Use Rhetorical Questions in Your Presentation

George TorokCommunication skills, Insights, Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment


use rhetorical questions in your presentation

Why should you use rhetorical questions in your presentation?

Use rhetorical questions during your presentation to better engage your audience. This technique is simple and powerful. It’s surprising that more speakers don’t make better use of this technique.

This works especially well, when delivering detailed technical information. That means this is an effective technique for engineers, scientists, economists, IT experts, and other technical specialists.

This technique is useful when you want to persuade your audience to act accordingly because you use the questions to address their concerns and direct them in the desired direction.


How it works

1  When you ask a question, it grabs the attention of your audience. We are programmed to respond to questions. On the other hand, we tend to ignore statement followed by more statements.

2 Your listeners might already be thinking that question. When they the question, they will feel that you understand them and listen closely to your answer.

3 Posing a rhetorical question before you give important information builds anticipation for the information. That means they are more likely to listen and appreciate the information.

4 Asking a question makes your voice more interesting because you will naturally inflect your voice while asking the question. This is the simplest way to include vocal variety in your presentation.

5 This technique can be your secret weapon when you forget what comes next. You pose the question out loud to help get your brain back on track.

  • What might you say?
  • What’s the next step?
  • What are the benefits for you?
  • What is our schedule for implementation?
  • What have customers said about this program?
  • How will this change effect you?


Sprinkle rhetorical questions throughout your presentation to recapture your listeners’ attention, sound more interesting and make it feel more like a conversation.

rhetorical question in your presentation


How will you start making better use of this technique in your presentations?


PS: Here are more examples of rhetorical questions to use when speaking:


  1. Why is this important now?
  2. What does this mean to you?
  3. How will you benefit?
  4. What are the strengths of this plan?
  5. How will this help you?
  6. How can you participate?
  7. When are the key dates?
  8. What are the key steps?
  9. What’s most important now?


PPS: When you think of more rhetorical questions to use in your presentation – add them in the comments…


Use rhetorical questions in your presentation for greater impact

Poor presentation creates stress, wastes time and loses money. George Torok, President of Superior Presentations, helps presenters deliver the intended message for greater success. You can arrange for individual coaching or team training – online or onsite.

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