The ultimate question about questions is, ‘How to handle questions during a public speech or presentation?’ You always have to step back first and analyze the broader situation. There are are certain contexts that are highly relevant. If you are giving a political rally in front of thousands of speakers in a limited length speech, then you cannot take questions. Other times, when you are in a highly regulated environment, like giving a pitch to a company, things are very structured and questions happen in the end. So there maybe times when you cannot take questions.

However, most speaking opportunities in business, government, and civic life, you speak to smaller crowds with no rigid time constraints. My default recommendation is to answer the questions in real time. You may say that it disrupts your flow, but you must remember that it is the audience’s presentation.

There are so many advantages of taking live questions as you speak. It shows you are listening to them, it creates variety in the room, it helps clarify points that may be unclear to many listeners, and it will create interest in the asker and everyone else in the room. It shows that you know your stuff and are not just reading off a canned speech.

So remember, someone asking questions is a good thing. It shows they are listening, interested, and curious to learn more. If you do feel that someone is asking too many questions, politely request to see them later so you can answer them in detail and invite anyone interested to join you.

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