Do you know how to ask questions?

Asking questions is a necessary skill in all areas of life, but the resources to obtain information on this subject are quite limited. Many of us freeze when we hear “any question” in a presentation, keynote, or lecture. These awkward silences aren’t just confined to the student world, they often happen at high-level conferences as well.
Equally and more broadly, it is crucial to ask the right questions at the right time to prevent disasters. It is necessary to challenge assumptions, established ideas or misinformation. Knowing when not to ask questions is as useful as knowing when to shut up in general. We would like to share some tips on this subject with you.

Tips for asking questions can be listed as follows;
1) Formulate and write down the questions you will ask while listening.
2) Ask your question before anyone else, don’t expect someone to ask first, as the hosts are always grateful to someone who breaks the awkward silence. If you are the first to ask a question, thank the presenter, but do not be enthusiastic, do not exaggerate.
3) Keep your question as short as possible because the presenter will need to remember what you said to answer it.
4) Do not ask two or more questions at the same time. Ask permission for another question if necessary.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions, because the obvious is often overlooked. If you preface your question with “this may be a silly question, but…” you’re at least showing that you’re considering the possibilities.
6) If you are commenting instead of asking questions, keep your comment short.
7) Do not ask overly specific questions (eg about statistical errors unless relevant to the general argument). You can deal with these later.
8) Don’t use the word ‘interesting’ – because it has now become a pejorative term, meaning ‘how ridiculous’ or just ‘boring’.
9) Emphasize a specific point in the presentation that you think would be helpful for further clarification, “you said that …”
10) Thank the presenter for his response and do not engage in a two-way discussion unless you have plenty of time and are very confident in your position.

Remember; Directing the questions we pose to others correctly and in style is the prerequisite for getting a complete and clear answer to that question. Your approaches and the steps you will follow have more impact on many aspects of your life than you even realize. Hoping to be able to ask the right questions at the right time and in the right style.

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