How to tackle aggressive questions from your presentation audience

No matter how well have your prepared your presentation and how effectively you have delivered it, your real skills get reflected when you deal with the questions of your audience at the end of your presentation session. Many a times, your audience will ask questions that are conflicting or aggressive in nature. Now, if you are unable to answer them, your reputation might be at stake. The effectiveness of your complete presentation may go to dust if you are unable to handle the difficult questions posed in front of you. Thus, it is very essential to face the audience with confidence and answer their questions to satisfaction.


The real solution is to deal with the unexpectedness that occurs when you face a question or reaction to your surprise. Aggressive questions are generally difficult to answer because we hardly anticipate them. However, you should tackle them authoritatively yet calmly. The first thing you can do to handle aggressive questions is to listen carefully to them and understand what is being asked. If there was noise at the background or you were unable to hear the question, you should ask the person to repeat the question. Giving an answer without properly listening to the question might offend the person even more.

Secondly, you should not be judgmental about the person asking the question and should remain poised while answering. Your body language should never convey any kind of disrespect, annoyance or defense against the questioner. Remember that every question should be recognized and given importance. The next thing to tackle an aggressive question is to neutralize it. If you adopt an attacking or defensive mode, this can make the situation worse. You should also avoid invalidating someone’s question. Just try to mold an aggressive question into a more positive or neutral statement.

Businesswoman Writing on White Board and Businessman at Table

You should note the keywords that the questioner has used in his/her question and try to replace them with some positive-sounding words. This also maintains the respect for the questioner. Additionally, use a neutral tone while answering any aggressive or complex question. Even if a person is confused about the topic you have presented on and is asking a strange question, you should treat his/her question with respect. Recognize it in a humble way and try giving a brief explanation to make him/her better understand that topic. In case someone asks something that has already been explained multiple times, you should just spare him/her an embarrassment by suggesting him/her to receive a detailed explanation during a break. Your audience will truly appreciate this.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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