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3 Secrets to Getting Folks to Ask Questions in Your Workshop

by Rosemary Horner

The silence is so loud you could hear a pin drop. The last words you have spoken are still an echo in your mind “Do you have any questions? Yet, no one is responding so you rapidly begin to pass out the evaluations. But you have questions. You are wondering; Did everyone really understand? Are they being polite? Are they afraid? Why don’t they have any questions?

Of course it is true that people may not have understood, too polite to ask a questions or for some reason feel a little intimidated. Many do not want to appear stupid in front of their peers. But regardless of the reasons there are a few things you can do.

Here are three simple things you can do the next time you have a presentation to increase the number of questions from your audience:

Ask, “WHAT questions do you have rather than DO you have any questions.

When you use the word what you have changed the question from a closed-ended question to an open-ended question. This will automatically let the audience know that you assume they have questions to ask.

Pause after you ask the question.

Give folks time to think. The pause will also assure them that you really want them to ask a question. Note: Be mindful of any conflicting body language like looking at your watch, or sorting your stack of notes after you have asked the question. This will give a mixed message. It will imply that although you have asked the audience for questions you really do not have time to answer them.

Reward the person who asks the first question.

Come prepared with an incentive to give people who ask a question during certain parts of your program. This works very well in the afternoons when more energy and interaction is demanded.

Overall, if people know that you are sincere in your desire to respond to their questions -they will ask them. Give it a try.

About the Author

Rosie Horner is an inspirational keynote speaker and presentation skills coach. Get a free subscription to Timely Talking Tools ezine and Free E-Book "10 Openings and Closings I Dare You to Try in Your Next Presentation" for signing up. Go to www.rosiehorner.com.

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