Chapter 34. Some Questions Are Actually Statements: Be Ready for Them

You’ve just given a great presentation at work. You feel good. Then, all of a sudden, although you’ve considered possible questions beforehand, a colleague asks you one that hits you right between the eyes. He asks if you have stopped having pollution problems. The tone is antagonistic rather than curious. As far as you know, there’s never been any real problem with pollution. So what’s that all about? And what do you do?

You might think that the primary aim of a question is to gain information. Wrong! In many public-speaking situations, the questions people ask actually function as statements: attempts to convey information rather than request it. “Questions” are sometimes asked ...

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