Imagine you’re a technical founder giving a presentation to investors or participating in a pitch competition. You’ve just finished your pitch, and now the floor is open for questions. It can be nerve-wracking, right? While preparing your presentation was challenging, handling unexpected questions can be even more so.
When it comes to answering questions, restate them first. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it ensures that you’ve understood the question correctly. Secondly, it allows everyone in the room, even those in the back, to hear the question. This is especially important if there are no microphones. Restating the question helps you maintain clarity and ensures everyone is on the same page.
But what if you don’t know the answer to a question? It happens to the best of us. In such cases, I encourage you to be confident enough to admit that you don’t know. This actually works in your favor. It demonstrates to the audience, especially investors, that you are coachable and humble enough to acknowledge your limitations. Investors want to work with people who are open to feedback and aren’t afraid to seek advice.
Taking it a step further, you can ask for their opinions on how to find the answer. This shows your willingness to learn and engage with your audience. In some cases, it might lead to valuable post-presentation discussions and networking opportunities.
In summary, when it comes to fielding questions after a pitch or presentation:
1. Restate the question to ensure clarity and inclusivity.
2. Don’t hesitate to admit when you don’t know the answer.
3. Be confident in your openness to feedback and your desire to learn.
Remember, nobody likes a know-it-all, and investors are more likely to invest in people who are willing to listen and grow. So, embrace the Q&A session as an opportunity to shine and connect with your audience.