They never ask me any questions
There are three possible reasons for that embarrassing silence when questions
are invited: either your presentation is perfect in content and clarity (unlikely), or
they're not interested in the subject (bad luck!), or (quite probably) you're
handling it wrong.
Make it clear you want questions. At key points, say: "Some of you might want
to return to this…"; "This often leads to discussion…"; "I'm courting
Change gear. Your adrenaline is high at the very end of your performance. Take
a drink, switch the machines off, put your notes away, get comfortable, invite
Scan the room. The person with the ice-breaking question in his mind might be
shy; seek him out with your eyes, and gently invite him to speak out. Then treat
his question very kindly, to encourage others.
Plant a question. Arrange in advance for a friend or colleague to ask you a nice
easy one to get the ball rolling.
Ask yourself a question. If the silence goes on, say: "Perhaps we should look
deeper into A/B/C"; "I don't think I did full justice to X/Y/Z…"
Click around the other advice sections for more tabloid tips, or
go to Books or contact us for a fuller treatment.
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