The Coach's Corner: Quick Success Tips from the Carnegie Coach

Tips for Creating Engagement During Your Presentation


Ask a question and give people time to think. Don't rush to fill the silence.

You don't always have to have the answer. Sometimes, it is appropriate to offer to find the answer and get back to them or to turn the question back to the group for ideas.

Don't grade questions by saying, "That's a good question."

You want to thank those who respond to your questions by saying things like, "Thanks," "That's it," or "Sure."

If one person answers a question with an incorrect or inappropriate answer, help that person to save face. Take any part of the response that is correct and edit the rest to make it a correct statement.

Your voice, face, and body language must tell your participants that you want questions and responses.

Make eye contact so people feel you are communicating with them.

Avoid questions that have obvious "correct" answers, especially rhetorical questions.

Avoid asking questions that offer a "yes/no" response, unless it is to take a quick survey of the group.

Unless you are testing participant knowledge, don't ask questions that have one correct answer. Give some context, and then ask a question.

Put information into questions so that participants have enough context to respond correctly.

Prepare questions in advance to stimulate thinking, create interest, and add transfer of training value.

Always listen carefully to ensure you understand the full picture. Often, presenters listen selectively for expected responses and miss key points.

Be prepared to drop your agenda to focus on hot topics for the group.