A good question is one that elicits an appropriate answer – or at least, you hope it does! When you ask a good question, you want to know something about the topic, and how others deal with it. You also want to learn from their answers, and maybe even achieve a similar goal at some point in your life.
That’s why bad questions are so frustrating– they invite vague “answers” that don’t really tell you anything. Worse, they may actually be self-serving, like “how can I make money off this product?” Or outright deceptive, like “is this product guaranteed to work?”
Good questions bring out the best in people. They inspire honest responses that teach you things about the subject, and help you find solutions for other problems related to the topic. If you need information or advice, asking good questions will get you there quickly.
Bad questions cost you time and effort, and sometimes even money. That’s why most people avoid them when they could instead be using those resources effectively. Luckily, we have a tool for identifying quality questions at any level, from basic fundamental concepts to more advanced topics.
In this article, you’ll learn three types of good questions, along with tips and tricks for applying each one to various situations.
Being able to ask questions is one of your biggest strengths as a communicator. After all, being a strong question taker is what propelled you into this career field in the first place!
Asking questions is also an excellent way to use your time efficiently. By asking adequate questions, you will learn more about a topic than if you were to talk at length about it.
And while most people are aware of the importance of listening, few know how to do it properly. Listening is only effective when accompanied by questioning- that’s why it is equally important.
The best interviews include both questions and answers from each participant. This creates a flow of conversation that is engaging for everyone involved.
There are several different types of questions with various purposes. In this article, we will focus on good quality, or “query” type questions. These are typically open ended, but require a response beyond a word or two.
A good question is one that has some value in itself, beyond just being knowledge-based. It can be about anything — something related to your career or life, or maybe even philosophical.
Asking such questions gives people around you insight into you as a person, and helps them form an opinion of you.
Good questions are also easy to come by – they’re not hard to formulate nor are they difficult to answer. If you have a good what are good questions, then you will constantly find yourself with a good conversation starter.
There are many types of good questions, so don’t feel like you need to make yours this week! Try to do it every day, once a week, or once a month — whatever works for you. (And if you can’t think of any, simply writing down all the unanswered questions in your head is a great way to create some.
The second, what are good questions, is asking meaningful questions that help your audience connect with you or find solutions related to the topic at hand.
This article has focused so far on giving you tools to create great conversations, but now we turn our attention to how you can get more people to do it for you!
Asking good questions helps keep the conversation moving and engaging. People love to talk about themselves and their experiences, so if you learn some of their stories, then they’ll feel comfortable telling you things -- even if you don’t ask direct question.
By using this technique, you will win over many people very quickly.
On the other side, there are times when people just want to be left alone. If you can identify these signs, give them their wish. Don’t force a chat on someone unless they really seem like they want one.
As mentioned before, being able to ask questions is an important skill for anyone in this industry. But what are really great questions? And how can you develop your question-asking skills?
Good questions have three parts. They start with the topic or question, then they get more specific, and finally they close off the conversation. Let’s look at a few examples of each element of this framework.
Question: Is money the key to success?
Specific answer: No, not necessarily. Having passion for what you do is much more crucial than having a lot of money.
Open ended: This doesn’t mean that wealth isn’t valuable, but it cannot be the number one driver of success. If we were talking about something like teaching, many wealthy people who never learned to read made their lives beyond rich.
Close off: Even if you don't learn reading, you'll still survive just fine! All sorts of things can help you communicate even if you never mastered literacy. Things like singing, dancing, painting, playing an instrument, and so on.
Another way to use question and answers in stories is as what they call a flashback. A flashback occurs when you take place some event from the past and add onto it by telling how someone else found out about that event.
This can be done at any time during the story, not just the climax. It is often used in novels to show something more deeply or to give context to the events that happened earlier in the book.
A good example of this would be if I asked you whether your favorite food was chicken or beef. Then I walk up to you with a gun and ask which one you wanted to eat.
I have already determined that you like meat so my question only confirms that theory! Using a flashback, we could tell the story of how I got here by asking you what kind of animal you prefer.
A podcast is like having a radio show, but you are not limited to broadcast frequencies – you can listen at your convenience, wherever you have an internet connection.
Podcasts started coming into popularity in 2005 when Apple introduced their first smartphone with voice search capabilities. Since then, they have grown in popularity due to their interactive nature.
You get more out of listening to a podcast than watching a movie or TV show, because you actively participate by asking questions and giving feedback.
It’s like talking to someone while they are awake!
There are two main types of podcasts: interview-based and topic-focused. An example of each would be The Tim Ferriss Show, which features interviews with successful people, and Serial, which follows one story arc throughout its length.
Interviews are usually about wellness, business, psychology, politics, or some type of philosophy. They are typically one person speaking for several minutes followed by another person who answers questions.
Topic-focused podcasts focus on a specific area such as diet tips, fitness routines, or fashion trends. They will frequently break down something (such as yoga poses) and discuss it.
Why Is It Important To Have Good Question And Answer Podcasting Skills?
Heck, even if you aren’t totally professional yet, there are lots of ways to learn how to do question and answer podcasting! You don’t need any special equipment or formal training to begin.
Starting your own show is not as difficult or expensive as some may make it seem! Hire a studio to film you while you create content, talk about how to pick your niche, find your hosting company, and design your website all online free resources that anyone with an internet connection can access.
Most of these things are done via apps on mobile phones so there is no need to have high-speed internet to get started. You will also want to consider what kind of music you like and learn how to use software such as Audacity to edit and produce your podcasts.
There are many ways to promote yourself and your show beyond just social media sites. You can do giveaways, hold listening events, and even run radio shows for other people’s stations!
Good question and conversation topics are totally neutral and applicable to anything – this makes them great starting points for most any topic. “How to bake the best chocolate chip cookies” or “Tips for buying new jeans” are both good questions!
If you’re passionate and knowledgeable about something, then let people know about it by creating a podcast or writing a book or article about it and promoting it.
Running a podcast is a lot of work but it is very rewarding.
A good question is one that elicits thoughtful responses, but that still leaves your listener with something to think about. An excellent way to do this is by asking people what they are doing right now – what’s working for them in their daily lives, what skills and knowledge they have that you can add to your repertoire, and what areas of the world you need to know more about.
By asking these questions, you create conversations that inspire action. Whether it’s inspiring someone to learn a new skill or motivating them to start practicing their own skills, you’ve hit upon an important topic!
If you love listening to podcasts, then choosing a theme or area to focus on will make it much easier to pick out good questions. The easiest place to begin is with “what are my favorite things to listen to?” and work forward from there.