I am the biggest fan of “question and answer” sessions. For many reasons.
The first being I love raw, uncut speaking. Kind of like how I write. I like people who think on the spot and come up with unique answers. Q and A does a great job of this because it has the potential to reveal new perspectives.
Let’s go back to that last sentence as I talk about the potential. Because part of the Questions and Answer formula is of course the questions part. And the challenge with that is asking the right, hard questions to evoke the most unique answers.
Let’s continue to dissect this and dig a bit deeper. First:
Why ask a question?
You must ask yourself why you are raising your hand in the first place…What do you want to know?
This of course changes depending on the speaker/environment…but in general — I either want to gain information or I want to be memorable.
I ask questions that I could not find the answer to online. Why? Because that is a waste of everyone’s time. Also, I’ve found that softball questions are unmemorable. And smart people, really smart people — love hard questions. They like to be challenged, because that is when they are most in their element. The smartest people like solving hard problems in the way they like answering hard questions.
So I think of questions that perhaps no one has asked them before? Why? Same reason you remember your first kiss or your first time out of the country. First is important. And that is one way to become memorable quickly.
Another reason that I like Q and A Sessions is I get to see what sort of things people are interested in (the people asking the questions).
The truth though is that most questions in any networking or speaker environment are bullsh*t. Of course this is just from personal observation. But why ask a question that does not propel thought forward or one that you are not genuinely interested in.
Ask hard questions, please 🙂
This same goes to me…I like talking to people that go past the hi, what’s your name, what school do you go to, blah blah blah.
Of course, I answer those. And I like talking to people in general to be honest.
But I’ve found myself most attracted to people who challenge my thought. The paradox of arguments.
Regardless, find people who ask you hard questions or else no one will. And you need hard questions to push you out of your comfort zone — at least I do, every once in a while.