Those first eight minutes when you establish rapport with your audience is the time when you need to tell them how to interact with you with questions. If you do not want interruptions during your talk, you should say something like, “For the next 45 minutes I will be sharing with you how to take Six Sigma back into your organization. I have saved the last 15 minutes for any questions that you may have. So please, if a question comes up just jot it down and I will commit those last 15 minutes to answering questions.”

If you want the audience to interrupt you freely with questions then say, “Please feel free at any time to interrupt me with your questions. I commit to making sure that we stay on time so if there is any question that requires too long of a reply, I will briefly answer and then ask you to see me later so I can give you more details. This will ensure that everyone can ask questions and no one will feel they’re holding the group up.”

Need more examples on handling interruptions? Go to HOT Tips: Continual Interrupter and Interrupted Phone Conversation for additional tips on people that interrupt.