Asking questions can benefit audiences—and presenters—in multiple ways. The biggest personal benefit I have found is simple: I learn things.

Even when an audience answer is off the mark it can prompt me to think about issues in different and better ways. Audience answers often spark useful ideas that never would have occurred to me if I had not asked a question. Sometimes audiences teach me more than I teach them.

The mother of a boy named Izzy had the right approach. Every day when he came home from school she had one query: “Izzy, did you ask any good questions today?” Every day the same demanding and persistent query: “Izzy, did you ask any good questions today?

Is it really a complete surprise that Izzy grew up to be Nobel Prize winner Dr. Isidor Rabi?

From the article Presenter’s Guide Series Part IV: The Power of Asking Questions.