© 2012 Rule The Room
A question is a linguistic expression used to make a request for information or to request action. They are an important part of a presentation when informing, inspiring, interacting, training and teaching an audience.
Asking questions is an art form. This art is one of the basic skills of top presenters and teachers. Socrates believed that knowledge and awareness were an intrinsic part of each of his students. Therefore, Building a presentation or teaching a lesson requires not only a good understanding of the subject, but also knowing how to use questions during the presentation.
Typical train the trainer programs and teacher education programs don’t spend enough time on question asking. Even some sales training programs lack the necessary emphasis.
Reaching into an audience member’s hidden levels of knowledge and awareness will actually help the learner reach new levels of thinking.
Through the application of the art of questioning, presenters and trainers can extract and share factual information, help listeners and audience members connect concepts all while encouraging creative and imaginative thought, that all lead to learners reaching deeper levels of thinking and understanding.
Questions (by trainers, teachers and presenters) can be used to:
Bring out the potential of an individual or a team. Create a more meaningful relationship with someone. Bring out the most in a student when being taught. Build rapport with a listening audience.
As CRAM: The "Quick" Notes on How to Train and Teach states, there are many more things that questions do especially for presenters, trainers and teachers.
Let’s look at a few types of questions you might use in your presentations, that you might not have thought of before:
1. Expert Question – This is a question asked by you that has highly specialized knowledge behind it. You usually ask this when building credibility with your audience so that you may convey your expertise to them.
2. Leading Question – This is a question asked to a group that doesn’t know the answer but can figure out the answer with thought and guidance by the expert presenter. A presenter uses this when guiding and helping learners understand a concept on their own.
3. Active Question – This is a question designed solely to keep the audiences attention. Sometimes audiences start to zone out. A high impact, thought- provoking question will make them pause and think and this usually brings them back to you, the presenter.
The right questions generate thought, focus, and action from any listener. They also convey respect; respect of your audience, the learner and the listener. Think about the types of questions you can ask the next time you present to a group or train people.