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6 Essential Strategies for Handling Surprise Questions

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

🌟 Have you ever faced the challenge of handling unexpected questions and providing quick, on-the-spot answers with grace? In this video I share 6 essential strategies to navigate impromptu situations and maintain your composure when called to answer surprise questions.

1️⃣ Buy Yourself More Time to Think

Sometimes, you need a moment before you speak. It reduces the chance of reacting hastily and allows for a thoughtful response. Try these:

- 🔄 Repeat the Question

- 🤔 Ask for Clarification

- 🌟 Praise the Question

2️⃣ Diplomatically Acknowledge When You Don't Know

Admitting you don't know is better than making up answers that could harm your credibility. Consider saying, "I'm not familiar with that, but it sounds interesting. Let me get back to you with an answer."

3️⃣ Transfer Responsibility

Gracefully defer when the question is best answered by someone else or another department. For example, "I don't have that information. I imagine HR has the info you seek."

4️⃣ Change the Subject

When the question isn't relevant to the current discussion, acknowledge it and return to the topic. Say something like, "That's something we can discuss at another meeting."

5️⃣ Involve the Team

Leaders don't always need to have all the answers. In a meeting, empower your team and foster collaboration by saying, "Dave, what are your thoughts on Karen's question?"

6️⃣ Turn the Question Around

Encourage others to share their understanding by turning the question back to them. For instance, "Before I share my thoughts, what's your understanding of the issue?"


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