Almost every presentation ends the same way: the presenter gives their conclusion, turns to the audience and says: "Any questions?" Then, they respond to the queries the audience throws their way. This increases the value of the session, as it means anything people are unsure about can be clarified and expanded on.

However, if you are the one presenting then this puts a lot of pressure on you. It might seem like the onus is on other people to come up with good questions, but actually it is all about how you answer them.

You need to make sure you are expanding the discussion with your answers, not stumbling over awkward responses. The problem is, how do you prepare for them? If you know that people will be asking you certain questions, you can just put the answers in your main presentation.

Despite this, there will still be some areas of your presentation that could be expanded on. You might find there is a lot of information you have to trim out in order to fit the whole thing within a time limit. Remember, you will want to leave a good 15 minutes or so for questions, so sum everything up succinctly.

This means there will be areas you don't have time to cover, so you can prepare for some of the questions. But what about the ones that you are not ready for? How can you make sure you are answering them satisfactorily?

One thing to remember is never to be dismissive or snarky. There is no such thing as a stupid question; if someone is asking something that seems obvious to you, then it might well be that you have not explained something as well as you'd thought earlier in the presentation. If you put them down, you could end up turning the audience against you.

Answer everything with patience and understanding. If someone has asked something really basic and you don't want to waste everyone else's time with it, you can always offer to discuss it with them alone at the end of the session. This will be appreciated by everyone, especially the original questioner.

Try to avoid rambling when you answer questions. Make sure everything you say is an actual answer to what has been asked, not a load of unnecessary information around the topic. Otherwise, your audience can easily get confused as you become difficult to follow.

You might get some people who are argumentative, using the question and answer sessions to attempt to pick holes in your presentation and the points you have made. Again, you do not want to be dismissive here. At the same time, do not take it personally or argue back. You should be able to take their points on board and reply using evidence.

If you can manage to do all this, you should have no issues with your next question and answer session. Remember, the audience will be there to see you and will want to listen to what you have to say, so be confident and relaxed!