Knowing how to set up your answer is an executive communication tool. This powerful structure helps your answer stick like super glue in the minds of everyone in the room.
Build your influence without more conversations, only BETTER conversations.
It’s a formula that helps you three ways:
- People listen to what you’re saying
2. Your answer has more perceived value
3. You become more memorable
When asked a question in a meeting, the set up your answer to get these additional benefits:
4. Buy your brain some time to think of an answer
5. Give more importance to the subject of the question
Here’s how the Answer Set Up works
The Setup (best communication tool to raise your visibility!)
For a long time, communication researchers have known that to set up your answer, or setting up any message means preparing the audience to receive it. It works much the way a movie preview lets you know the tone and genre of the film, as well as the main action points therein. Use the same principle to set your answer, or other message, to be more memorable.
How to set up your answer:
- Pause for 2-3 seconds.
- Acknowledge the value of the question. Typically, one says, “That’s a great question, NAME.” Variations of this include “I am so glad you asked that” or “I appreciate this question, NAME” or “Thank you for asking that, NAME.”
- Point out why this question is so important. Even if you think it’s obvious, point it out: “That is actually something we think about every single day” or “This topic really relates to our long-term success model” or “Our team has been obsessed with this issue for some time now.”
- Answer the question. Get to the point.
- BONUS: Give a quick example with some details. That brings you from general to specific, where people really like to be.
If it’s a really delicate issue, answer the question by going through up to three alternative responses, then tell why your option is the best. That’s a way of addressing objections to your answer in advance, a powerful tool for selling ideas.
That’s it. Set up your answer and you fortify your value in the minds of your audience.