Most Popular Tags
(shown by font size)


What do you FEAR MOST when speaking?

View Results So Far

Loading ... Loading ...


How Is My BLOG?

View Results So Far

Loading ... Loading ...

Giving Dignity for a Wrong Answer

Interaction can be challenging for both a presenter and an audience member. As a speaker, what do you do when someone gives you the incorrect answer to a question? There is a way to handle the situation effectively!

From a delivery perspective, you might consider the concept of giving dignity for a wrong answer.

For example, suppose a grade-school teacher asks a young student, “What is 7 times 5?” If the student responds “30”, not only might there be some giggling from other students, but the teacher may compound the problem by saying “No” or “Wrong” and move on to someone else. There is no dignity left for the student who failed to answer correctly. This child may even grow up detesting math, as well!

But, a true “expert” can find the right question to a wrong answer, and offer the question as an answer.

In this example of “What is 7 x 5?”, the response of “30” is really the CORRECT answer — but, to a DIFFERENT question (“What is 6 x 5?). The teacher could then offer the different question as an answer, by saying, “Actually, that’s 6 x 5”. The student may feel that something about the response was still correct. There is more dignity in this approach.

In a presentation, you may find that an audience member, who responds incorrectly to your question, may feel awkward at being wrong. You can alleviate the feeling by finding the logic behind the response, and giving dignity to the answer. In other words, as you hear the incorrect response, ask yourself, “What question leads to that answer?” If you discover it, and then offer the question as an answer, you will be seen as a true expert, and the audience member will feel better, as well.

That is how you give dignity!

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please VERIFY your comment *