Current town hall meetings on health reform have become hornet’s nests for politicians. For public speakers, they illustrate the opportunities and pitfalls of handling Question & Answer sessions. If your content is controversial, you may want to think about how to handle the Q & A format in advance.
Here are my rankings of safest and most dangerous approaches for the speaker.
• Take questions directly from audience – most dangerous
• Give questioners numbers and call each by number – middle ground
• Have audience submit questions in writing in advance and read questions — safest