Mastering Open Ended Questions

How and why you should use how and why.

Mastering Open Ended Questions

How do you feel about open ended questions? If you said you don’t care about them then stand by because I’m about to make them your best friend.

Let’s start by clarifying what an open ended question is. It’s the opposite of a close ended question and that means it can’t be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Open ended questions require some some thought and an explanation. So, unless your podcast is shorter than mine – you can see why this type of question can be quite valuable.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they only ever answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I bet it made you feel like you were cross examining a witness or perhaps that they just weren’t that into you. Either way, being a third party to that kind of conversation is snoresville. Why would you want to do that to your listeners? Why do you hate them so much? How do you expect them to become raving fans?

‘Why’ and ‘how’ – my hands down favourite questions. They’ve saved me from plenty of dud-interviews! These two questions can take the conversation in a new direction – heck they can actually create a conversation. It works a charm with people holding their cards close, with nervous people, and with the non-talkative types – why do these guys ever agree to be interviewed? These two powerhouse questions force people to give you something to work with – even if it’s an opening that allows you to dig deeper. Of all the question words – these are the two to take out for a beer because you can trust them to show up like nobody’s business when you’re floundering in an interview.

You don’t have an interview show? No problem. ‘Why’ and ‘How’ can still be your chums. Use them to make sure you’re delivering solid content – that you’re not leaving your audience wondering ‘why’ or ‘how’ about your topic. Otherwise, they’ll be wonder how anybody ever thought you were any good at this and why they’re still listening…
Okay, by now you should be wondering how you can use these open ended questions in your next podcast. Why don’t you hit play and find out?

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