Q & A Highjackers ~ Fascilitator Headache Makers

How To Stop Q & A Grandstanding

A recent event I attended allowed for 15 minutes of questions following a panel discussion. The panelists are well respected and have accumulated a wealth of industry knowledge. I was anticipating a stream of brilliant questions from the attendees – what an opportunity to delve into the minds of talented people. Disappointingly, it wasn’t to be.

Two high-jackings took over the Q & A period.

You know the type – the people who broadcast their own agenda while brilliant questions from savvy people are left unasked.

Out of misaligned politeness facilitators don’t want to appear rude by interrupting. In fact the facilitator is ignoring (being rude) to the rest of the attendees who are biting their tongues hoping the diatribe will end.

How do you stop high-jackers?

Through bold facilitation, which is not easy when the highjacker doesn’t seem to need to come up for air.

As facilitators we need to interrupt – as simple as that — mid-sentence and mid-stream. Then invite the speaker to continue their conversation after the event.

Your audiences will thank you (and be silently rooting be for you).








I help build confident voices so they’re heard.

Janice Tomich is the founder of Calculated Presentations, a company dedicated to bringing out speaker’s stories to influence change. Janice coaches professionals, entrepreneurs, TED and TEDx speakers. She is a champion for equal representation by a diverse pool of presenters for all speaking events. Follow Janice on Twitter @janicetomich, on Facebook, on LinkedIn and subscribe for newsletter updates.

Be bold. Get heard. Inspire action.