Answering under pressure 101

We’ve all probably heard about the horrors of beauty queens answering the Q&A portions quite… infamously. While many would find it hilarious, the truth is just because we think they failed so miserably in that unfortunate scenario, doesn’t mean that they have such low intellectual capacity.

Talking in front of thousands of people is not a walk in the park (unless you are Ellen DeGeneres or Oprah), let alone answer a question while maintaining poise and grace.
While not all of us probably would experience being in such a situation, I’m sure several times in our lives we were or will be faced with the nerve-wracking challenge of answering a question on the spot or under pressure.
So whether that be an interview question, impromptu speech, or an on-the-spot inquiry from your boss, here are some simple tips to answering intellectually, with poise and grace under pressure:
Let’s have a sample question, “What can you say about Climate Change?”
1. Start with a fact – When faced with a question that you find difficult to answer, don’t just blurt out whatever comes first into your mind. While grasping for ideas and arranging your thoughts, try to think of existing information you already know or have heard of about the topic. Come on, you might know a thing or two about it.

Example:  “Climate change is a timely and relevant situation that is happening to the world right now.”

From there, you can expound more and bring more ideas plus you know that you had a relevant hook since you started with a fact.

2. Start with an opinion – This is a good way if you felt more ambushed than asked a question. Almost everybody has an opinion on everything especially in today’s era of social media. Just make sure that your opinion is still with integrity and respect.

Example: “For me, Climate change is a very real scenario that we shouldn’t try to ignore or deny.”

3. Start with a thought-provoking statement – What do you do when you are challenged, challenge them back! This is also a great way to hook audience’s attention and spark a  thought or idea from them.

Example: “An investment isn’t an investment if it destroys our planet.”

From there you could give an opinion or thought, link it with facts, and keep the ball rolling.

4. Start with a question

Example: “30 years from now, do you think your children will still see the beauty that Mother Earth has blessed us with?”

Just like the previous item, this is a way to engage the audience and at the same time can create a link of thoughts for both you and the listeners.

But wait, we cannot just start and not know how to close your answers and statements properly and with impact. Here’s two ways on how to do it:

5. End with a realization – Doing it this way conveys and reiterates your message and reminds the people that you said something note-worthy.

Example: “I have high hopes that soon everybody would realize that we could turn this threat to an opportunity to work together in saving our planet.”

6. End with a call to action – This is for me the best way to end any statement. (See, I used technique no. 2) Ending with a call-to-action not just sparks thoughts, but actions. A good mantra to keep in mind when speaking is:

“Make sure that when you speak others listen, and not only do they listen, they act.”

Example: “So to conclude, I would like to encourage each and everyone of us to not just be a bystander in this battle against Climate Change. If we work together, each small acts can create a big impact.”


So there, I hope these items gave you an idea or will help you in the future when answering confidently beautiful with a heart ❤







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