Posts Tagged ‘Mark Ein’

FAQ: About Q&A’s [Part 1]

FAQWhen executives are invited to speak, they are usually asked to take questions after the formal presentation. Q&A sessions are always a little risky, because they are out of your control. You decide exactly what you want say in your speech, but what listeners wants to ask is (usually) their choice. The good news is you can manage that risk and make Q&A time work for you, but only if you prepare. In the next couple blogs, I’ll offer some thoughts on how to do that.

The most obvious way to prepare is to work with staff or friends to try to anticipate possible questions (especially tough ones), come up with good answers, and then learn those answers cold. If you’re writing for an executive, make sure he or she is never “too busy” for that kind of advance work. If you’re the exec, make time to prepare.

At the same time, keep in mind that sharing your knowledge or opinions is only one of the goals of answering audience questions. Another important goal is showing that you’re a leader, someone audience members should take seriously. The best way to do that is to stay calm under pressure.

That’s true even if you’re asked a question that stumps you. Mark Ein, CEO of Venturehouse Group, LLC, a long-time Washington, DC investor and entrepreneur told me the way to handle a stumper is to keep cool, acknowledge that the question is a good one, you don’t have answer right now and but will give it more thought.

Above all, don’t fake it! I guarantee that giving a phony answer will come back to haunt you.

Mind Those Q’s and A’s

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As the economy recovers, more capital is becoming available for ventures. But when you walk into a room full of cynical people to ask for money, don’t forget your Q’s & A’s.
That’s the clear message I got when I spoke with successful folks who’ve been on both sides of venture capital pitches.

As Mark Ein, CEO of Venturehouse Group LLC says “I end up learning a lot more once the prepared presentation ends and the dialogue begins.”

In a recent edition of my column in the Washington Business Journal,  “Speaking to Rise,” I share some of the ways Ein and others advise entrepreneurs to prepare themselves to handle questions from potential investors.

One key tip from presentation coach Khris Baxter: “Projecting confidence is key, so whatever question they throw at you, stay calm and cool.”

You can read the rest of the tips here.