerry Sandusky, is the New York Times best-selling author of Forgotten Sundays, the play-by-play voice for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, the sports director for Baltimore’s WBAL TV, and a noted authority on communication, motivation, perception, and change.

Gerry has won Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for outstanding broadcasts.

The son of former NFL coach, John Sandusky, Gerry has found his own niche in coaching as president of The Sandusky Group, a communications-consulting firm.
The Sandusky Group helps professionals who are experts in their field look, feel, and perform better in front of every audience, and influence that audience. The Sandusky Group shows experts how to shine.

Gerry and his wife founded the Joe Sandusky Fund, to honor Gerry’s late brother. The fund grants college scholarships to students who demonstrate passion, talent, initiative, and a drive to fulfil their dreams.

http://sanduskygroup.com/ Read other posts by

Published On: 14th Nov 2016

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