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In the Line of Fire by Jerry Weissman

Amazon link: In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions...When It Counts

Jerry Weissman has made a career of coaching nearly 500 execs on their IPO roadshows, the most critical presentations of their lives.

Now, he's written an indispensable guide to answering the toughest questions you'll ever face.

Using compelling examples from Presidential debates to stock analyst meetings, Weissman teaches how to respond with perfect assurance.

Discover how to avoid the defensive, evasive, or contentious answers that have destroyed political careers and ruin credibility.

Learn to control your entire exchange with a hostile questioner: the question, answer, interactions with questioner and audience, timing, and above all, yourself.

Whether an executive, politician, fundraiser, interviewee, teacher, student—or even a family member at Thanksgiving dinner—you're judged on how you handle these moments.

Get this book: handle them brilliantly.

  • In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions … When it Counts
    • Contents
    • About the Author
    • Introduction: Agility Versus Force
      • Challenging Questions
      • Martial Arts
      • Effective Management Perceived
      • Baptism Under Fire
    • The Critical Dynamics of Q&A
      • The Bob Newhart Show
      • Defensive, Evasive, or Contentious
      • Presenter Behavior/Audience Perception
    • Effective Management Implemented
      • Worst Case Scenario
      • Maximum Control in Groups
      • The Q&A Cycle
        • Open the Floor
          • Control the Time
          • Control the Traffic
        • Recognize the Questioner
        • Yield the Floor
      • How to Lose Your Audience in Five Seconds Flat
    • You're Not Listening!
      • 1992 > Second Presidential Debate
      • Commentary
      • Rejoining the Debate
    • Active Listening
      • You Are Full of Your Own Opinions and Speculations: Empty Your Cup
      • Empty Your Mind > Concentrate > Identify the Essence of the Question
      • The Roman Column
      • Sub-vocalization
      • Visual Listening
      • … You Still Don't Understand
      • Yards After Catch
    • Retake the Floor
      • Situation review and transition forward …
      • Paraphrase
      • Challenging Questions
        • Negative
        • Irrelevant
        • Multiple Questions
        • Statement
        • Presented Material
      • The Buffer
      • Key Words
      • Useless or counterproductive
        • The Double Buffer
        • The Power of "You"
      • The Triple Fail-Safe
        • First Fail-Safe (Complete Grasp of the Roman Column)
        • Second Fail-Safe (key word in buffer, eye connect, head nod)
        • Third Fail-Safe (if no head nod, return to sender)
        • Three Fail-Safes Are Check Points That Will Keep You From Rushing Into the Wrong Answer
        • Danger: Roman Column Straddles Two Related Issues
      • A Question and an Answer Can He Bridged by Any of Three Buffer Options
        • Paraphrase
        • A "you" phrase
        • Key Words
        • The First Two Options Buy You Time
        • Key Words Make You Appear Very Sharp …
          • Colin Powell: An outstanding role model of Key Word Buffering
          • Key Word Buffer technique provides the major benefits of the Buffer
    • Provide the Answer
      • Vital Role of the Delay: Id the Roman Column & Confirm With the Questioner
      • Quid Pro Quo
      • Manage the Answer
      • Anticipate
      • Recognize the Universal Issues
        • Universal Issues
          • Management
          • Competition
          • Growth
          • Price/Cost
          • Contingencies
          • Timing
          • Problems
          • Intellectual Property
        • Craft a Position Statement for Each
      • How to Handle Special Questions
        • Tangential
        • Inaccurate
        • Unknown
        • Confidential
        • Speculative
        • Guilty as charged
      • Guilty as Charged Questions
      • Point B and WIIFY
      • Topspin
      • Media Sound Bites
    • Topspin in Action
      • Michael Dukakis Misses a Free Kick
      • The Evolution of George W. Bush
      • Lloyd Bentsen Topspins
      • Ronald Reagan Topspins
    • Preparation
      • Lessons Learned
    • The Art of War
      • The Art of Agility
      • Force: 1992
      • Agility: 1996
      • Agility and Force: 2000
      • Agility and Force: 2004
      • The Critical Impact of Debates
      • Lessons Learned
    • The Role Model
      • Complete Control
    • Endnotes
    • Acknowledgments


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point



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