PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

If someone asks you about a point you will be covering later in your presentation, is it okay to promise you will address it later, or should you answer?

I find it works best to do both.

By that I mean, give a brief answer that provides some value and then promise more information later.

Some presenters, determined to stay on track, will wave off a premature question with a quick “I’ll be getting to that later,” or “Please hold that question for now.  I promise I’ll answer it soon.”  Being so unaccommodating can come across as rude and discourage even timely questions from other audience members.    

A more considerate approach is to briefly answer the question and then promise more detail later.  It is true that these changes will lengthen our delivery times.  However, I have a slide coming later that shows how we can compensate for that.

Of course, if someone in a position of power is posing the premature question, you may have to go into more detail than you otherwise would.  But even then, you should be able to promise further detail later in the presentation. 

The key is to be both responsive to your audience and committed to your planned message.

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