Whether it's a media engagement, an online chat, or the discussion following a live presentation, question-and-answer can be your single greatest opportunity to amplify and land your message. It's about taking control of the question, not allowing it to control you. And guess what? There are some "sneaky" ways to do that.
First, go from small to big. Answer the question if you can, but don't get bogged down in detail, and stop there. Remember to end every answer with some sort of restatement of the big idea you want your audience to remember.
Second, if you get a particularly difficult question, pause and start the answer with the questioner's name. This helps put the two of you back on equal footing subconsciously. Then, the rest of your answer can elevate you to back "in charge." Just be careful to use this technique sparingly.
Third, use sensory language. No answer creates more credibility than one that paints a picture for your audience. Words that help them see, hear, touch, smell, even taste your message prove powerful–no question about it.