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How to Avoid Panic in Presentations: Coping with Questions

How to Avoid Panic in Presentations: Coping with Questions

    I’m sure you’ve felt it: the horror at the end of a presentation (which, let’s face it, can be a bit of a trauma in its own right) when you ask the following:

    “Any questions?”

    There seems to be one of two ways things can go at that moment — and neither fills you with delight.

    Firstly, there’s the Tumbleweed Option. Silence. Nothing — save perhaps for an embarrassed cough. Was your presentation really so bad that no one could understand it enough to think of a coherent question? Did you run over time so badly no one wants to hold up the next speaker, or – more importantly – get to the coffee break? Did you give such a perfect presentation that all possible questions were answered? (Spoiler alert: You didn’t.)

    Option two is worse. The Killer Questions Option. At least with the Tumbleweed Option you’ve got the silver lining that you get to leave the stage sooner. With the Killer Questions Option you get to stay there and risk exposing your ignorance. For all its problems at least you can control the main body of your presentation — during questions everyone can hear you scream.

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    These are some of the most reliable ways of dealing with questions that I’ve researched. found or observed…

    Know your subject

    Yes, yes, everyone says this but I still see presenters who think they can research just enough about a topic to be able to deliver the presentation in question and no more. I’m sure there are valid reasons for doing this, but I can’t think of any offhand.

    Take a break and go over your presentation with a fresh mind (or better yet, give it to a friend) and see what questions spring to mind. The advantage of using your friends is that they’ll have a clearer mind. I know its obvious but it’s a great way to figure out what you might be asked.

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    Buy the local newspaper and The Daily Mail (in the UK). Between them you should get a reasonable idea of what the burning issues are for the area you’re speaking in. You’ll be amazed at how often a member of the audience will find a way of asking a question which is relevant to both what you said and what their personal or local issue is. If you’re talking about exercise, someone will ask you about the proposed local swimming pool. If you’re talking about using social media, someone will ask you about the ‘horrible new proposed mast’ for the mobile phone network (and whether it’ll cause X, Y or Z in the neighbourhood).

    Have a Question Bank

    if you ever get asked a question you’ve not been asked before, note it down, decide on an answer and record that answer for next time. By the time you’ve given a presentation half a dozen times you’ll have covered most of the bases.

    Draw yourself a mind map of the the presentation — or better yet — draw one on the whole topic area that you’re speaking about. You’ll have the big idea in the middle, secondary ideas going off as ‘tier one’ and smaller issues going off those as ‘tier two’ and so on. Most questions come from the outer fringes of the mind map, so look carefully at those and prepare your answers.

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    Most people care about their own lives, not the big issues — or at least how they intersect. For example, if you’re talking about the advantages of online training over face-to-face training, questions are less likely to be about the cognitive/recall issues of electronic learning (which is perhaps a tier one issue) as they are to be about whether your training will be accessible on their particular browser (as though they’re the only person in the world using that browser) despite the fact that you may have been very clear in your presentation that your material can be delivered on any browser.

    Wrapping up

    So there you have it – the some great ways of predicting and handling questions, based upon years as a presentation skills trainer, researcher and so on… of course (and this is based upon personal experience!) there’s always the option you don’t know the answer! :)

    I know, I know…some of these are obvious. But they’re not so obvious that people do it! Others, such as the Daily Mail and the Mind Map, are techniques we’ve developed ourselves over the years and work for us.

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    And given that we’re professional presenters and trainers, we can’t afford to screw up…so they’re pretty thoroughly tested.

    (Photo credit: Many raised fingers in class at university via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on October 18, 2018

    The Top 10 Dating Apps That You Won’t Regret Downloading

    The Top 10 Dating Apps That You Won’t Regret Downloading

    Online dating is getting much more popular these days and now, plenty hard to avoid. Since Tinder and the wave of new apps that are coming out at a seemingly constant rate, it is becoming that much more popular to meet someone online.

    So we have put together the top 10  dating apps that you should be ready  to download in 2015.

    10. Tangle

    Basically a newer version of Missed Connections Craigslist, it matches you with people you walk by who are on the same app, and then if you both like each other, you can contact each other. It’s as simple and fun as Tinder, once you happen to walk by someone you actually like.

    tangle

      9. The Dating Ring

      This one is a professional matchmaking service that takes you out of the dating situation. For the more busy daters out there, it’s a great resource, as they seem to take the work out if to for you and you can then relax and get set up on dates as opposed to doing the research up front.

      The price is per date or monthly subscription.

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      dating ring

        8. Ok Cupid

        A traditional site, but also an oldie and a goodie. Although you can be swarmed with many creeper messages, there are still a handful of quality users on the site that can make all the bad ones seem so much less important.

        You can search for people based on your preferences, get a match of the day, and see who is online. OkCupid also offers in-person single event mixers, which are a great way to actually get out of the house and date more, once you’re ready.

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          7. The Grade

          This new app measures you as an eligible date based on a grade. It grades on a scale of A to F, based on things like your messages and pictures.

          It’s a great way to weed out the creeper messages that women tend to get more, but also promotes better online dating behavior and not hiding behind a profile.

          the grade

            6. Siren

            Siren is a Q&A platform and based on the answers to the questions the women asks, she can then control who can see them in the app. It also features a question of the day, to which users can answer and see each other’s answers to generate conversations.

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            Finally, for women, there’s the feature of a “siren call,” which allows for an announcement to basically call out to all the gentlemen in the app.  It’s a unique app, but the whole idea of submitting questions before you see the female user behind the question is not the best motivation to keep playing if your matches end up being someone you are attracted too.

            Siren

              5. Coffee Meets Bagel

              Here, you get a ‘bagel’ match a day based on your personal preferences. If you both end up liking each other, a private chat is set up that expires after a week.

              Coffee Meet Bagel lets you focus on one match a day as opposed to many many matches to sift through. Although it isn’t as high frequency as Tinder, for example, it is typically for more serious daters and people generally seem more engaged on the app.

              There are less things to worry about and no more multitasking!

              CMB

                4. Tinder

                The one that inspired and started making online dating cooler. Swipe right to like a profile, swipe left to pass.

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                And should you choose, you can connect with the users that only swipe right. Yes, Tinder can feature many creepy users and people only looking for hook ups, but it’s fun, easy and addicting to use.

                tinder

                  3. Bumble

                  A women-centric new app that launched this past Fall, Bumble is similar to the Tinder format except that women need to make the first move 24 hours after a match is made or the connection disappears forever.

                  So far a great app with a good design, and since it launched internationally, you can end up matching with someone across the country. A great way to filter through the empty swipes and bots.

                  bumble

                    2. Hinge

                    Less random than Tinder, Hinge users only get matched with friends of friends, which seems like a safer and cooler way to match than with random people. It also limits the amount of matches you get per day based on your network, which weeds out the many bots that are becoming ever so normal on Tinder.

                    You also get to see a match’s education and work upfront. Then, you rate the match and the app sends you an introduction if it’s mutual.

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                      1. The Catch

                      Finally, something different than the Tinder wanna-be instant swipe. The Catch appears as a cross between “The Bachelorette” and “The Dating Game.”

                      Women are in the driving seat where they invite a group of men to play a Q&A game and narrow down the men contestants based on the guys’ answers. The combination of online gaming mechanics and the ‘thrill-of-the-chase’ attraction of real world dating provide a fundamentally more fun and entertaining way to find a match online.

                      And what’s more, men don’t need to spend hours and hours sorting through profiles and messaging women who don’t reply back. Instead, here they are invited to a game and get daily engagement that isn’t the old “swipe,” while women get to ask questions they care about the answers to, as opposed to a stock questionnaire.

                      thecatch.co

                        Featured photo credit: none via eu.fotolia.com

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