Answering question is an Art

Answering question is an Art


Every day you speak with relatives, friends and strangers without needing preparation. Talking off the cuff, one-on-one is easy for most of us. When the quality of an impromptu speech is crucial, however, giving it becomes a huge problem.

One answer during the job interview may determine whether you get the job of your dreams or not. One answer during the Q&A session may determine how potential customers perceive your competence. One answer during the TV debates may determine whether you become club president or not.

No matter what you do, you will encounter situations where you need to speak impromptu, and success in life may be determined by your impromptu speaking skills. Find some tips below for your impromptu answer practice:

1. Answer the question as you understand it:

Example: “If you could vote for the most OUTSTANDING PERSON of the 20th century, who would you vote for and why?”

-> You may want to define what outstanding person means to you and bring up one outstanding person according to that definition.

2. Shift to what you are really good at telling:

Example: “If you could vote for the most outstanding person of the 20th century, who would you VOTE for and why?”

-> If you chose the word “vote” your answer might be, “When we try to decide who the most outstanding person in the 20th century is, or who the best candidate to become a president is, we vote. But is public voting the best way to make a selection?” Then you can talk about voting and alternative ways to make a decision. In this method, you can pick any word from the question and make a speech about it.

3. Answer part of the question:

Example: ““Do you agree with the following quote by Max De Pree, ‘The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.’?”

-> You can just pick any part of the question you liked and answer it. For example, you could answer the question, “Do you agree that the leader is a servant?” Or, you could instead answer the question, “Do you agree that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality?” It’s not always mandatory to answer the question completely; you can decide just to answer partially.

4. Tell a story & have a dialogue in your answer:

Example:”If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be?”

-> All world-class impromptu speakers use dialogues in their speeches because they know that dialogue is a magical tool that makes a speech engaging, real, and memorable. Every story is a combination of narration and dialogue, and your goal, as a speaker, is to find the right proportion. Most speakers have too little dialogue and too much narration in their impromptu speeches, so if you want to make your story engaging and memorable just increase the amount of dialogue in it. Dialogue is what turns an okay speech into an outstanding one.

5. Take a stance:

Example: “You won a full-tuition scholarship from a college in the US & have been in a relationship with a great partner in Vietnam. Would you rather stay with a great partner and don’t get scholarship or leave the partner and take the scholarship?”

-> Have you ever asked someone that question and it turned out they said it depends?

Although the speaker may say that they would leave the partner for the scholarship but it gives a definite point of view and it can be remembered for long time. One of the common mistakes that some speakers make is rattling off whatever comes to mind simply to fill up the time without making a stand. A good speech always has a message and a definitive point of view. Never be on the fence and never say “it depends.”

Learn more about The Art of Public Speaking course by click.

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