Introduction:

One of parts that most non-native speakers fear when doing business presentations in English is answering questions at the end. But you can be prepared, not only by predicting questions, but also in ways of dealing with them. For example, there are polite ways of not answering questions, or asking someone to repeat their question. It is a skill that everybody can learn.

In this online exercise on presentations, we will look at the English vocabulary and phrases that are used for both introducing the question section in a presentation and for dealing with questions. Although the focus in this exercise is on business presentations, these phrases can be used in both other situations and types of presentations.

Click here to see more online exercises on presentations and presentation vocabulary


Exercise: Question and answer section

In the following text, people from the audience ask the speaker of the presentation a number of questions about what he has said.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are and why they are being said. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Speaker:'Now if there are any questions, I would be pleased to answer them.'

Attendee 1:'You said that staff need more attention, how can we do that?'

Speaker:'That's a good question. You simply need to be there in person more, not just communicating by email or by the phone. Have you desk in the middle of your staff and try to work there as much as possible. Does that answer your question?'

Attendee 1:'Yes.'

Speaker:'The woman in the second row.'

Attendee 2:'But we don't …. …........... …... office. So what can we do?'

Speaker:'I did not quite catch that, would you mind repeating it?'

Attendee 2:'Yes. We don´t have the time …. …........... …... office. So what can we do?'

Speaker:'I'm really sorry, I must be going deaf. Would you mind repeating it again?'

Attendee 2:'No problem. For many of us, we don't have time to be in the office a lot. So what can we do?'

Speaker:'Now I heard you. That's an interesting point, and one that we faced at our company. The short answer I'm afraid is that you have to make time. Try re-organising your schedule. It means more work for you, but you will see the rewards.

Any more questions? Yes, the man in the front row.'

Attendee 3:'You mentioned that your company wrote a management procedure document. Do you happen to have a copy of it?'

Speaker:'I'm afraid that I don't have it to hand, but if you give me your email address I would be pleased to forward it to you. Is that ok?

The woman in the fifth row.'

Attendee 4:'Can you explain the full procedure at your company?'

Speaker:'I'm afraid that would take a long time to explain, but if you give me your email address I would be pleased to forward you a copy.

Well, thank you often again for attending the presentation and I hope you have a safe journey.'



Quiz: How to answer questions in presentations

Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. Another way to say that 'I didn't hear what you said', is
         

I did not quite catch that:
(phrase) It is commonly used if you haven't heard a question or something else. It can be used in other situations too, like meetings, phone calls etc... Non-natives may not understand the expression. In Spanish: "no me he enterado muy bien de lo que ha dicho".

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I did not quite catch that:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. Another way to say that you don't have the information/details with you, is
         

I don't have it to hand:
(phrase) It can be used for different types of information/data, like phone numbers, reports etc... In Spanish: "no lo tengo a mano".

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I don't have it to hand:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

3. A polite phrase to confirm if your answer is good for the questioner, is
         

Does that answer your question:
(phrase) This is used to be polite, similar to saying 'is that ok?', but better. In Spanish: "con esto quedan aclaradas sus dudas".

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Does that answer your question:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. A polite phrase that says 'it will take too much time to answer', is
         

Would take a long time to explain:
(phrase) It is very polite and commonly used in business presentations. Normally, you apologise before this phrase. And then offer to answer it later, e.g. 'I am afraid that it would take a long time to explain, but if you give me your email....'. It is often used if you don't want to answer the question, or don't know the answer. In Spanish: "necesitará mucho tiempo para explicar".

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Would take a long time to explain:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. A phrase that compliments the question that has been asked, is
         

That's a good question:
(phrase) This is often used to be polite, but it shouldn't be overused. In Spanish: "Qué pregunta tan buena".

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That's a good question:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A way of answering a question in a few words or sentences, is
         

The short answer:
(noun phrase) This phrase is often followed by 'is'. Then normally you answer 'yes' or 'no' and then expand on it with a few sentences, e.g. 'The short answer is no. At the moment we still don't know'. In Spanish: "La respuesta corta ".

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The short answer:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. A formal/polite way of saying 'I will send it to you', is
         

I would be pleased to forward it to you:
(phrase) It is often used after 'I don't have it at hand' or 'it would take a long time to explain'. In Spanish: "Me gustaría mandar/transmitirlo a tí".

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I would be pleased to forward it to you:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

8. A phrase that compliments a comment or suggestion that has been asked as a question, is
         

That's an interesting point:
(noun phrase) This is often used to be polite, but it shouldn't be overused. In Spanish: "Es un punto interesante".

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That's an interesting point:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. A phrase that tells people that they can start to ask questions, is
         

Now if there are any questions, I would be pleased to answer them:
(phrase) A polite way to open the question session in a presentation. In Spanish: "Si hay preguntas, me complacerá responderlas".

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Now if there are any questions, I would be pleased to answer them:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

10. A politer way of saying 'can you repeat that?', is
         

Would you mind repeating it again:
(phrase) It is commonly used if you haven't understood or heard a question or what somebody has somebody said. In Spanish: "le importaría repetirla".

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Would you mind repeating it again:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close







Practice

Now that you understand the answering questions in a presentation vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences in English with the new words/phrases.