By Joey Asher

Category: Q&A

Want to be a superstar at your next presentation? Take lots of questions.

That will allow you to tap into what I call “The Matador Effect.”

Let me explain.

Who gets paid the most at a bullfight?

The Matador! Why? Because he’s the one who stands in the ring and responds to the bull’s angry thrusts, dodging and waving his cape until the bull finally succumbs. He’s the one who stands up to the risk and, if successful, wins the admiration of the crowd.

A presenter who handles Q&A well is a lot like a good Matador. Like the Matador, the speaker must respond to all the thrusts and parries from the audience, defending her conclusions and her data.

To be sure, it’s a tricky business answering all the questions effectively. But, as with the Matador, if you do it well, there’s a huge payoff. People will be inspired by your skill and will buy into your position.

Of course that means you have to prepare for the questions. There’s no secret here. You have to write down all the possible questions that you might expect.

When I was practicing law, we would prepare for a court appearance by writing down all the questions we would expect from the judge or opposing counsel. We found it quite easy to predict virtually all the questions.

Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State, once started a press conference by saying, “Does anyone have questions for my answers?”

There’s someone that knew how to prepare for questions. He was a true Matador.

Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, or on the web at

Joey Asher

Joey is the President of Speechworks, a communication and selling skills coaching firm. He has worked with thousands of professionals, helping them learn to communicate in a way that connects with clients and audiences. He is also the author of four books on communication skills: “15 Minutes Including Q&A: a Plan to Save the World from Lousy Presentations,” “How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals That Will Distinguish You from the Competition,” “Selling and Communication Skills for Lawyers,” and “Even A Geek Can Speak.” He can be reached at 404-266-0888 or

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