Control Your Questions

Have you ever watched a press conference? All of the journalists are sitting in neatly filed rows, crowding around clusters of microphones, notebooks and smart phones at the ready to catch every moment. The press conference begins, they listen patiently, waiting for the most wonderful words in the world – “We will now take a few questions.”

Everyone wants to be first. What happens when everyone is trying to get that first position? It turns a press conference into a bit of a circus. The same thing can happen on your conference calls. When the presentation finishes, most of the time, there’s an opportunity to make a comment or ask a question. Even on a conference call with three or four people, when you drop the green flag, everyone takes off at once.

A lot of people skip the queued Q&A session on a small conference, but I would suggest that you take advantage of it.  Not because you have too many questions or because it’s too “formal” but simply because you’ve seen Robert Gibb’s face when he opens the floor for questions. There’s a little bit of fear there. He knows he’s about to be standing in the middle of the raceway when the flag comes down for lap one.

Don’t be that guy. Use the queued Q&A features for your next call and take one question at a time. It’s still first come, first serve, but you don’t have to pick who got their hand up a split second before. It’s a race to see who can raise their hand faster than the person beside him.