Article word count: 280 words - Approximate time to read: 1.12 minute at 250 words per minute
Do you ask lots of questions when you present? Don’t simply tell, remember to ask instead.
Why ask questions?
Asking a question makes your audience seek out the answer in their minds. Your audience becomes more engaged and actively listening.
How to start
Spice up your presentation with six common questions: who, what, where, when, why and how, e.g.
‘Where can we find evidence for this?’
‘How can you make a difference?’
- Open with a question
Capture attention with a dramatic question, e.g.
‘Do you know what’s really scary about . . .?’
Have you ever wondered why…?
2. Segue questions
Questions are segues, devices to move a speaker smoothly to the next theme, e.g.
‘Now that I’ve . . . [explained CRM] . . .
the question remains, [what frequency is best for staying in touch with clients?]’
3. Don’t assume
Replace ‘I’m sure you . . .’, with, ‘Did you . . . ?‘
or ‘You all know . . .‘ with ‘Who is familiar with . . . ?‘
4. Rhetorical questions
A rhetorical question is asked for effect; an answer is not expected.
You might ask, ‘But why is that so?’
5. Thought-provoking questions
Use a startling question as a dramatic conclusion to get people thinking and talking, e.g.
‘If you could send three items and a message into deep space, to be found by aliens, what would you send?’
It sends your listener on a mental journey seeking the answer.
For each statement in your presentation, ask yourself, ‘Can I restate this as a question?’