How Can They be Used in Public Speaking?

The proper use of questions is essential to public speaking and speechmastery.

In the legal world and especially in a trial setting, you will hear it said that you should never ask about anything that you do not know the answer to. That is the way lawyers practice law when using interrogation and cross examination. It is the exact opposite of how you need to practice speechmastery in public speaking.

You will need to learn to master inquiry and the art of asking questions that your audience does not know the answer to. This asking causes the listener to explore their inner feelings and thoughts. This will reveal where you, as the speaker may need to go. This may not be apparent in your research on the audience.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
-- Albert Einstein

Do you know why?

    Stop reading this and think of the answer to...Do you know why?

    No, really, stop reading and think of all the reasons why?

    Ok, do you have several why's in mind?....then continue reading...

    It is for the same reason it has just happened to you as you read this. It will make you think. If the audience already knows the answer, why do they need to hear you speak.

    By getting the audience to think, you engage them mentally. You capture the attention of the audience mind. You help them to not be bored. Thinking can be quite entertaining. Especially to someone who seldom thinks.

Using Questions, How?

    Proper use can be accomplished in several ways.

    Introduce something that will be totally new to the audience.

    Create new application to old knowledge.

    Different understanding to old knowledge.

    How to use old knowledge. 
Re-affirmation of something that is already known.

    How does it work? Consider an example.

    In the sale of real estate, sales professionals know that statistically only one percent of houses sell from open houses. Real estate sales people know this. Home owners typically do not.

    So if you tell someone in any profession something that they already know, you are preaching to the choir.

    Here is where the proper use of questions can help you master public speaking.

    Make a statement that you know the audience already knows, in this case, that only one percent of open houses showings results in a sale.

    Then ask. Is this true? Do not stop here, Ask if they believe it. Ask if they have experienced it for them selves. What if the statistic was wrong. What if the way the statistic was presented could be looked at differently and have an entirely different positive result? Is that possible?

    What if the statistic was perpetuated by someone who hated open houses?

    Now to make sure that you have their attention, ask...if you do not know the answer, do you think you should?

    You can go a number of ways from here using the above forms of for information.

    Create new application to old knowledge.

    With this, show that although the 1 percent may be true, it does not account for the number of people that can be met and relationships that can be forged. Statistics for relationship marketing can be as high as 38 percent compared to 2 percent in traditional sales techniques.

    Different understanding to old knowledge.

    Show how although it may be only one percent, if properly done, it can enable you to experience an even higher sales ratio. One company lists the property but will not show if for a couple of weeks. Then when it is first shown, it is through an open house. Now there is a greater interest and a larger body of potential buyers. More importantly, they experience an even higher sales ration than the 1 percent studies show.

    How to use old knowledge.

    Show what is in it for me if the information is used properly. Meeting neighbors and dropping off your card. Meeting many new people. Encourage the audience to not just give a business card away. Give a booklet on how to buy or sell a house. Create a paper on the seven things you need to ask any real estate professional before you sign on with them. 
Re-affirmation of something that is already known.

    Yep, tell them that they are right. So, what is in it for your audience? Help them see how they can benefit their home-sellers and avoid the dreaded open house sitting. In the introduction, share a booklet, fact sheet or Frequently Asked Questions that cover this. This education could save both of you the time and trouble.

    With the proper use of questions, it is possible to help your audience to grow and to benefit from your public speaking.

    Learning and mastering this skill is one of the essentials to attaining speechmastery.

    The question is, will you master the proper use of asking?

More Speaking Skills

Introductions, How Can You Master Them? the Public Speaking Questions Resource

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Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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