Business Analyst Tip: Preparing an Important Presentation includes Preparing for Questions and Objections

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You have an important presentation coming up.  You create the presentation. You get it reviewed.  You run it by the person who is great with power point to make it spiffier.  You practice.  You try it out on a colleague; they tell you you have it nailed.  You’re ready—or are you? 

According to a recent article in UT News, an important part of your prep is being sure you can handle any questions or objections during your presentation.  How Speakers Handle Questions During Presentations is Just as Important as  Delivery, Study Shows points out that “…researchers found that how speakers respond to questions and objections affects audiences’ perceptions as much or more than the quality of the delivery.”

As business analysts, we’re often presenting on subject matter we know really well.  Regardless, when stepping into an important presentation, it’s good to ask yourself—what questions might the audience ask?  What might people find objectionable?  If you know the answers, great!  If not, find out. If you’ve practiced your presentation with a colleague, or have a colleague who can review the presentation, ask them to play devil’s advocate and hit you with every question or objection they can.  Be sure you’re armed with answers.

And, finally, remember, if you’re presenting and simply don’t know the answer to a question, a confident “I don’t know, I will get back to you” builds more credibility than trying to fool people; most see through it.


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