Asking Questions


In an article in Success Magazine, there is some guidance on how to ask questions to speakers in presentations. It says: express your reservations or ask your questions in a respectful, non-confrontational way. In other words, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Don’t mutter, “That’s never going to work.”

So half of you reading this are thinking ‘well, duh!’. But I have seen the people ask speakers questions which are clearly critical or hostile. And I’ve done it when I’ve called a service provider and I’m already in a bad mood. I start with a question which I know will show them in a bad light.

I never get good results when I start a conversation that way. I never see speakers and questioners get good results when they start that way. No matter how much the person you’re speaking to has irritated you, begin in a kind and gentle way. Ask a genuine question, not one designed to start a fight. You’ll get better results that way.