Recently I worked with a talented group of project managers. They told me most of their presentations are really over-the-phone meetings. Sound familiar? They struggled with getting a read on how the audience was reacting, and said it was difficult to start a discussion. Together we brainstormed this great list of questions you could ask to start a discussion, or to keep one going. Pay attention to how each question is worded in order to avoid closed ended questions that go nowhere. Give them a try during your next in-person or virtual meeting.
What questions do you have so far?
What questions can I answer?
What can I clarify for you?
What items are still unclear? (…or need more clarification?)
What is your first reaction to this?
How does this strike you?
What is your take on this?
What is your opinion?
Can you (or can someone) summarize this situation?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’m interested in your opinion.
I’m curious to know what you think.
Does this provide what you need?
How well does this cover what you need?
What else do you need?
What am I leaving unclear?
What could I add?
What could others add?
What else do you need to come to agreement?
Are we all in agreement?
What are the next steps for us to take?