Presentations- advanced technique 3

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Hiroshi, do you use Windows or Mac?


The third of our advanced techniques to grab your audience’s attention is the use of direct questions. A direct question, unlike a rhetorical question, requires an actual answer from somebody in your audience.


This is a particularly useful technique if your audience is small (15 people or less) and well known to you. By being asked questions occasionally, those watching will feel much more engaged with you (the presenter) and it will help to remove any lecture style atmosphere during your talk. Two ways to increase the effectiveness of direct questions in presentations are:


1. Simplify

2. Target



1. Simplify

Avoid questions that invite uncertain, open-ended answers, such as:


What do you think about the economy?


Simplify the answers required for questions by posing A or B choice questions and closed yes/no questions, for example:


Do you think the economy will improve this year?


2. Target

If you ask a question to anybody, nobody will likely answer. Instead, target your questions to individuals. To make sure they are prepared, use their name and signpost the fact that you are going ask a question.


Ken, I’d like to ask you a question. Do you think the economy will improve this year?



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