Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

Q&A: How to Think on Your Feet under Pressure

Have you ever watched a high-pressure press conference when reporters are asking tough questions and are receiving tough answers? Such high-pressure situations are uncommon, but it is likely that you will be asked at some point to participate in a question and answer session. Here are some ways that you can prepare for your next question and answer session.

  • Be mentally ready -- Avoid negative self-talk like, "I hope he doesn't ask me anything like that." Replace doubt and fear with a positive anticipation of a chance to make a positive impact and good impression.
  • Know your material - Being prepared to talk on your topic will go a long way to making you feel comfortable presenting.
  • Get into an example immediately - This will help keep your answers flowing freely. Personnel experiences are easy to recount, even in impromptu situations. Using an example will allow you to get into the swing of speaking and help eliminate jitters. An example will also help you immediately engage your listener's attention.
  • Speak with animation and force - When you speak with energy and forcefulness, your external animation will have a beneficial effect on your mental process. Once your body is animated, your mind will function at a rapid pace.
  • Keep on Topic - If the focus shifts off topic, make sure to bring it back to the main points of the topic.

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