In-class activity for Q&A

Stephanie Patterson of gives advice about preparing for question and answer sessions. In my experience, many textbooks treat this topic as an afterthought and it can be hard to find good advice and activities for students — and it is a component of the speech that students find especially stressful.

Some of the advice in this column could make students more nervous like “anticipate EVERY question” but there are also good tips here, such as: don’t fake answers and watch your body language.

One thing described in the post could be developed into an in-class activity. Patterson calls it an Audience Journey — list what the audience thinks, feels and believes about the topic before the presentation and what you want them to think, feel and believe at the end. As part of this process, make a list of what kinds of questions you may have to address. If any of those questions are not already in the presentation, then they either should be worked into the speech or you should prepare answers to them and expect them to come up in the Q&A.

Completed on their own (possibly as a homework assignment) or in small groups in class, this activity would be a great way to help students anticipate questions and learn to prepare for them.

Link to article


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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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