Public Speaking Can Be Fun

Free Public speaking skills tips, techniques, and advice by presentation skills expert Jacki Rose, Top Performance. Follow me on Twitter:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Don’t Ask Stupid Questions

Here are some questions I have heard that I consider stupid questions when it comes to public speaking skills.

Who has ever heard of Fed Ex?
Who here has a computer?
Who has electricity in their house?

A stupid question is a question you ask that you know just about every person in your audience is going to have the same answer to. Everyone probably has electricity, everyone probably has a computer, and everyone has probably heard of Fed Ex. But you can change those questions around to sound much more intelligent and to avoid insulting your audience. For example:

“Who here has ever used Fed Ex?” Or, “You have heard of Fed Ex, but have you heard of ebay express?” Now you’ve set the stage for your message.

“Who here does NOT own a computer?” Believe it or not, you may get someone, but if not, the question gets your audience to think in a different way and probably the way you intended originally.

“Do you know anyone who doesn’t have electricity? If you do, it’s probably because they didn’t pay their electric bill or they owe taxes.” Now you’ve got them laughing a little bit, which was probably your goal to begin with and you’ve got them thinking about how important electricity is.

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