Handling Difficult Questions
Whenever you put yourself in front of the public, you should be prepared for someone in the crowd to ask you a difficult question. How you respond will leave a strong impression on the audience. You may or may not have the answer to the question you are asked. Either way, you should respond with empathy, sincerity, and a suggestion of action or assistance.
- Express empathy or concern (see below).
- Relate a personal story or cite an analogy that shows you identify with the questioner’s concern.
- Start with the conclusion. Present the facts.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Provide two facts. Make sure at least one fact is supported by a credible third party.
- Repeat your conclusion.
If you don't know the answer to a question, say “I don’t know.” If possible, offer to find out the answer and respond at a later time.