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How to answer questions you don’t know the answer to

After you do your concise presentation you’re hopefully going to get a lot of questions. Here are some important tips to consider when you don’t know the answer cold:

  1. Take a moment to think about the question. You can even say “Hmmm… that’s a good question. Let me think about that for a second.” Folks appreciate a little consideration when someone takes a
    question.
  2. If you don’t have an answer be honest and say you don’t. There are many ways to say this including: “I’m not really sure, I’m going to have to think about that for a bit and get back to you,” or “I’m not sure to be honest. What do you think?”
  3. Feel free to think out loud and brainstorm with the person. You can do this by saying “I’ve never really considered that. Perhaps you can expand the question a little and we can explore it right now.”
  4. If you’re not sure of the answer you can always say you’ll cross that bridge when you come to it. “I’m not sure how we would deal with a sudden spike in the cost of bandwidth, we would have to collect more information and answer that question down the road. It is a manageable risk factor I suppose.

The worst thing to do when you don’t have an answer is b.s. the person. No one has an answer for everything, except a b.s. artists. So, feel free to say you don’t know–folks find it refreshingly humble and honest.