In the Line of Fire

Special announcement: We are rebranding our blog! It will now be called the Sales Ninja blog. All you long-time Jewell Insights fans, have no fear — we’ll still be publishing the same great content, just under a new name.

And now, onto today’s “Sales Ninja” blog post…


Anyone who has given a presentation knows how nerve-wracking it can be to open the floor up to questions from the audience. No matter how prepared you are, there’s always the possibility that someone in the audience will throw you a curve ball. Since Q&A sessions usually happen at the end of the presentation, they’re your last impression with the audience. In the efficiency sales world, you want the audience to walk away with a positive impression of you and your product or service. It’s therefore critical that you keep your cool and maintain total control over the Q&A session.

In Jerry Weissman’s book, In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions…When It Counts, Weissman teaches his approach to answering tough questions. Through real-world examples from press conferences and presidential debates, the author breaks down the components of a good – and bad – Q&A session. If you’re interested in perfecting your Q&A responses, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book.

Here’s a summary from Amazon Books:

“Answer even the toughest, most hostile questions brilliantly: take the floor, stay poised, and win your audience over every time! Imagine: you’re standing in front of an audience and you’ve just been asked the question you’d been dreading – or, worse, you’ve been blindsided with a brutal question you never expected. What to do? Jerry Weissman has made a career of preparing executives for that moment. He’s coached nearly 500 executives on their IPO road shows, the most critical presentations of their lives. Weissman’s In the Line of Fire has established itself as the world’s definitive guide to answering brutally tough questions in public – and now, he’s completely updated this classic with new examples, case studies, and even more great advice. Using compelling, up-to-the-minute examples from Wall Street, Washington, D.C., and beyond, Weissman teaches how to respond with perfect assurance, no matter what. You’ll discover how to avoid the defensive, evasive, or contentious answers that have destroyed political careers and can ruin your credibility. Weissman shows you how to control your entire exchange with a hostile questioner: the question, answer, interactions with questioner and audience, timing, and above all, yourself. Whether you’re an executive, politician, fundraiser, interviewee, teacher, student – or even a family member at Thanksgiving dinner – you’re judged on how you handle these moments. Get this book: handle them brilliantly.”

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By (Mark Jewell, CEO of Selling Energy | | | books, presentations |
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