Audience question got you stumped?

What to say when you don't know the answer to a question 🧐

Try this...

Own Your ‘Ignorance!’

What do you mean?!
Audiences are far more likely to respect and trust you if you’re honest. Blagging your way through an answer in an attempt to save face will not fool anyone.

So what should I do instead?
Step 1: Take a pause ⏸️
Take a moment to process the question (in fact, do this after every question you're asked). Not only does this buy you time, it helps the questioner to feel heard.

Don’t believe me? Watch this 👇

Steve Jobs took 6 seconds to pause before answering this heckle. Notice how the longer he paused the greater his authority?

Step 2: Own Your ‘Ignorance’ 🤷
There is power in admitting you don’t have all the answers. So deliver these three words confidently and without an apology:

‘I don’t know…

Step 3: Offer a path forward 🛣️
The path forward is why you can feel confident. Here are three routes you can take in this situation:

… but here’s what I do know…’
… but I bet there’s someone in the room who does…’
… but I’ll get you an answer by close of play today.’

Why does this work?
This isn’t a cross-examination. Admitting the gaps in your knowledge not only makes you more authentic, it makes you more relatable too.

Bonus tip:
Every question you’re asked will deliver an important insight into the wants and needs of your audience. Approach them with curiosity. Think of them as an opportunity to learn.

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