We've all been there, probably. The seating is full, the speaker we all came to hear has given a good talk, and now he or she is going to take questions from the audience. Hands are raised, people are called on.
And one or more of those chosen to ask a question spends way too much time trying to:
a) Impress the speaker with the depth of his or her knowledge of the speaker's work
b) Impress the speaker and the audience with a recitation of his or her experience, background, or accomplishments
c) Give all sorts of set-up and context for a question that really doesn't need it.
We ought to be gracious in thinking of these "Me Monster" interlocutors, but they ought to be gracious with the rest of those present, as well. :-)
Is this person you? Do you know that the more time you take not asking a question during your moment can be a manifestation of self-centeredness? Not to mention that it robs other people of being able to ask questions too. The longer you take, the less time there is for others.
So how do you ask a question during a Q&A time?
1. Skip the autobiography unless a concise personal note gives needed context for your question.
2. Skip adulation of the speaker unless you can offer a short "thank you for speaking here today."
3. Just ask a question.
If the speaker needs more details or context, he or she can ask for them.