Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Answering Audience Questions

Someone asked me how I prepare for the questions I get as a speaker, from my audience members so that I can answer them without the help of cue cards or notes.

First of all, I always take questions following a lecture, keynote or presentation.  It is a common site for me as a speaker to have a line of people waiting at the front of the room when I come off of the stage. At conferences, I do my best to return to my book-signing table so that I can greet my audience members and hear their encouraging words of how much they enjoyed my presentation.

Running a speaking business means preparing for questions by knowing my passion, my material, and everything possible about my field of expertise. And with the ability to “stand in my client’s shoes,” I’m also able to anticipate my customers or audience member’s questions as a speaker

Some of the questions I get are about my competition or other authors or parenting experts. So I'm constantly reading other parenting experts materials or website to get to know them. I like to know exactly what makes them similar to or different from me so that I can answer my potential client's question.

If I can't answer the question, I get the person's contact info and promise to get back to them with the answer. If I get a question that has a long answer, I ask the person to see me following the event so that I don't hold up the rest of my audience and can provide an adequate answer. So, to recap, preparing for questions means becoming a true expert in your passion or your field of expertise; READ, LEARN AND READ SOME MORE.

Find more tips for building your speaking business in m book FROM THE SOAPBOX TO THE STAGE: HOW TO USE YOUR PASSION TO START A SPEAKING BUSINESS (