Following up on the series of shareholder engagement blogs that Broc is running this month, if your engagement team has done their homework, the meeting should go well. According to plan. Until that curveball comes swimming in.

Starting your response with something predictable like, “That’s a good question” is not a response at all. It’s a stall tactic and it’s not impressive. Try to use a one-liner that sounds like you were expecting that question all along. You might say, “That’s the right question.” Now you said something unexpected and you complimented the questioner at the same time. You also could say, “There’s a right answer and a wrong answer to your question. Let’s go with the right one.”

Then, use an impromptu structure that gives your questioner a direct response that is both complete and brief. (The words in parentheses are your internal structure – not what you would necessarily say out loud.)

(What is the issue?) “Our company expects X to happen…”

(Why is that significant?) “This is important because it means our bottom line will be …”

(Where does that leave your shareholder?) “That impacts you by …”

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Photo of Karen Lisko Karen Lisko

Litigation consultant Karen Lisko, Ph.D., works with attorneys to increase their persuasiveness and effectiveness with factfinders throughout all phases of litigation. A veteran of hundreds of civil cases heard in bench and jury trials and arbitration forums, Karen strategizes to help legal teams…

Litigation consultant Karen Lisko, Ph.D., works with attorneys to increase their persuasiveness and effectiveness with factfinders throughout all phases of litigation. A veteran of hundreds of civil cases heard in bench and jury trials and arbitration forums, Karen strategizes to help legal teams construct compelling and prevailing arguments. Karen holds a doctorate in legal communication, a specialized degree attained by only a few consultants in the nation, and is the author of two books, Patently Persuasive and Proven Jury Arguments and Evidence.