Handing Questions in a Presentation

Many presenters fear the question and answer session at the end of their presentation because they feel that they will lose control of their input. However, questions are a vital part of the presentation for the whole audience as they allow for clarification of learning. The presenter can enhance the effectiveness of the question and answer session by treating it as a formal part of the presentation.

The following tips are extremely helpful for handing audience questions during a presentation:

Handling Audience Questions

There are two important parts to delivering a presentation effectively in the workplace. The first part is the actual presentation, and the second part consists of the answer and question forum.

Establish Protocol Early

The most important tip for handling audience questions during a presentation is to establish protocol early and explain how you will take any questions at the end of the presentation.

Initiate Questions

Sometimes audience members can be shy about asking questions. One tip is to initiate questions by asking aloud, ‘Who has the first question?’ or ‘Who is going to lead off our discussion?’ If you are caught in a situation where all you receive is blank stares and no questions from the audience, it is time to start the query yourself. One option is to tell the audience, ‘One question I often get is ?..’ This way, you can open the door and hopefully stir up some participation.

Repeat Question

A good presenter will take an audience question and repeat it back to the individual. This helps in two ways. For one, it allows you to repeat the question so the rest of the crowd can hear. Secondly, it allows you to make sure you heard the question correctly.

Keep Responses Short

Presenters need to remember to keep the answers short when responding to audience questions. It is appropriate to even answer just yes or no. The presenter wants to provide answers to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time

Avoid Arguments

Some questions might be difficult to answer or be controversial. It is best to avoid any arguments with audience members. Try and explain in simple terms, and if the audience member tries to pursue a fight publicly, it is best to let the individual know that you would be

happy to speak to him/her privately after the session. .

Don’t fumble

You can deliver a great presentation. But if you fumble in responding to questions you can damage your credibility and sink your presentation in a flash.

Grooming for an Interview

Grooming is an integral part of your appearance and it is likely to change according to different situations. Grooming becomes effective when you choose the right attire and the right steps for the right occasion. One amongst many occasions is an interview. As said that ‘The First impression is the Last impression’, similarly an interview can change a person’s entire life. So being perfectly groomed for an interview is very essential. There are specific rooming ways for different occasions so even Interviews should also be taken seriously as it also has certain steps to follow and it cannot be managed or mixed with any other occasions. Both men & women have different grooming habits. So necessary tips of grooming has been given below.


Hair: – Hair should be neatly combed. Back brushed hair is the best option. For a set look one can use non-stinky and a non-sticky gel but try to avoid oil. Highlighted or colored hair is not preferred in corporate.

Face: – As men do not apply make-up, a man’s face should be clean, dry and fresh. It should not be oily or dirty. If one has travelled a lot before appearing for an interview then he should wash his face and then enter the interviewer’s cabin to get rid of the tired and oily look.

Attire: – one should always wear formal clothes for an interview. Light colored shirts with dark colored trousers are proffered. Avoid checks or printed designs. Wear blazers if required.

Shoes: – Shoes should be neatly polished before going for an interview. Do not wear sports shoes. Dark colored formal shoes are preferred.



Hair: – women having long hair should sport a braid or a bun for an interview. Hair should be neatly combed and tied properly. Fancy clips and rubber bands should be avoided. Bleached or highlighted hair should also be tied well so that it doesn’t look too fashionable.

Make-up: – Women should wear minimum required make-up for an interview. Avoid bright lipsticks and fancy shades of eyeliners.  Absolutely no make-up also looks dull.

Attire: – jeans, tops and one-pieces should be avoided for interviews. Formal shirt with a formal skirt or trouser would be good. For Indian attire a light colored Kurti with leggings is preferred. Salwar kameez is not formal so it should be avoided. A neatly ironed sari with lesser print is good for an interview.

Footwear: – :- avoid heels that are more than 2 1/2 inches. Fancy shoes with goddy prints should not be worn. Formal shoes for women or a light colored sandal is proffered.

Accessories: – Dangling earrings and bracelets should be avoided. Ear tops, a simple pendant and one or two rings in your fingers are good. But make sure you do not wear dark nail-polish. Tattoos should be covered.

Develop a Perfect Speaking Voice

A positive impression can be created initially with good dressing and grooming in the minds of the audience. However, if your voice is squeaky, your words meaningless, or your voice too loud, then their positive impression quickly will become negative. If you want to communicate effectively and positively influence your audience, you must pay special attention to your speaking voice. When you speak, your voice is the primary link between you and your listeners. So if you would like to develop a perfect speaking voice, start with the steps below.

Speak loudly

It’s important to be heard when you speak, so raise your voice! However, this doesn’t mean you should shout – rather, you should vary the loudness of your speech depending on the situation. But, if you tend to whisper, mumble or speak with your head down it is much easier for people to talk over you or ignore you.

Adjust you pace of speaking

It’s important to slow down your speech by saying your words more slowly and pausing between sentences.  Speaking too quickly is a bad habit and it can be difficult for people to keep up with you or even understand what you’re saying. This makes it easy for them to tune out and stop listening. The ideal speaking rate is somewhere between 120 to 160 words per minute.

Speak clearly

Make sure to open your mouth, loosen your lips and keep your tongue and teeth in the correct position as you speak. Speaking clearly is possibly the most important aspect of developing a good speaking voice. You need to pay close attention to each and every word you say – pronouncing it fully and correctly. Some commonly mispronounced or poorly articulated words include saying “gonna” instead of “going to”, saying “axe” instead of “ask”,  or saying “jist” instead of “just”.

Practice deep breathing

Practice your breathing by inhaling deeply, allowing the air to fill your belly. Breathe in for a count of 5 seconds, then exhale for another 5. Get used to this method of breathing, then try to work it into your everyday speech. Try to breathe at the end of every sentence – if you use the deep breathing method, you should have enough air to get through the next sentence without having to pause for breath. This will also give your listeners a chance to absorb what you’re saying.

Practice loud reading

In order to work on pronunciation, pace and volume, it is a good idea to practice reading aloud. Keep practising until you are happy with what you hear. Then try to employ the same techniques as part of your everyday speech.

Record your own speech

Recording your own speech can help you to pick up on any faults that you wouldn’t normally pick up on, such as mispronunciations and speed or pitch problems. Though most people don’t like listening to the sound of their own voices, it’s a good idea to record yourself speaking.

Smile while you speak

A good way to make your tone more friendly and warm is to smile while you speak. Smiling can help people judge your content of the speech more favorably. Avoid grinning as it can mean something else but even a slight upturn of the corners of your mouth can make the sound of your voice more appealing – even over the phone.

Communication Skills Are Desired by Business and Social groups

Communication is key to your success – in relationships, in the workplace, as a citizen of your country, and across your lifetime. Effective communication is a vital tool for any business owner. Your success at getting your point across can be the difference between sealing a deal and missing out on a potential opportunity.

You should be able to clearly explain company policies to customers and clients and answer their questions about your products or services. It is crucial to communicate effectively in negotiations to ensure you achieve your goals.

Communication is also important within the business. Effective communication can help to foster a good working relationship between you and your staff, which can in turn improve morale and efficiency.

Communication Represents You Socially

You want to make a good first impression on your friends and family, instructors, and employer. They all want you to convey a positive image, as it reflects on them. In your career, you will represent your business or company in spoken and written form. Your professionalism and attention to detail will reflect positively on you and set you up for success.

Communication Skills Are Desired by Business and Industry

Oral and written communication proficiencies are consistently ranked in the top ten desirable skills by employer surveys year after year. In fact, high-powered business executives sometimes hire consultants to coach them in sharpening their communication skills.

Factors responsible for effective Communication:-

Truthfulness in Communication

Tell the truth. You might need to announce an impending layoff or explain a tragic accident to government safety officials. Although you could face employee anger or public scrutiny, don’t let the fear of negative reaction to bad news suppress honesty. Fudging facts or omitting essential, nonproprietary information jeopardizes your business’s credibility with employees, customers, the public and the media.
Grammatical Correctness

Use correct grammar in all communication. Check written messages for misspellings and punctuation errors. Avoid wordy or run-on sentences by sticking to the subject-verb-object structure.

So for example, if you are calling a client, the very first thing you may want to say is: “I realize how busy you are so I will only need one minute of your time to let you know about our service / product.”


Tell audiences upfront why you’re communicating with them. Mysterious, vague, distorted or conflicting messages foster mistrust. Use familiar, commonly understood language. Substitute the word “contemplating,” for example, with the phrase “thinking about.” Organize sentences and paragraphs so they follow a logical order in the overall text.


Choose a communication tone that suits audiences and topics. Emailing employees about the annual office picnic should be upbeat and engaging. A sales promotion also can be upbeat and persuasive to attract customers..
Communication that’s sincere and courteous helps build employee and customer loyalty. Language that angers, belittles, insults or stereotypes audiences is financially and legally risky.

For a sales team, if they call a prospective client and the first thing out of their mouth needs to be something to the effect of, “I realize that your time is very valuable so I will only need two minutes to schedule a time for a second call where I can do a 10-minute demonstration of our product / service.”

Avoid being too direct like” I want to talk to you for some time. Please listen to me about the service / product”

Same advice applies for approaching your manager or boss to set up a meeting. Let them know if it will be painful, how long it will take and the end result you are asking for – they will be much more apt to schedule a time for you.

What is Body Language?

‘Body language,’ includes all the communication through the non-verbal channel. This can include how we greet others, how we sit or stand, our facial expressions, our clothes, hair styles, tone of voice, eye movements, how we listen, how we breathe, how close we stand to others, and how we touch others. Misunderstanding of body language may not only cause a long-lasting embarrassment but also be a life threat.

 Here are some tips for powerful body language:-

  • To increase participation, look like you’re listening
    If you want people to speak up, don’t multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention
  • To encourage collaboration, remove barriers
    Physical obstructions are especially detrimental to collaborative efforts. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and the rest of the team.
  • To connect instantly with someone, shake hands
    Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue.  In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression.
  • To stimulate good feelings, smile
    A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly.
  • To learn the truth, watch people’s feet
    When people try to control their body language, they focus primarily on facial expressions, body postures, and hand/arm gestures. Since the legs and feet are left unrehearsed, they are also where the truth can most often be found. Under stress, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements.
  • To sound authoritative, keep your voice down
    Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch by keeping your lips together and making the sounds “um hum, um hum, um hum.” When stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end.

Formal Etiquettes that should be followed

The role of formal etiquette comes into practice while interacting, mainly with people from different countries, backgrounds or cultures. As cultures differ, the feeling of discomfort may be dominant in such interactions. In such cases, if good etiquette rules are followed, it makes it easier to maintain a comfort level with unknown people.

Formal etiquettes is so involved that there are entire books on it, but there are a few tips for situations in which formal etiquette is required to follow:-

Appropriate Dressing

Appropriate dressing includes a decent attire in sober colors, of course. If the event is before six in the evening, a proper dress code for men would be, a dark suit with a white shirt and a tie. For women, it would be a late afternoon wear or a theater suit. However, if the event is held after six, a black tie, a dinner jacket would be more appropriate. Women can wear an evening gown with matching footwear and jewelry. Carrying a clutch instead of a handbag may look more elegant. It is a must that both, men and women wear polished clean shoes. If the party has a determined dress code, you should dress according to that.

On Arrival

Being punctual is extremely important. Do not make it later than five to ten minutes. On the other hand, do not arrive before time either.  Open the door for the woman first and enter only after she enters the place.  After entering the place where the event is being held, greet people as you meet them. Introduce yourself and the people who accompany you, with the others present at the venue. It would be wise to wait and try interacting with people for a while, after arriving. Do not start eating or drinking immediately after entering.


While greeting a man at the venue, offer your right hand with the palm facing sideways. While greeting a woman, offer your right hand with the palm facing upwards. Gently hold the woman’s fingers and lift it slightly. It is always safe to gift the host with something that matches the occasion. However, do not talk about business matters with the host as soon as you meet them.


Sitting before being asked to be seated, is considered ill-mannered. Wait till the host requests you to be seated. If you are with a woman, make sure you pull out her chair first. Only after having her comfortably seated, make yourself comfortable. When a woman leaves the table and arrives back, the men seated at the table, should stand up.


This is the main part where most of the formal etiquette rules are to be used. Wait for the host to unfold his/her napkin. Thereafter, place your napkin on your lap. The food should always be kept on your left, while the drink should be on your right. While food is being served, do not move your dining plate to the food. Wait until everyone on the table is served, only then start your meal. Also see that you do not make noise by slurping, burping or while chewing your food. Don’t speak while you have a morsel in your mouth. Use appropriate cutlery to lift the food. If you are uncertain as to which cutlery is to be used and how, wait for someone else to use it and then follow them.


Finally, once the event is over, thank the host for the hospitality. If you happen to leave early, or notice that the host is busy attending the other guests, leave him/her a thank you note, or make a courtesy call after the event.

Business is Ineffective without English!

English is now the global language of business. More and more multinational companies Airbus, Nokia, Samsung, Microsoft to name a few are mandating English as the common corporate language.

Why English Only?

The need to tightly coordinate tasks and work with customers and partners worldwide has accelerated the move toward English as the official language of business no matter where companies are headquartered.

Two primary reasons are driving the move toward English as a corporate standard.

Competitive pressure.

If you want to buy or sell, you have to be able to communicate with a diverse range of customers, suppliers, and other business partners. Companies that fail to devise a language strategy are essentially limiting their growth opportunities to the markets where their language is spoken.

Globalization of tasks and resources in Business and Technology

Language differences can cause problems when geographically dispersed employees have to work together to meet corporate goals. An employee from India may need input from an enterprise in London. Without common ground, communication will suffer. Better language comprehension gives employees more firsthand information, which is vital to good decision making.

English is spoken around the world. It has been estimated that out of the roughly 6 billion people that are alive today about 350 million speak English. English is the ideal language for many governments around the world, and it is also prominent in technology, education, world news, and communication. If you wish to be successful in international communication, learning English is incredibly important. In many places such as Asia, Africa, and South America, the ability to learn English will determine who will increase their living standards, and who will remain in poverty.

The Importance of English for Business and Jobs in Abroad

Many companies have discovered early in the 21st century that they can cut their costs of production by sending their jobs overseas. The proper term for this is outsourcing, or offshoring. Some companies have also found that they can cut costs by bringing immigrants into the country on work visas. The employees will work for the company for a given period of time, and once their visa has expired, they can return home. For someone living in a country where English is not the native language, they will need to master this language if they wish to travel to the United States to find a high paying job.

Many surveys have revealed facts of  how English has emerged as the default language for business around the world. Of those who interact with people in other countries, 61% say they use a language that’s not their native tongue. Luckily, it’s a global business challenge for which Global English has tailored an enterprise-wide solution.

In many countries where English is not the native language, you are considered highly educated if you can speak the language properly. You will be presented with a number of career opportunities, and you will have the option of staying home to work, or you could travel abroad. When you learn how to speak English, the opportunities are limitless.

Body Language & Grooming

You have to take care of the important details that create your overall image – such as the way your dress, your grooming, your body language, including etiquette –  you may lose the ability to be in control of the message you want to convey to others and influence how you are perceived by them.

It only takes 5 seconds to form a first impression.  Your grooming habits, for example, speak volumes about you long before you even open your mouth to speak to someone.  A shabby and dowdy person may be perceived by others as careless, disorganized, uncaring and incompetent. A well-groomed person will appear to be more trusting, organized, caring and competent.

 Dress & Grooming for Job Success

Many of us object to being judged for employment based on how we look. We prefer to be hired because of our skills and abilities, not because of our dress and grooming. But like it or not, appearance is important.

Employers hire people they believe will “fit” into their organization. Skills, experience, and qualifications are important, but so are dress and grooming. Your appearance expresses motivation and professionalism. Dress as though you want the job, as though you already have the job.

 First Impressions

Most of us have heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Remember this when preparing to meet with a prospective employer. The picture you create will greatly influence your chances of being hired. Most employers form a first impression during the first seven seconds of a meeting. Your attitude and confidence level are all affected by the clothes you wear. When people take the time to dress for success, they tend to feel good about themselves. Image alone will not win the job offer, but it will go a long way in building respect.


There are no absolute rules regarding dress. Your selection will vary based on your occupation, location and preference. A business suit for a construction job or overalls for an office job would not be appropriate dress. The goal is to look the part, to have your appearance be consistent with your occupation. Neat, clean work clothes would be suitable for assembly, production or warehouse positions. Sales and office positions require business clothes. A conservative suit would be the recommended style for professional and managerial positions.


Personal grooming is just as important as what you wear. You may select the right clothes, but neglecting personal hygiene can ruin the image you wish to present. Review the grooming checklist below before meeting with an employer.

 Goals of Appropriate Dress and Grooming

The primary goal is to “feel good” about the way you look and project a positive image. When you feel good about yourself, you naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude. These nonverbal messages are as important in the interview as the verbal skills you use in selling your qualifications.

Beware of Barriers in Communication

Communication is the accurate transfer of thoughts from the mind of one individual to the mind of another and his/her acceptance of those thoughts.  Therefore, effective communication is dependent upon the degree of understanding and acceptance that occurs between the sender and receiver of the message.

Barriers of Communication

All too often, the communication does not achieve the desired results because barriers to the communication process exist in others and us.  The principle barriers can be grouped into three broad categories: –


Physical barriers are environmental factors, which actually prohibit or limit the extent of communication, such as, distance, lack of time, noise, and external disruptions, such as, failure of mechanical equipment, etc.


Psychological barriers arise from personal differences in perspective between persons communicating with each other. Emotions, social values and differences in position in the organizational hierarchy can contribute to psychological distances between people that are as great as physical distances. In upward communication a subordinate may hesitate to tell his supervisor unfavorable news because he fears it may affect his relationship with his superior. For this reason the upward communication may be considerably slower than communication flowing downward.


Semantic barriers arise because much of what people say is subjective. Words and symbols, except in technical language, seldom have a single meaning, and they are not everything that is said based exclusively on facts. Words, such as, great, small, good and bad, are open to interpretation by the listener or reader. Thus, the intended meaning of a comment by the source may not be the same as the meaning accepted by the receiver.

Whenever we communicate, we need to be aware that these barriers may exist and to plan how to overcome them in the way we communicate.

Overcoming the Barriers:

There are three main ways in which the sender can help overcome the barriers to communication.

  1. EMPLOY FEEDBACK: This means making the communication a 2-way process.  Asking questions to check understanding or gain other input from the receiver.  In written communication feedback is not immediately available and this is a disadvantage of the method.  The only way to get feedback is through discussion before you write.
  2. KNOW YOUR RECEIVER: Consider educational background, knowledge of subject and interest in it as well as any information you may have on his/her personal feelings towards you as the sender.
  3. PLAN YOUR COMMUNICATION:  Ask yourself:
  • WHY am I communicating?
  • WHO is the receiver?
  • WHAT is the message?
  • HOW should I communicate?
  • WHERE should it be made?

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