Presentation Skills Training: How To Handle Difficult Questions

What’s the toughest part of business presenting to important clients and prospects? How to handle difficult questions with poise. Curious how the pros make it look so easy and natural? Find out how to handle questions under fire with complete ease.

With more and more subject matter experts presenting directly to clients and prospects, answering questions on the spot is an increasingly important issue. In my presentation skills training, this is consistently the number 1 area of concern.

Why is handling questions such a hot topic?

Many professionals like to reduce risk and control the outcomes of their work environment. When faced with unexpected, uncomfortable or difficult questions, it’s easy to feel on the spot.

Yet, we’ve all seen public speakers and professionals who seem to handle questions with ease and poise. What do they know that we don’t?

If you’re feeling fed up with formulas, tired of feeling bewildered, and ready for a solution to the question problem, read on.

1. Anticipate The Worst
What are the questions you deeply hope no one will ever ask? What are the dark holes in your facts?
What are the difficult parts in your company history?
What are the missing links in your business story?

Anticipate these questions, and it’s easier to work on your responses-before you step in the room.

2. Collaborate and Expand
When looking into all the scary questions, don’t try to come up with all of them in isolation. Ask peers. Ask people from your company who have more experience presenting. Interview colleagues to find out what questions they received in the past.

Look to colleagues outside of your work environment. While the topics differ, difficult questions have a certain commonality. You’ll be better prepared when you get a similar one tossed your way.

3. Brainstorm Solutions
Work with your team to brainstorm answers. Again, if you’re feeling stuck, the fastest way to add fluidity is to brainstorm. Other people on your team will see answers and find solutions with a fresh perspective.

4. Explore More Options
Ask a professional presentation coach to help you add to the questions you’re compiling. They are likely to notice areas that you may be unconsciously avoiding. Your presentation coach also has personal experience in coming up with questions, and responding to difficult questions on the spot.

5. Simplify Your Answers
When you’re preparing your answers to potential questions, keep it simple. This helps in two ways. First, you will remember your answer! Second, your audience will easily follow your response.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice speaking your answers. Say each one, conversationally. Adjust the words until you are comfortable and confident.

Then, practice, practice and practice some more. Rehearse alone. Practice with a peer. Answer questions, working under rapid fire, with your presentation coach. The more you practice realistic speed and real-world content, the better you’ll feel when your big moment comes.

7. Record and Review
Record your answers in front of a video camera. Yes, it’s kicking the pressure up a notch. Not many people are thrilled with how they look on video.

But the pleasure of feeling confident far outweighs the pain of seeing yourself on camera. Record your response to questions. Then, watch your practice rounds with your presentation coach. Get candid and honest feedback from your coach.

Ask her or him to help you respond more naturally, authentically and professionally. Focus on using your unique strengths to build confidence and poise for challenging question sessions.

Interested in presenting like a pro? By following these 7 simple steps, you’ll transform your skills and handle difficult questions with complete poise.

Credit Debt Negotiation – Should I Negotiate By Myself Or Hire A Debt Settlement Company?

Due to recession people are not stable financially anymore and that is the reason why they are taking the help credit debt negotiation in order to get rid of their debts in no time. The process of credit debt negotiation can be performed in two ways. The first one is that you can do it on your own or you can take the help of professional companies. After reading this article you will be able to understand that either negotiating on your own is more beneficial or taking help of professional debt Settlement Company is more reliable.

In personal negotiation, you will directly approach to lenders, means you will talk to lenders on your own. In this way, the chances for getting maximum reduction are very little. It is because you may be a lay man in the field of debt settlement and that is the reason why you may not have enough information of handling the process properly. A person, who is not directly related to debt settlement field, he is not usually aware about the tactics of how to convince the lender to agree over negotiation process. Apart from this, you have to manage all the legal formalities and other official documentation on your own. Handling the paper work on one’s own is a difficult as people don’t have any experience of doing such legal formalities. Even the financial lenders don’t encourage people for personal arbitration because they consider it simply as wastage of time.

Taking the help of professional debt settlement companies is considered as the reliable option for credit debt negotiation. In this process the financial experts of settlement companies will manage the whole process on your behalf. These people are experts and they know how to convince the lenders to agree over the process of negotiation. They also handle all the paper work and other legal formalities on your behalf. Chances for getting high reduction in outstanding balances are high in case of professional arbitration. The lenders also encourage this way of negotiation because in this way they are able to save their time.

If you are adopting the process of negotiation then hiring a professional debt settlement company is the right choice for you because in this way you only have to enjoy the reduction in your payable amount while rest of the work will be efficiently performed by the experts of the company

Tips for Presenting With Authority

It is not unusual to feel vulnerable about standing up to speak. The trick to delivering a successful speech or presentation is to create a perception of confidence to make your audience feel that you are in charge (irrespective of how you are actually feeling at the time).

Take your time
Think about the most powerful or influential speakers you’ve heard. As a general rule they will speak very slowly. This is actually very easy, and a great trick to earn yourself the confidence of the room. Barrack Obama speaks very slowly, and very clearly. His audience knows that he doesn’t need to rush; that he’s in control of the situation, and taking it at his own pace. Not only does it make the process of public speaking easier, it also simply sounds more controlled. And it’s easier to take-in what he’s saying.

Use your hands
Moving them doesn’t just help illustrate your point. It also helps release nervous energy, enabling you to speak more confidently.

Print your speech or presentation onto cue cards
Partly, this is useful for the simple reason that a cue card is smaller than a sheet of A4. However, actually the biggest thing you gain from having cue cards is the confidence they inspire in both you and your audience. From the audience’s perspective, you have clearly prepared for the speech you are giving; you have approached it in a professional way, and seemingly have done this before. From your own perspective, having the cards there at all will remind you that you are equipped to deliver this speech. Psychologically, this puts the ball in your court.

Hold your cue cards at about chest level and about half a foot in front of you
This way, when you look up at the audience, your speech will still be in your eye-line. You should not be presenting something purely by looking down at a piece of paper. Look up. Make sure the audience know that they’re your focal point; that they’re what’s important to you. When you watch a speech by somebody doing nothing more than looking down and reading from their notes, you can’t help but think they may as well just hand the piece of paper out and request half an hour’s silence for everybody to get up to speed. The reason they are watching a person, rather than reading a sheet of paper, is because they want someone to talk to them, to engage with them; someone in whom they can have confidence.

Glance, don’t read
You don’t have to know it word for word, but you certainly should only be presenting something to a room full of people, if you’ve practiced it beforehand. Speaking slowly enough to give you time to glance down at your notes between sound-bites will make a huge difference.

Smile
You may be shaking during the speech; you may even be terrified. However, what you must not be is miserable. Or, at least, you mustn’t look it. A frowning speaker is a reluctant speaker; someone out of their depths, perhaps. Nothing gets you the respect of a room like standing in front of 50, 60, 100 people and simply smiling back at them. Socially, it shows the audience that they’re in for a good time. Professionally, it shows you’ve got all the answers. Put it this way, if you were looking to buy a fridge-freezer from two men; one of whom was smiling and the other of whom was crying, who would get your business?

Perform a little
Pick relevant people to look in the eyes. If you’re talking about the company director, and he’s in the room, then look at him! You don’t need to bound round the stage, yelping, to get people’s attention. But you also won’t be interesting to watch simply standing still. These little touches can make the difference between a good presentation and a great one.

I hope you find these tips useful. Please call me on +44 20 8245 8999 if you would like help preparing for your next speech or presentation.