If you read Part 1 of this article, you learned why moving the Q&A away from the end of your speech can help you regain control. Now, let’s look at some specifics for how to make the transition in and out of this portion of your performance.

Your last five minutes on stage can greatly influence how your audience feels after you’re gone.

End with a powerful story that drives home your message… and they’ll feel inspired.  End with a few low-energy questions… and they’ll feel awkward, lame, or bored.

That’s why you should move that Q&A away from the end of your speech – preserving those final five minutes for a close that will leave your audience (and event organizer) feeling wowed and excited.

But exactly how does one manage to transition into… and out of… a Q&A session… mid-speech… without encountering awkward pauses and lost attention?

I’m so glad you asked!  

Let’s look at a few keys to making this technique a success.

Key #1: Back Time This Smartly

Knowing and sticking to your times is absolutely vital for this to work.  So make sure you know the precise length of your close.  

(Mine often takes five to seven minutes, depending on the speech.)

Then, do some simple math to figure out when the main portion of your speech needs to transition to the Q&A.

For instance, if you have a 60-minute keynote slot, you know you’d speak for 40 minutes, move into a 15-minute Q&A, and then have 5 minutes for your close.

Be extra certain your final story does, in fact, end with a bang so your audience leaves the session with that positive feeling. 

Key #2: Forewarn the Audience

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