Talk show queen, Oprah, has a segment of her show called
After the Show that's televised on her own network.
Although the title gives the impression of a let-your-hair-down segment, the truth is that Oprah is still dressed, made up, and working. The show is still being zapped to viewers.
Oprah is still on. The same is true for you during the Q&A session of your speech; you can't afford to get off your game just because the main part of your speech has concluded.
The Q&A session is a very important part of your talk. It's the presentation after the presentation and you're still on!
The Q&A session is key to your overall message because it affords benefits to your audience as well as yourself. When audience members ask questions to clarify certain points this minimizes the chances that anyone will leave confused or uncertain about your presentation. For you, the Q&A session is another opportunity for you to shine as it provides you with more time to reinforce your message, continue your sales pitch, and calm your audience's concerns. For these reasons, the Q&A can be viewed as another important presentation.
If you want to perform as well during this presentation as you did during the main portion of your speech, use these suggestions:
Who has the first question?If no one responds, ask a question yourself and then answer it. Say something like,
You might be wondering why...or
A question I'm often asked is...This should spark other questions. The enthusiasm around your presentation sinks if no one appears to have a question so you want to encourage audience inquiries during the Q&A.