What’s the most effective way to get people to think? It’s a question that teachers and trainers grapple with daily, the world over.
So it never fails to amaze me that so little attention is paid to questions and their attention-directing qualities.
I was the speaker at a central London event last night. Called Interesting Talks, it attracts a young, lively crowd with lots to say for themselves.
It might have been tempting to do what I’d been asked to do and just give an “interesting talk” on my chosen topic – how to discover your Sweet Spot, the place where you can make a great living by doing what you love.
But instead, I used questions to challenge the group to think for themselves.
It seemed to work, judging by the buzz in the room and by the feedback. Some of the participants were a bit surprised that it was so interactive – but a larger number commented on how much more fun it was than sitting and listening.
Why bother trekking into London on a January night just to sit and listen? You could do that at home, with the radio and TV. Events should be interactive!
I suspect we’re all so used to the TV and radio that we’re conditioned into expecting a safe, chalk-and-talk experience. But in my opinion, that’s not where the juice is!
By asking questions, and listening to the answers, you can make people think in all kinds of different ways. You can manipulate their emotions – make them happy, sad, or curious. And after a while, you’ll learn something.
- You can hear a recording of the evening’s events here
- Coming up… I recently interviewed teacher and coach Julie McCracken about how she uses Clean Language to get young children thinking. Make sure you’re on my newsletter list to hear when this podcast is released.