32 ways to handle presentation questions using Business English

Let’s face it… At the end of a presentation, the questions can be terrifying for many speakers as they can’t be controlled and are hard to prepare for. For non-native speakers, particularly, it’s essential to be well prepared, and part of this preparation means knowing the phrases to handle questions!

In this lesson, you will learn the ‘Top 32 ways to handle Presentation Questions using Business English.’ Watch the lesson and then read the article for examples.

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CLARIFYING QUESTIONS
The presenter checks that they’ve understood the question from the audience correctly.
A customer has called to the office and you pick up the phone.

  1. “I’m sorry, could you repeat your question please?”
  2. “So, if I understood you correctly, you’d like to know whether [there will beredundancies in our organisation?”]
  3. “So, in other words, you would like to know whether [the databasepurchase will ensure efficiency?”]
  4. “Does that answer your question?”
  5. “I’m afraid I didn’t quite catch that.”
  6. “If I could just rephrase your question. You’d like to know [if these securitystandards are the minimum?”]

CHECKING WHETHER THE AUDIENCE MEMBER IS SATISFIED
An audience member has asked a question.
The presenter answers and then checks to see that they’ve understood.

7. “Does that answer your question?”

8. “Is that clearer now?”

9. “Is that the kind of information you were looking for?”


RESPONSES TO GOOD QUESTIONS
The presenter acknowledges that an audience member has asked a good question.

10. “Good point.”

11 “I’m glad you asked that.”

12. “That’s a very good question.”


ADMITTING YOU DON”T KNOW
Sometimes the presenter might not know the answer to an audience member’s question.

13. “I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’ll aim to find out for you.”

14.. “Sorry I don’t know that off the top of my head.”

15. “Sorry, that’s not my area of expertise but I’m sure [Steve Beesley from the Research Department] could answer your question.”

16. “I’m afraid I’m not in a position to answer that question at the moment.”


RESPONSES TO IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS
Sometimes an audience member will ask a question that is not relevant to the presentation, and the presenter responds accordingly.

17. That’s not really my area of expertise.”

18. “Well, I think that goes beyond the scope of my expertise.”

19. “To be honest, I think that raises a different issue.”


AVOID GIVING AN ANSWER
The presenter may get a difficult or awkward question and avoid answering.

20. If you don’t mind, could we discuss that on another occasion?”

21. “I’m afraid that’s not really what we’re discussing today.”

22. “Well actually, I’d prefer not to discuss that today.”


POSTPONING QUESTIONS
The presenter assures the audience member that there will be an opportunity to revisit the question later on in the session.

23. “If you don’t mind, I’ll come back to this point later on in the presentation.”

24. “Can we get back to this point a bit later?”

25. “I will definitely answer your question towards the end of the presentation.”

26. “Would you mind waiting until the Question and Answer session at the end?”

27. “Perhaps we could go over this after the presentation?”


SUMMARISING AFTER INTERRUPTIONS
An audience member interrupted and asked a question.
Therefore, the presenter needs to remain composed in directing the audience back to the presentation.

28. “So, now I’d like to go back to what we were discussing earlier.”

29. “Before we go on, let me summarise the main points we’ve discussed.”


CLOSING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The presenter gives the audience the option to ask any final questions.

30. “I think we have time for one more question…”

31. “So, if there are no further questions, [it’s time to end my presentation and thank you all for coming today.”]

32. “If there are no further questions, I’ll finish there. Thank you very much.”

LESSON END.

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