Tip: Question Handling Step 2: The Pause

Advanced Presentation Skills: Question Handling – Step 2: The Pause

Question Handling: The Pause

In our last advanced presentation skills tip we introduced to the idea of a timeline for answering questions and  talked about the importance and value of active listening.

Active Listening Timeline

Having listened carefully to the question, we now come onto Step 2: The pause.

There are several reasons we suggest this:

It shows you are thinking – paying the questioner a subtle compliment (it was a good question).

It actually gives you time to think of a short answer to avoid the TWT (talking while thinking) problem.

Increases credibility of the answer.

It gives others a chance to think about the question.

Disguises the difficult question (usually, the first thing that happens when asked a difficult question is an almighty pause! If you pause before answering every question, it is less obvious).

There are no marks for a finger on the buzzer – if you don’t pause or even interrupt, it can be seen as aggressive/defensive or dismissive (that was an easy one!).

Amazing, the power of silence.

In the next advanced presentation tip, we will take you through the next couple of steps.

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