pensive ethnic man listening to answer in paper cup phone

Answer Questions Better!

Someone asks you a question. After doing the smart steps, you know what to say and can respond immediately if you want to.
But wait! Here’s how we all answer questions in the “best” way possible so that we can stay on topic, be coherent, and be more relatable:

Yes, it’s all down to a simple Framework!

PREP Framework to Answer Questions

  • Position
  • Reason
  • Example
  • Position

So let’s say, someone asks you a simple question like…

“What’s your opinion on having pineapples on pizzas?”


What’s your answer to the question? State your position immediately.

This is the easiest part if you just want to give a “short answer”.

“Personally I’m ok with having pineapples on pizzas.”

But, you’d want to justify your position. RIght? 😉


Before the audience can even ask “why?”, let them know the reason.

A logical explanation helps give weight and substance to the answer you just gave.

“This is because food cultures change with time and while having fruit on pizza may not be ‘traditional’, it fits well and I like the mix of sweetness on the dish.”


Want to engage your audience further?

Throw in a story, a personal experience, or any narrative example!

In fact, my favourite pizza when I was a kid was the Hawaiian Pizza.

I wasn’t a big fan of fruits and vegetables back then so I remembered my parents would ask for more pineapples on the pizza order so that I would end up eating more fibre in my diet!

I wouldn’t have thought that pineapples on pizza would be out of the ordinary!”


End off your answer by restating and reminding the audience what your answer is, just to.. make your point clear. 🙂

“Hence, I’l ok with having pineapples on pizzas.”

Why Is This a Better Way to Answer Questions?

First of all, giving more than a one-sentence answer helps your audience understand you more.

Furthermore, this structure caters to the left-brainers and right-brainers in your audience –

The Reason satisfies the ones craving logic and rationale.

The Example satisfies the ones looking for more colour in your reply!

Works wonders. Try it, and sound smart every single time. 🙂

crop psychologist taking notes during appointment

The First Thing You Should Do Before You Answer Any Question

Do you jump in to answer straight away whenever a question is thrown at you?

Here’s a smart thing you can do!

It can be almost instinctual to answer any question straight away, especially if it’s an “easy” question to which you already know the answer too.

But what if the question is a little trickier?
Or if it’s one you do not have the answer to?
Or if it’s something you do not want to get wrong?

Here’s what you can do.

#1. Pause and Think

Think before you answer

Does a quick answer make one sound smarter?

The person answering may seem so, but usually, it doesn’t make. a difference if you pause for a little while to think.

In fact, research has shown that silent pauses for up to 3 seconds can show that you are more deliberative and may help with negotiations!

So what can you think about during this period of pause?

  1. What is the question really about?
  2. What does he/she/they want to hear from me?
  3. What are some of my experiences or expertise I have in this domain?

This may help you give you some clarity to choose the better answer.

#2. Ask Questions

If you’re really ‘stuck’, counter-ask a question!

Some of the questions can be

Clarify before Answering

e.g. “Are you asking about the Christopher Nolan series of Batman films? Or the recent Matt Reeves version?”

Asking for Details

e.g. “What about Batman would you like me to talk about?”

Simply Repeating the Original Question

e.g. “You’re asking if I can.. talk about my views regarding the Batman films?”

The answers that you get may help you get some idea on what to talk about!

So yes. The next time you stumble on a tough question, fet not.

Try these little tips, and take your time to give a good answer that justifies your knowledge!

black woman comforting upset friend

Empathy vs Sympathy

Has someone ever poured out their problems to you before?
How did you react?
Was it with Empathy?
Or did you unknowingly show… Sympathy?

Both are forms of showing concern.
But what’s the difference?


Sympathy is often more disconnected. If you show sympathy, you are understanding someone’s situation from your point of view.

For most people, it’s easier to sympathize, as there is rarely a need for a deep emotional connection.

How do you know if you are showing sympathy?

When you

  • Dismiss the negative situation
    “It’s ok…”
  • Try to comfort by highlighting positives
    “On the bright side…”
  • Offer a differing perspective to distract
    “At least…”

Is it wrong to sympathise with someone?

It definitely isn’t.

Especially when you are not directly involved in the conversation,
are not expected to provide emotional comfort,
or are ok with understanding the situation from a purely logical context.


So what about Empathy?

Empathy may not come as easily or naturally to some of us because it’s a 2-step process – to step into one’s shoes & relive the situation, and ask ourselves “how would I feel if I were you?”

However, most of the time, the friend that needs consoling doesn’t need to know how you feel.

Your friend just wants to know that you are there for him/her/them.

A genuine reply like

  • Acknowledging your support / presence
    “I’m here for you…”
  • Appreciating their situation
    “Thank you for opening up to me…”
  • Affirming their feelings
    “If I were you I will also feel the same way…”

may be more comforting and reassuring than any solution or silver lining that you can offer.

All of us have different ways of showing empathy and connecting to our own feelings.

It greatly depends on our personality profiles too.

But hey, it never hurts to empathise more, for deeper personal connections. 🙂

woman behind gold paper

Eyes Communicate Too!

Have you ever felt super frustrated having to speak to someone but he/she just cannot connect to what you are saying?

Well, it might be because you aren’t speaking in their “thinking style”.
Specifically, the VAK (Visual, Auditory or Kinaesthetic style of thinking.

And here’s a simple trick to figuring out how a person really processes the information he/she gets:

Look at their eyes!

If they tend to look up UP while thinking, they are most likely Visualising concepts, images or playing out scenarios in the air.

Use phrases like “Can you see…”, “Imagine”, “Picture this…” or simply being more descriptive to help them visualise your ideas better.

Eyes looking sideways - Auditory
Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

If they tend to look Sideways, or even tilt their head while thinking / listening to you, they are most likely trying to Hear you better, or recall what has been said or what they have heard previously.

Use phrases like “Hear me out”, “It sounds like…” and being more deliberate in repeating certain phrases, using soundbites or simply, speaking slower. This will help them process your information and understand you better.

Eyes looking down - Kinaesthetic
Image by 坤 张 from Pixabay

Finally, if they tend to look Downwards, these are the emotional people. They are most likely trying to figure out how they Feel (or maybe even talking internally to themselves).

And how do we communicate better with them? Use words like “I feel that”, “You’d be happy to know that “, “My experience is that…”. Using more sensory words to guide their feelings help too. The beautiful thing about communicating with Kinaestethic people is – you’re most likely able to foster a deeper connection with them.

So the next time, do observe your partner’s eyes more when you are speaking to them. You’d be able to find out some traits about them that they may not even be aware of!

Of course, if you’d like to find out more about yourself, a do check out the IEQ9 Personality Tests that we offer.

Also, do follow us on Tiktok for more fun content!

Ditch The Phrase “I’m Not Nervous!”

The first post was about controlling nervousness with one simple trick.

Now, let’s also talk about one common mistake we always make to combat nervousness – tell ourselves we are not.

Ditch this phrase!

As in the video, when you were told to NOT think about a hot pink unicorn, could you?

Most likely, you’d be thinking about the unicorn first, then try to cancel it out!

Why? Because our mind can’t “unthink” something.

So, when you say phrases like “I’m not nervous”, you are actually reinforcing the nervousness first, before trying to cancel it out.

So, Ditch the Phrase!
It’s making things worse!

So, next time, instead of saying “I’m not nervous”, go with positive reinforcements like

“I’m Confident.”
“I’m going to Ace it!”
“It’s going to be Cool.”

Ditch the Phrase "I'm not nervous!" and feel confident

You’re going to feel so much better!

Follow on TikTok for more content!

Control Nervousness with This Simple Trick

Getting on to do something really important but feeling the nervousness?

Increased heartbeat? Cold sweat? Legs shaking?
It’s perfectly normal. 🙂

All these are just symptoms.
And you know what else has similar symptoms?


So, while the symptoms are the same, all you have to do is to

Change the Diagnosis.

It’s a simple mind hack to control nervousness and help you feel so much better and get positively psyched up for your next engagement.

Control nervousness and by re-diagnosing symptoms

Of course, if you want more customised diagnosis of your fears, do consider our Personality Reports or Coaching Sessions. 🙂

Follow on TikTok for more content!

3 Tips for More Professional Zoom Meetings

Conducting Zoom meetings often?
Want to give yourself the more professional look?

These 3 simple tips will help!


Look pro for your next online ##Presentation ##learningisfun ##fyp ##zoom ##learn ##lifeskills ##communication ##wfh

♬ Hey My Kitty – Tanaka Aimi

1. Place your camera at Eye Level

Especially if you have a small laptop, your built-in webcam will usually point upwards during video calls.

You wouldn’t want your fellow meeting attendees to be constantly scrutinizing what you have in your nostrils or.. how many chins you have, right?

Use a few old boxes / books to prop up your laptop so that it’s at eye level.

It’s much better for posture too!

2. Soft frontal light makes a lot of difference

Your existing desk lamp should work fine. Just make sure it’s keeping your face lit.

Feeling the glare? Oily face problems?
Throw a white cloth or plastic bag over will help!

3. Neat = Professional

A clean background reeks professionalism.
(Also screams “I’m a responsible person!” even though the mess is outside what’s captured by the webcam)

Hope these 3 tips help!

If you liked these, and want to learn how to stand out more in your next online meeting, do check out our Commanding Attention in an Online Session course for our next dates.

No more Awkwardness with Public Speaking Training For Executives

Public Speaking Training For Executives

With a graduate degree, a business executive holds a top position in a corporation, fulfilling a range of responsibilities across all departments.

Of course, the nature of the responsibilities will vary depending on the organization, but those who have reached top positions will have had to improve public speaking skills along the way to have reached such a high status.

The truth is, when you’re an executive, whether you like it or not, you’re in the spotlight, and all your performance abilities are critically noticed. Every staff member will be making judgments about how you look, your posture, the way you interact with people and the way you speak.

Controlling stress

Many executives have to travel far and wide to attend meetings and conferences and some even have to give a live speech that will be recorded. A personal public speaking coach will work wonders with situations like this and ensure that you can control your stress and remain calm and cool as a cucumber.

But what if an executive has managed to dodge or shy away from public speaking? What if they have reached the point where it will limit his or her career advancement opportunities because of no public speaking skills?

Oral communication is so vital in all areas of life, and as an executive you may no longer be able to pass the responsibility of public speaking to someone else.

Confident speaking is a vital necessity

The truth is, fear of public speaking interferes with every area of your life – at home and at work – and good communication in the 21st century isn’t just an optional skill but a vital necessity.

If as an executive you are afraid of losing your respect and dignity at work, hire a reputable, skilled public speaking coach immediately and acquire public speaking skills in a fun, positive and effective way.

If you’re too nervous or embarrassed to let your co-workers know, why not sign up for a one-on-one intensive public speaking course? Before anyone knows about it, you’ll be a confident public speaker with a whole new attitude about you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new executive or a seasoned one,  these public speaking training courses can reduce your fear of public speaking, and you’ll develop a strong, clear speaking voice, and give speeches with all the right movements.

Free lunchtime tips on effective public speaking

Then again, if you aren’t sure about how corporate presentation skills training will suit you, why not first try out some public speaking programs during your lunchtime? These talks are just 45 minutes long and you’ll get a good idea of what you’ll learn if you sign up for a public speaking class.

Much is required from you as an executive, and apart from being able to speak well to one or two people or to a huge auditorium of people, with a presentation skills course, there are things you’ll learn that will be invaluable to you in your executive career. You’ll know how to  –

  • look good and have an air of confidence about you;
  • use your hands appropriately, to control too much gesturing, you’ll learn how to make eye contact, know when to smile and how to ensure a confident, upright posture;
  • perform with confidence on social media and zoom;
  • speak with ease while continuing to use electronic devices;
  • start a speech, which is the most difficult part. You’ll learn how to choose a topic, how to make that all-important opening statement and how to develop excellent content; 
  • make complex topics easy and be able to tackle Q&A sessions with confidence.

Nobody can bear long speeches, no matter how dynamic, so every executive needs to learn how to make a short speech packed full of interesting, useful information, a speech that is simple and straightforward so that it goes down well.

Sign up for confidence

Public speaking and the way you approach it and handle it is of such importance that in fact, it could be the deciding factor in the success of your role as an executive.

It is so very important to do thorough research before you select a public speaking coach. The one you choose should be certified, have a good website, be highly skilled and have excellent customer reviews.When you choose a reputable public speaking coach and lessons, it is actually the first step you take towards making you far more confident.

Speak with confidence and conviction with public speaking lessons

Public Speaking Lessons

For so many of us, public speaking is just sheer hellish. It doesn’t even have to be talking in front of an audience – it can even be having to mix at a social event and talking to people.

If the very thought of communicating in these situations gives you stomach cramps, you’re sweaty and breathless and you just want to pull out, a public speaking workshop can help you shed your insecurities.

Public speaking in all its many forms is practically inevitable, more so if you’re in the kind of job that requires this of you. The question is ‘how on earth can a person learn to conquer the fear of public speaking and avoid becoming the laughing stock of the company?

You can lose credibility with bad posture and body language

It may seem impossible for you at first but public speaking lessons can change your public speaking nightmare into something that you can even look forward to.

Effective public speaking skills are indicative of leadership abilities, confidence, critical thinking skills and capabilities and these are all qualities that interviewers look for when you apply for a new job.

If you lack confidence, just changing your posture can change a lot about the way people perceive you.

Posture and body language is a way of communicating without spoken words and it includes the way you stand and walk, your gestures and movements and your facial expressions. Sloppy posture can cause you to lose credibility and for people to lose interest in you.

On the contrary, you can improve your posture and even learn to talk in such a way that you inspire, persuade and influence people.

A public speaking course with the right company can be fun and low-pressure where you can quietly overcome your communication issues without your colleagues even knowing about it.

Public speaking lessons one-on-one

If you’re particularly shy and nervous, you may even prefer one on one public speaking coaching as it can be less stressful.

Being a talented public speaker is a wonderful gift as it can help advance other careers you might want to go for. A public speaking coach knows that public speaking lessons are designed for a particular individual or group.

No class is a one-size-fits-all, but the lessons take cognizance of the individual’s unique speaking problems and are adapted to address them.

The habits for success

The wonderful thing about a public speaking course for adults is that you don’t only learn to speak well with confidence – you pick up other useful tips –

  • you learn how to use the correct body language
  • you learn how to make eye contact the right way
  • you make the correct hand gestures
  • you discover how to move around on the stage or platform.

Certainly, moving around on stage does convey to your audience that you’re comfortable as opposed to staying rigidly behind the lectern throughout your entire presentation.

Good posture, good voice projection, how to dress to look the part, how to make eye contact and how to smile while you’re talking are all important aspects covered with public speaking training.

Public speaking course MUST be certified

If you are considering a public speaking training program, always be sure that you only sign up for a certified public speaking course. This will ensure you get the proper training that will work for you.

A certified coach plays a huge role in developing the right set of skills you require in your particular field, whether you’re an entertainer, an executive in your company, a person who has to attend social events or a student.

Always check out the website of the certified coach you choose, look at their experience and service and what their previous clients have to say about them.

With a public speaking course, whether speaking at a wedding or at a conference, you’ll have built up confidence so that you can deliver an impactful message that holds your audience’s interest.

Take public speaking lessons with a leading, certified provider of public speaking courses and discover how so many nervous speakers before you can recommend it.

You no longer doubt yourself

It won’t only improve your public speaking in meetings and conferences but your personal interactions with colleagues and friends will improve too. People will be amazed at your transformation and they’ll start seeing you in a new light as you no longer doubt yourself

Public Speaking Coach helps you conquer your fear of Talking

Public Speaking Coach

There are some things in life that you’re either good at or bad at. There are some things that can terrify you, like talking in front of an audience, but mercifully the situation is one that can be changed.

A public speaking course for adults can undo any bad speaking habits from the past and retrain you to speak so well it can take you places.

A public speaking coach provides an awesome certified public speaking course for –

  • beginners – people who just want to speak well to whoever they meet
  • students
  • managers and executives
  • sales people
  • entertainers
  • anyone who needs help with speaking to groups

For many people, making a speech in front of people is the worst agony to endure, but a presentation skills course will see you saying goodbye to breathing that is laden, a heart that beats at an alarming rate and a mouth that blurts out a lot of mumble-jumble. A public speaking workshop also teaches you how to look- and feel good so that you’re able to present yourself well.

If you’re nervous to even head a meeting in the boardroom, you can certainly benefit from professional help. A public speaking coach can be like a godsend – a lifeline thrown to you so that you no longer come across as a boring, nervous, dithering, fumbling, useless speaker.

When you sign up with a reputable public speaking coach, the public speaking training will cause you to stand back in amazement at what it can do for you –

  • all eyes will be riveted on you with interest
  • you’ll be talking with confidence
  • you look good. You wear an outfit that says you’re confident
  • you make all the right gestures and you’ve got the entire audience eating out of your hand.
  • you make eye contact – a great form of non-verbal communication
  • you’ve got self-esteem, charisma and openness, you’re friendly but calm and collected and you have the skills to continue talking while managing electronic media. 

A Public speaking coach helps those with speech impediments


Diction is actually a practice that regular public speaking coaches miss, but at SIO we focus on it a lot. This is because the words you say and how you say them are key to your success.

Your words need to be heard and understood otherwise people miss parts of what you’re trying to say and lose interest. Public speaking and presentation skills even work for people who have speech impediments. A good coach will show you how the simple placement of the tongue can change a lot.

When you sign up with a leading public speaking coach, you don’t just learn to speak well, you impress so that investors actually want to support your goals.

Choose a Credible Public speaking Coach

To become a public speaking expert, choose the ideal public speaking coach – one who is skilled, experienced and credible and whose vision it is to see you become a confident, inspiring public speaker.

As the chief coach of Speech Ionizers, with the best public speaking training course, we help a diverse range of people to develop exceptional public presentation and speaking skills. The training is tailored to their precise needs and starts to open many new doors of opportunity.