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When presenting, if you don’t know the answer, just say so…

Yesterday I attended the LinkedIn event in Toronto for Marketers and Recruiters. It was a great event that was well attended. The key note by Sean Moffitt was excellent and following that the crowd was broken up into groups depending on which track you were there for.

The tracks for the most part were very well done. They were put on by LinkedIn employees and some included panels of customers. The presentation expertise really varied amongst the LinkedIn employees; some did a great job and others, well you could tell they don’t present a lot.

The biggest issue I had though was with one presenter who didn’t know the correct answers to questions that were asked of him; however he decided to answer anyway. This was a big problem in my opinion as it really misled the attendees. When I tried to correct him on one of his mistakes; he stated I was wrong. As a LinkedIn employee he should have known the number maximum number of Connections you are able have – he stated 5,000 (Facebook), the right answer is 30,000. He also should have known that there is a limit of 3,000 invitations that you can send out, again he stated 5,000. And to top it off he wrongly stated that you are only able to have one twitter feed on your profile…wrong again (as you can see from my profile below):

Look 2 Twitter feeds!

My point here is, never answer a question if you are not sure you’re correct. It is much better to say “You know I am not sure about that, but I will find out for you”.
That’s my tip of the day for you. There is no harm in not knowing the answer to a question, but there is harm answering one wrongly.



  1. Fantastic article Travis. I couldn't agree more. I have seen this on many occasions not only from young representatives but also reps who have been in business for many years (usually the ones struggling for success). The most successful reps / presenters always are honest and gain respect from their audience by acknowledging that they do not know the answer and will answer only when they are confident and 100% sure they are correct!


  2. Thanks Doug. Yes there is no way that you gain the respect of your audience if you are not truthful. This is something that I learned long ago.


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