Today’s twip is “#prestip: If you want a show of hands, put your own hand up when you ask the question. http://digg.com/u173rk ”
This is a fairly obvious tip. If you don’t put your hand up people will not know how to answer the question.
While I’m on the subject of asking the audience questions, did you know that you are unlikely to get an honest answer to the first two or three questions that you ask? Some people will not want to raise their hands to answer a question, not because they don’t trust their deodorant but because they don’t trust you. They may think that if they put their hand up, to your question, you might pick on them and start asking them more questions. So if you want an honest response to a question you need to ask a few preliminary questions first, to show that nothing nasty will happen to anyone, if they put their hand up.
I once gave a short talk about giving an effective presentation and asked the audience to select which particular aspects of giving a presentation they would like me to cover in the time available. I made the mistake of asking if anyone wanted to discuss handling the nerves and anxiety of presenting as my first question. No one put their hand up. With hindsight that was only to be expected, as anyone who is nervous about presenting is also likely to be nervous about putting their hand up, in case I pick on them. By the time I got to the fifth question, everyone was putting their hand up.
Remember at most business presentations, the audience think that they are “just there to listen” not to participate. It takes some time and encouragement for them to realise that it is okay to participate.
For more hints and tips visit my presentation training website.