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Questions can be a powerful way to open a presentation. Good questions instantly engage your listeners and draw them in. Here are some tips to start strong.

First, ask simple and easy questions. Long, complicated questions can confuse people.

I prefer asking questions that start something like this: “By a show of hands, how many of you have ever . . .”

In contrast, don’t ask questions as if you are a teacher who is quizzing your listeners. You also don’t want to put people on the spot by asking them anything too personal or weird. Keep it simple and easy.

Second, you may want to ask a series of two to three questions to build momentum. As an opening, a single question often goes by too quickly.

A two-question series might look like this: “By a show of hands, how many of you have ever worked for a good leader? How can we make sure our employees see us as good leaders?”

The questions build toward the point of your message.

See the video for more ways to get the most out of questions.

Originally posted at: How to Grab an Audience’s Attention With a Question