Call on a specific participant by name.
Pause to let the person realize that his or her name was called. Ask the question.
This second technique is a more direct, in-your-face approach. As a result, I use it selectively so that I avoid unduly offending or embarrassing learners. It is not a technique that I often use with introverted participants or those whose nonverbal cues indicate that they might not have an answer. It does come in handy for the difficult participants who are distractive or or inattentive during the session. Calling their name snaps them back to refocus, the pause allows them time to prepare to listen, and the question is offered for their response.
As a final thought related to questioning, you might want to post some questioning guidelines on your training room wall (see Table 9-1). Explain and reference these in your opening remarks. Point them out when someone violates the guidelines to help them learn effective questioning techniques and to prevent their offending anyone.
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