5 Tips to Encourage Questions and Feedback During a Presentation

Preparing for a compelling presentation takes time. You must draw together and compile pertinent information, including facts and statistics, formulate a cohesive flow, decide upon your slide design, and develop other supporting collateral. Meanwhile, you’ll also need to consider how to respond to audience members’ feedback and questions.

Failing to prepare for questions could, in turn, mean that valid concerns and curiosities are left unanswered — so don’t let your presentation’s hard work go to waste.

With that in mind, here are five tips to ensure you encourage feedback and satisfy all audience queries.

1. Leave the Door Open

Let audience members know that they can follow up with you anytime (after the presentation) with questions that spring to mind later. Include multiple ways for audience members to reach out so that they know you’re genuinely open to reconnecting: an email address, phone number, and a LinkedIn handle are all fantastic options. Include these details in any takeaways and incorporate them directly into your PowerPoint presentation.

2. Reinforce Your Answers with an Excellent Slide Deck

Not only does a carefully arranged PowerPoint presentation capture the audience’s attention while keeping you on track, but it can also help you during any question period.

If you have a slide in your PowerPoint presentation deck that effectively answers someone’s question, reuse it — pull the slide up onscreen and elaborate further. A carefully crafted PowerPoint presentation is a powerful tool. Use it to your advantage whenever you can.

If you’re unsure how to create an effective PowerPoint, or if you need assistance on a few specific points, it’s highly recommended that you connect with specialized presentation companies for guidance — they’ll be able to help you create an engaging, influential, and on-brand PowerPoint that’s sure to captivate and help you assuage any audience concerns.

3. Don’t Panic or Shy from Tough Questions

An audience member might ask a question that you don’t quite understand, or that makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s all-to-easy to want to appear confident by answering a question quickly; however, doing this may ignore the actual query, leaving the audience member who raised the point— and other attendees— confused. 

Further, an improperly answered question may cause potential clients’ or investors confidence to falter. If you’re not sure how to respond to feedback or to a question, offer a sincere response and thanks for the observation. As in point #1, offer to connect with the listener at the end of the presentation.

4. Get Some Outside Help to Predict Audience Questions

While it’s likely you’ll run your presentation past co-workers or friends (depending on the situation), ask them to also consider any questions they might have, too. Doing so will allow you to see the presentation from an outsider’s perspective, which is a great way to shake up how you see your work. 

This will enable you to highlight or rework specific components of your presentation with more fine-grain detail. Remember to use your PowerPoint slides to strengthen your answers wherever possible.

5. Be Positive and Embrace the Challenge

Worrying before a public performance is understandable, and pre-empting audience feedback can feel overwhelming; few of us relish the unknown. For some, it’s easy to see questions, concerns, and requests for more information as criticism. Instead, imagine audience participation as successful dialogue and a chance for you, the subject matter expert, to deliver an even better presentation.

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Final Thoughts

By preparing in advance and considering every eventuality, you can handle any questions that come your way like a pro, ending your presentation on a high.