well. “I think we should abandon the Constitution
and just do whatever we want.” “Good
point.” “Elvis, Hitler, and JFK are all
alive and living on the planet Zondorr.”
“Good point.” “I think you’re an
asshole.” “Good point.” “Good point” is especially useful if you
don’t have any idea how to answer the dumb ass question or respond to the
stupid ass point. Whenever a trainer
says either “good point” or “that’s a great question,” what he’s really saying
is, “I haven’t got a fucking clue.”

Now
what if you’re faced with a question you just can’t answer? You can’t let that stop you and here’s a
great technique for making sure you’re never caught off guard. When one of the Dumb Ass Questions throws
you, simply open it up to the audience.
Of course you say “Great question,” and then say “What do the rest of
you think?” Don’t leave it at that,
though. Always say, “I know what I think
but I’d like to hear from you.” Then you
have to listen very carefully to their responses and appropriate one or two as
your own. The audience will eat this up
and think that for one brief shining moment they share the same universe with
you. Beware, though: if no one answers
you’re in deep shit.

(PROJECTION: “Asking Questions”)

Now
not only do you have to answer questions, you also have to ask them. It’s required. Because your learners are going to get these
evaluations sheet with important, earth-shattering questions about your
presentation such as “are you now able, after a three-hour lecture on time
management, to turn your pathetic life around and start actually producing
something for society other than additional carbon dioxide?” or “were the
bathrooms conveniently located?” One of
the questions is invariably about your ability to ask questions to help with
retention. So, you’ve got to come up
with questions–not too difficult because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s
self-esteem when they can’t answer them.
Also you want to make it seem as though you actually taught them
something, so make your questions really easy so you can take pride in your
ability to disseminate information so effectively. Now when you ask questions you should also
make them multiple answer-questions–that is, there can be more than one dumb
answer. This way a lot of people can
take part and your training will be called “interactive.” There’s a good technique to use whenever you
ask a question that allows you to get a whole bunch of idiotic answers and
solicit more. Ask questions that are so
wide open almost anything can fit. For
example, “what kinds of things create distractions for you at work?” Almost instantaneously you’ll get a slew of
hands going up and you call on people, one at a time, using the palms up
gesture so you don’t appear like you’re pointing, which you are. You listen to their lame answer and you
repeat the lame answer and as you do you raise your inflection as if to say,
“right, and what else?” And then you
call on the next person. Let’s try
it. “What kinds of things create
distractions at work?”

(He does all the voices)

VOICE 1

Phones
ringing.

DR. JOHN

Phones
ringing.

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