A Rhetorical question is one to which you do not require an answer, at least not out loud. They are a very useful technique in presenting. Why? Because they engage your audience and keep them involved without actually requiring them to talk.
Asking a rhetorical question makes your audience consider what the answer might be. It results in their minds searching for an answer.
Here’s an example; ‘What is the capital city of France?’
You’re thinking of Paris, correct? It’s hard not to. You don’t have to have said anything for me to know you’re thinking of the word if not the city of Paris. You’re involved.
Rhetorical Questions can be used in lots of ways
Here’s another example; ‘How many Cathedrals are there in Paris?’
You’re almost certainly searching for an answer. Chances are you don’t know the answer. So now you want me to tell you. You’re really engaged now. I’m going to tell you something you don’t know.
That’s the beauty of rhetorical questions. They get your audience involved.
They also work at rescuing you when you’ve forgotten where you are or what you’re going to say next. For example:
‘So where does that lead us to?’ Gives you the right to click the next slide. It gives you a millisecond whilst they search for the answer and you find it.
Oh and how many Cathedrals are there in Paris? I don’t know!