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Questioning Techniques for Teleconference Success

There are many ways to use questions to keep your audioconference interesting, flowing, effective, and informative. Here are some of them:

To open a discussion

To keep discussion to the point

To bring out reactions to films and other media

To direct attention to another phase of the subject

To bring out opinions and attitudes

To uncover causes or relationships

To suggest an action, idea, or decision

To achieve a conclusion or agreement

To get information

To test ideas

To call attention to a point, an idea, a fact, a problem, or a situation

To bring out reactions to a point made by a conferee

To develop new ideas

To summarize or end a discussion

Keep Your Conference in Control

Here are some techniques for keeping the distractions to a minimum, and helping participants stay focused and on track:

Conferee talks too much

Interrupt tactfully with a question or summarizing statement.

When the talker pauses, rephrase one of his or her statements and pass on to another question.

Seat this participant in your "blind spot" right next to you and ignore some of his or her comments.

Allow the group to cut this participant off, which they probably will if the talking persists.

Conferee doesn't participate

When asking a question, make eye contact with this participant.

Phrase questions in a way to stimulate this particular conferee's participation.

Ask a direct question of this conferee.

Conferees engage in side conversations

Stop talking and wait for side conversation to end.

Stand behind the conferees who are talking.

Change the seating arrangement.

Ask a direct question of one of the talkers.

One conferee adamantly disagrees with the group on a particular point.

Let the group handle this participant.

Change the subject.

Have the participant summarize the position he or she disagrees with.

If all else fails, talk with this participant after the conference.


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