Effective Public Speaking Q&A Session

Effective public speaking doesn't always mean addressing an audience of thousands. It could be a presentation at your school, workplace or even a small talk among friends on informative address topics. Here's how to handle a Question and Answer session afterwards:

Note: if you look for speech ideas - see the large index at my homepage. Before you proceed to my tips, realize that most of us still think that capability in public speaking is usually reserved for those who have all the answers, correct? :-) Nope, that is a common misunderstanding ... Now read further to get a jump start when brainstorming for effective public speaking.

If you are required to give a presentation at school or work then you know that a question and answer session could follow. Knowing your material is essential but it doesn't require that you know all the information, people ask because they want to dig deeper.

This is also a challenge to you and opens up doors to effective public speaking that you might not have thought about.


Speech topics are often varied. If you have ever listened to a public speaker who is good at delivering the idea then you know that a formula is followed. The item is outlined, presented and then expanded upon.

If it is a small group of people in attendance then they may be jotting down some notes while you are speaking. A Q&A session allows your ideas to get tossed around or for questions to be answered in more detail or if you want to lead with bits of information.

That is good sign! It even may help to overcome your fear.

Stick To Your Content
The best way to handle the expected Q&A is to stay on point with your material, the content of your speech topic. Effective public speaking should not turn into a debate but rather stay in a comfortable conversational mode.

Make Notes
Remember, if you ask for questions at the end, be prepared to answer them. It's best to have your notes in an outline form so if somebody asks about something you spoke about in the beginning of your speech you can refer back to your notes.

Reiterate Key Points
A good way to answer sticky things that may arise is to reiterate your key points at the end of your address. This enhances your effective public speaking efforts.

Repeat The Question
You should always bounce inappropriate public address topics back to the audience. If you have a microphone use it, many times a person who is asking does not project their voice as loud as you will be able to.

Just Give Clarification
Make sure to answer without making another speech topic out of it, many times people just need clarification about a point they have. You should address them, answer and then move onto the next person.

What If You Don't Know?
If you are unsure about an answer never give up information that you are not sure about. A closed setting is more intimate and people will note that you might not know your information as well.

Sticking with your expertise on a subject allows you to command the answer. If you don't know the answer, find out by letting them know that you will get back to them on it. Don't fake it just to make it.

Encourage Them To Ask
Effective public speaking gives you an opportunity to present the best effective speaking ideas that people are interested in. If they do then you have sparked something in your delivery.

Open End
A great way to know the material is leave your ending part open for inquiry. Do not give all information in your speech topic itself but encourage people to participate.

Bottomline: Withhold some bites of information and hope people ask for more, give them enough information that they will want to ask questions :-)