“Sally, I hate Q&A’s! Help!”
Haha, I thought this would be a good one to start with on my Q & A episode.
Ok – I hear this one a lot. I know, I know – it’s improv vs. your scripted scene. It’s unpredictable, can be scary – and oh my goodness, what if I get challenged??
A few things:
- Focus on the person. Think of it as a conversation. Assume good intentions, not challenge. Really listen for what they’re asking… they might be asking something they’re not using words to ask, so there’s some EQ required in these moments… and you have to put yourself aside to be really present with this person who is bravely standing up to share their ideas.
- You don’t have to pretend to know something you don’t know. Know what you know and share it with confidence. Speak to what you know, and honor other people for what THEY know. It’s totally ok to say. “Wow, that’s a great question and I’m not sure I have the answer for you at the moment…. but here’s what I CAN say…”
- Don’t forget CONTEXT when you frame up your answer. Most people jump to the nitty-gritty of the answer, but in all things context rules. So, take that opportunity to step back one layer and share WHY or WHERE your answer comes from. It will bring out more depth, and help people walk into your answer with more understanding.