I’m a firm believer in the power of preparation and practice, because these occasions offer you the opportunity to shine. But what about when you are put on the spot?
Build Your Credibility
If you need to field questions during a meeting or presentation, congratulations! That means you are successfully engaging your audience! But you can’t prepare and practice your response to every question that might come up.
On the other hand, responding to questions and concerns with well-considered messages is one of the most important ways to build your credibility and professional relationships.
You can turn these opportunities to your advantage with the help of the mnemonic device: PREP.
Note: Before using PREP, always pause first to gather your thoughts. Don’t worry – you won’t look unprepared – you will look thoughtful, which is a good thing.
A Framework for Clear, Concise Communication
Now let’s look at the PREP framework for impromptu speaking:
- Point of View/Position: Start strong by clearly answering the question you were just asked.
- Reason: Share information that supports your response. If you have data at your fingertips, now is the time to share it! (If not, you can offer to follow-up with specific data.)
- Explanation/Example: Share further explanation and if possible, share 1-2 examples that illustrate your point.
- Point of View/Position: Conclude by restating your initial response to reinforce your main point (you can change the way you say it to sound more natural).
Let's use a general example to bring this idea to life.
Where do you think is the best place to vacation?
Here is how I would respond this year:
(Position) I think the best place to go on vacation is Sicily. (Reason) It is a gorgeous country with amazing architecture, food, and shopping! (Example) For example, I went to Sicily this month and in one day I saw Mt. Etna, toured a vineyard, shopped in Taroramina, and had an amazing 27-course dinner. Now I need a new wardrobe! (Position) So you can see why I think Italy is the best place to vacation!
How would you respond?
By practicing the PREP framework, you can be prepared to respond to any question; even if it’s unexpected. You’ll avoid sounding unprepared and instead come across as organized, clear, confident, and persuasive.
Contact us for information about training or coaching to help your team think on their feet!