Ways to Respond to Difficult Questions During a Business Pitch

It is an excellent idea to open up the floor for questions after you present. It allows you to engage with the people in the room and find out what they think of your presentation. There are times when you face friendly people who will ask easy questions that are only somehow validating the things you already discussed. However, you might encounter people who will make it tough on you. If you face these questions, you need to remember these tips to respond well.

Do not fight back  

When someone asks a tough question, it does not mean that your ideas are terrible. It also does not say that you did not do a great job. Therefore, you do not need to be aggressive and defensive. Accept the question and thank the person who raised it.

Pause and think

If the questions are too difficult and you do not know the answer right away, it helps if you pause first. You do not want to say everything out loud as you might say the wrong words. As you break, try to recall your notes and the discussions you had with other people in your team. You should only speak once you know the answer.

Do not feel afraid to be honest

If you do not have an idea how to answer the question or you are unsure of it, you need to be honest about how you feel. You do not want to pretend that you know everything since you could end up being wrong. You can say that you will do further research regarding the question. You can also ask someone else in your team to answer on your behalf if you feel like someone else can answer the question better than you.

Refer to your slides

It helps if you prepare slides when you present. They serve as a guide for people who could not catch everything that you said. When you do not know the answer, you can go back to the slide that contains the solution and show it to the people in the room. It also buys you time to think of an appropriate response. To let everybody see what is on the slide, you can use a TV display stand. It is cheap, and it is useful during business presentations.

Crack a joke

You might want to make the room feel relaxed if the question seems to be tough to answer. You can do the same when you feel tension in the room. By cracking a joke, you can somehow lighten the mood. As long as the jokes are still relevant to what you are going to say next and they do not offend anyone, you have nothing to worry about. Make sure the jokes are funny though as they could fall flat and embarrass you further.

Handling difficult questions might break you. Instead of convincing people because of an excellent pitch, they could change their minds because you bombed in the question and answer portion. It helps to practice answering possible questions with another person.