Q & A in Presentations

Professionally Speaking...

Each time you make a presentation, you have a decision to make about how to handle questions. Will you announce a specific time for Q & A? Q: Which option is best? Why would you stifle that by doggedly sticking to a predetermined script?

15 Minutes - Including Q & A - A Book Review

Dahle Communication

I am sure most of you have asked a simple question: "Why are these presentations so bad?" " Well, there are a lot of reasons to be sure. His concept: no presentation should last longer than 15 minutes - and that includes the Q & A time as well.

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Snakes, ladders & the folly of Q-A campaigning

Max Atkinson

I began the year by raising the question of whether interviews ever deliver anything but bad news for politicians and boredom for audiences , since when I've posted some illustrative videos, like yesterday's example of a gaffe from Mrs Thatcher in her final interview during the 1987 general election. As we move towards a general election that promises little in the way of speeches, rallies or excitement , here's a reminder of just how tedious Q-A campaigning can be.

20th 'LibDem' blog in the 2010 Total Politics poll

Max Atkinson

I'd like to thank everyone whose votes took this blog into the top 20 LibDem blogs in the 2010 Total Politics poll - 36 places higher than its first appearance in 2009. As I said then, ' I can only assume that the votes came from people old enough to remember the days when I was invoved as speech advisor/writer/coach to former LibDem leader Paddy Ashdown - and who think (incorrectly) that I carried on in a similar capacity with all the leaders since then'.

0% of viewers remember all the points made in a BBC PowerPoint-style news presentation

Max Atkinson

I'd been invited to talk about PowerPoint to the Council of the Management Consultancies Association between the starter and the main course, with a Q-A session scheduled to take place after the diners had finished eating their main courses. So I ended my talk with the following clip from a BBC Television News broadcast on the financial crisis, in which business editor Robert Peston gives us a 36 second presentation from the other side of the studio.

Why has British political oratory been banished to the sidelines?

Max Atkinson

My recent blogpost on the decline of oratory prompted an open letter from David Murray, Editor of Vital Speeches of the Day , with three questions that I ought to have a go at answering: An Open Letter to Max Atkinson Dear Mr. Atkinson, In the latest post on your excellent blog plainly-enough named Max Atkinson’s Blog, you applaud a writer from The Independent , for echoing your long held view that, in England anyway, the once-celebrated art of oratory is going to hell in a hand basket.

2011 23

Politicians and broadcasters in the UK: collaboration or capitulation?

Max Atkinson

Now that the rights to my book Our Masters' Voices: the Language and Body Language of Politics (1984) have reverted to me, I'm planning to republish it with additional material on, among other things, how British political communication and media coverage of politics has changed during the past quarter of a century. It's quite a bit longer than my usual posts - so take your time and/or read it in bits. by taking to the hills to fight a guerilla war).

What do Liberal Democrats expect from the 'return' of Dr Death (aka David Owen)?

Max Atkinson

Surprising, yes, but I don't know if 'return' is the right word for someone who left the Labour Party to form a new one (the SDP) that would be ruled by one-member-one-vote, only to ignore his own party's majority vote to merge with the Liberals in 1988. Nor do I know if Owen's 'return' will include a speech at the Liberal Democrat conference next week. Mark Pack reminds us of Owen's depiction of the SDP - with a rather neat alliterative contrast - as the 'tough but tender party'.

Boris Johnson's Sunday morning meeting with Eddie Mair

Max Atkinson

Vivid evidence of the damage a politician can do to himself was provided yesterday morning on a TV show in which interviews play a major part, and where the producers' best hope is that an interviewee will say something - or, better still, say some things - that will attract much wider media attention than the show normally enjoys.