What's a Q&A Session?
Have all of you run a Q&A session? Be the leader. You're gonna have this a lot in your Q&A session, a hidden agenda. You're gonna have somebody who's really getting up there and doesn't know how to ask a question. I've been in a lot of Q&A session where someone stands up and they literally tell their story before they get to the question. And you might have limited time, so you need to run that Q&A session like you run your presentation. Let the audience know how it's gonna run. I'm gonna take a question one at a time. I'll point to you. Get the microphone. And prepare. I wrote down questions that people might have. So write down those questions and be able to answer them. I answer them out loud, just like I would an interview question. Because if you don't, here's what happens with a lot of people I train in interviewing. They don't answer those questions out loud, so in the interview they start answering questions, and they're like, I can't believe those words just ca...
me out of my mouth. What am I saying? So if you practice it, now you're comfortable in the language you're using when you start answering questions. And you have to be able to listen. Chris, ask me a question.
That's a great question, Chris, right? We do that all the time, 'cause we get involved and we think that's it. Thank you. So here's the thing. Listen to the question. Take a breath in. Here's another one. Chris, actually ask me a real, a question. I won't cut you off.
Okay. What do you do when you're so nervous that your hands are really shaky?
That's a great question, and I see that a lot, right? People go, "That's a great question." But what happens if somebody asks me a question after that, and I don't say, "That's a great question"? Is theirs not as good as Chris's? Chris, that was a pretty good question. You'll have to watch the class, because I talked about hand gestures in the beginning of the class.
Oh yeah, I was not paying attention.
So here's the thing. (audience member speaks indistinctly) I don't love that. Why do we say, "That's a great question"? We do it because it gives us a moment to collect our thoughts and answer the question. It's also a way to validate the person asking the question. I can go, "Great question, you're amazing. "Thank you so much." But what happens when we actually ask a question? Taking a moment to answer that question and take a breath in allows me to think about it and answer. I don't have to say anything right away. Or I can say to Chris, "What you're talking about, "is your question, you want to know what to do "with my hand gestures when I'm presenting," to verify that that's the question he has. And also to make sure the rest of the audience, especially if we're in a large audience, got the question. It's as effective. I might make a response to it that's fun. But it's a way to get people engaged. That's much better than, "That's a great question." 'Cause you'll have to do that over and over again. The best way to end your Q&A session, "I'm gonna take one more question." But then literally take one more question. I've been in Q&A sessions where they go, "One more!" And then six later, so I might as well still go like this, 'cause I know you've not followed your own rule. So one more question, and then thank everybody. What about the hard questions? I don't know everything. So what if you give me a question and I'm like, "Uh..."? I don't have to make something up on the spot. I need to be honest and authentic with you. So I might say to you, "I have no idea, but come see me "after this presentation, so that I can follow up with you, "and we'll find that answer." If I have a ton of people asking questions, and I know timing is off, I'm gonna literally say, "I'm gonna stay for 15 minutes after this presentation. "Come see me." So there are ways for you to follow that. I also have people who go, "I have three questions. "Question A," right? So it's okay to say, "Listen, we only have time for one, "but maybe we'll come back to you." 'Cause I'm the leader. There are also people who would need to be guided in how they ask the question. So it's okay to say, professionally, "I don't know if you're being really clear. "I want to make sure I understand your question. "Let's go back. "Tell me what your question is and then we can talk about "your life story and where you were born "and all those other things." So ask those questions. And then end it, and be done.