What to say when you don’t have the answer to a question?

It happens to all of us at one time or another. Someone in the audience ask us a question about our presentation and we do not have the answer to it. What should we do?

The answer is clear: Just say “I don’t know.”

This is a much better strategy than to ham and haw and try to evade the question and give a non-responsive answer. All that bobbing and weaving is not going to do you one bit of good because the audience is doing to see right through you. So it is much better for you to just confess your ignorance AND ask if anyone in the audience has the answer.

In his seminal book “Moving Mountains”, Henry Boettinger says “quibbling and evasion produce disgust. If you don’t know the answer, say so directly.”

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4 responses to “What to say when you don’t have the answer to a question?

  1. Or you could pull a Palin and say,

    “Let me get back to ya on that one!”

  2. You forgot the wink! 🙂

  3. Aw, shucks! Here ya go…

    😉

  4. Or throw it back at the audience – “I don’t know – do any of you have any ideas?” However, it can open you up to massive discussion and potential kidnapping of your time.

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