Thursday, November 15, 2012

Q&A requires shutting up too!

I was speaking to a team a couple days ago, and the event reminded me of another great way to use the "Seven Mississippi" thing.

At the end of every presentation, it's time for questions and answers. You won’t get many, but there are always a couple of folks in any group who are willing to take the chance.

In watching others, I am often amazed how little time is left between, “Are there any questions?” and “OK, bye!” The average is about 1-2 seconds. That is far short of the time needed for folks to decide that:
  • They have a question
  • It won’t look like a stupid question
  • It probably wasn’t answered while they were dozing off
  • It won’t get them in trouble by asking it, and
  • It won’t piss off the rest of the team by keeping them there longer
So, after asking for questions, start counting.  More often than not, you will get that good question. And, after answering each one, do the “Seven Mississippi” all over again.

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