Nov 10 2011

Stimulate your audience with ‘quality’ questions

What types of questions can one ask a group they are presenting to?

I like Robert Jolles’s assessment of the four different ways to frame or orient questions.

Fact Based: Also called closed questions. They have a right and wrong answer. They can potentially put people on the spot, so they need to be used carefully. Inexperienced presenters often overuse close questions when engaging an audience.

Opinion Based: Also called open-ended questions. They require subjective answers that are neither right nor wrong. These questions are less intimidating than fact-based questions. They can however take groups into new or unpredictable directions, so they need to be managed well.

Comparison Based: These questions invite people to discuss the similarities and differences between  ideas. They help people think more deeply, more reflectively.

Conclusion-based: These questions require people to apply learning from the presentation. These questions make a direct transition into the application of presentation ideas.

Jolles, Robert L. 2003… “Presentation skills for Consultants, Trainers and Teachers.”  New York: John Wiley & Sons

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