i. inviting questions
so, let's throw it open to questions.
now i' d like to answer any questions, if you have any.
now i am ready to answer your questions, if any.
i'd be glad to try and answer any questions.
are there any questions?
ii. raising questions
signaling your intention to ask a question
i want to ask dr. bi a question.
i have a guest ion for dr. anderson.
mr. smith, i have a question to ask you.
there is a question i'd like to ask prof. li.
a question for mr. liu.
one question, dr. wei.
could i ask you a question, prof. li?
may i venture to ask prof. zhang a question?
expressing your attitude
before asking your question, you can express your positive attitude or make a comment on the speaker's presentation. for example,
dr. johnson, i was fascinated by your description of your study, but what will happen if...
mr. li, you did splendid work! just one question.
asking the specific question
you mentioned very briefly that you used two experiments that were the same.
would you please elaborate on that point?
would you be so kind as to give me more information about the method of your experiment?
would you tell me the reason why you set such a high temperature?
dr. wang, i'd like to raise one question. first, may i say how much i enjoyed talk. but, may i ask, do you have experience with the new method?
congratulations, dr. li. i can't help but admire your achievement. but i want to know what's your attitude toward abuse of antibiotics?
i'd like to congratulate mr. liu on a very interesting presentation.
may i ask you a question? how does subjective evaluation differ from objective evaluation?
first, i'd like to say your research is very interesting. may i ask two questions? do you see any relation between cigarette smoking and peptic ulcers? and what advantage do you expect by using this approach?
iii. response to questions
asking for repetition
pardon, i couldn't hear what you said.
i beg your pardon, i didn't catch what you said.
i'm sorry i forgot your first question. would you be so kind as to say it again?
i'm not quite surge what your question is.
i didn't quite get the last point of your question.
you mean, there may be some mistake in the calculation?
are you referring to the significance of the difference?
are you suggesting that the temperature might have affected the results?
if i understand you correctly, you are saying/asking...
i didn't quite catch that.
could you go over that again?
i'm not sure what you're getting at.
welcoming the question
welcome the question by saying "thank you" or commenting on it saying "that¡¯s a good question" or "that's a challenging question."
this is a very good question.
thank you for that question.
i'm glad this question has been brought up-
i appreciate that question.
this is a hard question.
this is an interesting question.
this is a big question.
i'd be delighted to answer your question.
i'll try to answer this question very briefly.
in answer to your question, i would say that...
i can only provide a partial answer to that question.
let me try to answer your questions one by one.
my answer to your first question is...
may i answer your second cjuestion first?
i have only a partial answer to your question.
thank you for that question. this is a challenging question and i'm afraid i can only provide a partial answer to it. anyway, i'll try my best to answer it.
repeating or paraphrasing the question
questioner: have you tried it on human bodies?
presenter: this gentleman would like to know whether we have tried this on human bodies.
responding to difficult or challenging question
question: so what happens if the new budget isn't approved?
answer (1): we've spent two months preparing the new budget. it's a good budget and we're confident we'll get approval to put it into practice.
answer (2): there is too much supposition in the question for me to give a sound answer.
the following are some other examples of answers to challenging questions:
perhaps in another year or so we can answer that question, because these studies are now in progress.
we are now working on this problem and, if you agree, i'll answer your question in a few weeks.
the only answer i can give at present is to wait a few more years, at which time something better might ultimately come out of all our efforts.
i think it will be possible to answer this question when more experiments are completed.
the answer to this question needs further study.
i hope i will be able to answer your question later.
responding to improper question
i appreciate your interest in my research, but i just don't want to talk about it now. let's talk about something else.
i'd rather not say.
why do you want to know?
sometimes you can relay the question back to the questioner. for example,
before i answer you that question, let me ask you: where do you think we should have the project?
in this way, sometimes you encourage the questioner to answer his or her own question, e.g. "what do you think? are people prepared to pay an extra $ 2 for faster service?"
responding to the questions you do not know
if you don't know the answer to a particular question, simply admit that you don't know. say something like this:
"i'm sorry. i don't happen to know the answer to that question, but i'll be happy to check into it for you."
here are some further examples:
i don't think i can answer your question.
i wish i could answer your question, but unfortunately i have no good answer.
i'm not sure that i can answer your question. what i'm going to say is not quite an answer to your question.
another technique to cope with the situation is to direct the attention to another expert who may know it or you can use the audience. ask if anyone could help the questioner and hence it won't be necessary for you to admit that you do not know the answer. see examples below.
i think that question could be better answered by dr. liu than by me.
i think perhaps dr. chen would be better able to answer this question.
prof. li would be a better person to answer your question since he has done a lot of work in this field.
fortunately, prof. 'ma, who is an authority in this area, is 'here. i think no one is more suitable than him to answer your question.
dr. sawyer is perhaps in a better position to tell us something about it.
perhaps my colleague dr. emery here has some better ideas.
i think it would be better if prof. wu were to make some comments on this matter.
avoid using the following expressions to embarrass the questioner:
"i've already answered that but you obviously weren't listening." instead say something like "i'm sorry i didn't explain that clearly."
avoid talking to one questioner. look towards the other, side of the conference hall or room and indicate that there is another question. suggest that as there are several more questioners,' yon could discuss his or her question in more detail after your talk.
referring back to the questioner
having finished answering questions, you should check that the questioner is satisfied or further elaboration or explanation is called for. the following expressions might be helpful.
did i answer your question?
did i answer you satisfactorily?
did your question get answered?
i don't know whether this answered your question.
i don't know if this is a satisfactory answer.
i hope this may serve as an answer to dr. li.
i hope this answers ~0ur question.:,
sometimes when question lime is over and ff time permits, you can restate, your main proposition, including any good comments from the audience and ignoring adverse questions or remarks. thus, you demonstrate that you are confident mid can cope calmly with controversy.
remember that your last words to the audience will be retained longest and you are expected to behave in a professional manner.