PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

There is a cheap way that some speakers try to sound profound.

They string together long chains of rhetorical questions as a substitute for specific insights and useful information.

So what is important?  How should we plan our lives?  Can we really know where we want to be in five years?  Is there a danger in limiting what we focus on?  Have goals worked for you?  Do you have some current goals?  Are they realistic? Have you shared them with others?     

They might tell you that they are provoking thought, a la the Socratic teaching method.  That doesn’t hold water because the essential dialogue is missing.

There is nothing wrong with the occasional rhetorical question.  It has multiple uses.  It can be an effective lead-in to a content-rich section.  It can also challenge audience members to consider how something just revealed might apply to them personally

What is not acceptable is stringing together rhetorical questions as a substitute for the valuable answers audience members expected from their expert speaker.

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