Category Q&A

Mailbag: Questions from the Online Road

I’ve had the recent pleasure of speaking before audiences at the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics and the National Press Club. The appearances have all been on Zoom. There are many drawbacks to that technology, chief among them the lack of audience interaction before, during, and after the presentation. That said, there is one […]


For a couple of years I’ve been compiling a list. No, it’s not a list of gifts I want for my birthday. Or a list of who’s naughty and nice (though, come to think of it, that one merits some thought). This list is one that helps avoid a Q&A faux pas — turning things […]

Persuasion Demands Immediacy

Much of the seminal research into nonverbal communications was conducted in the 1970s by Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA. He found one of the most persuasive nonverbal indicators to be the immediacy of communication. Just think how important this becomes when you take questions from the audience, engage in an interview with […]

Beware the Agenda Hog

You’ve no doubt seen it. You may even have been victimized by it during one of your presentations. It’s the Agenda Hog. They are all too common at public forums open to anyone. How can you spot an Agenda Hog? Easy. They crave the spotlight and try to dominate the proceedings. They typically feel they […]

The Advantages of Q&A

There are numerous advantages to opening up the floor to questions during your presentations. It tends to keep the audience engaged, making them an active part of the program and giving them a chance to contribute. It behooves you to remain generous in sharing your spotlight, provided the questioner doesn’t morph into an Agenda Hog, […]

Prep Time for Q&A

Audiences remember stupid things if a speaker gives them good reason. They will long carry a vivid memory of the presenter who stammered, shook, sweated, and recoiled when asked even the simplest question. The question and answer session is the make or break part of any presentation. That is one of the basic truths about […]

Can I Quote You on That?

The quotes from your C-suite officer following that media interview didn’t turn out quite as positive as you imagined. Gee, What a Nice Person The reporter seemed nice enough. She was polite to a fault, listened attentively, and took copious notes while nodding his head. Your executive thought all went well, although — oops — […]