How to Ask Guest Speakers Intelligent Questions

Written by thea theresa english
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When guest speakers hold their presentations, it can become more interesting when audience members ask interesting questions about the topic. In addition, it lets the guest speakers know that you paid attention during the speech and that you want to know more about what was being said, even if you disagree. When you ask a guest speaker questions, you want to ask her intelligently and in a mature way.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Research
  • Careful attention to the guest speaker's speech

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    Ask Well-Researched and Meaningful Questions

  1. 1

    Do research on the guest speaker before you attend the presentation. This will give you a better idea of where he stands on certain issues. It also keeps you from asking generic or repetitive questions.

  2. 2

    Ask questions that haven't been answered in your research or during the speech. For example, if the speaker has written several books already on the subject of Islam in Europe and the United States, ask her questions about Islam in Latin America and the current statistics on that.

  3. 3

    Ask questions that challenge the speaker's point of view. If she talks about the benefits of affirmative action but you disagree with affirmative action, tell the speaker why---for example, that you disagree because you think affirmative action treats minorities as victims, rather than people whose talents and character qualify them for college and good jobs.

  4. 4

    Ask the speaker how the solutions he promotes in the speech would apply in your situation. If he believes that there ought to be more parental involvement in the schools but you're a single parent who works during school hours, ask about ways to get involved with your child's school despite those circumstances.

  5. 5

    Avoid questions that belittle the guest speaker and incite physical confrontations. Your goal is to learn more about a subject by asking her questions in a respectful manner.

Tips and warnings

  • If you were pleased with the guest speaker's presentation, thank him for coming and state why you enjoyed it. Positive response may encourage him to return your area for future events.
  • If the question-and-answer session lasts for a certain amount of time, don't take too long with your comments or questions. Allow room for others to participate as well.

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