No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Does anyone else ask stupid questions?


I came across a great post on the brain friendly trainer website about asking great questions and it listed the not so great questions trainers sometimes ask, you know the ones I mean: Is that Ok for everyone? Do you all understand? Does anyone have anything to add? And the amazingly useless 'does anyone have any questions?' Which generally do not generate much response but can sometimes be a default setting for trainers. So I've been trying to think of more useful questions I could ask instead (rather than content specific questions) such as: Name one idea/way you could use what we have just covered? And wondered if the great trainingzone community could help me generate some good alternatives. Thanks, Derek For original post see:

5 Responses

  1. some other options
    Who’d like to summarise that for the group to give me a rest?……..David!

    What will you do differently next week as a result of the subjects we’ve covered today? (everyine one after the other)

    What do you think of that?….Sarah!

    When might that NOT work?…….Shal!

    Sometimes it is also useful to challenge by throwing down a statement and seeing what arguments you get back, rather than asking a question; for instance,
    “So you would ALWAYS book a private room to have a performance management discussion?”

    Incidentally, I don’t find “Does anyone have any questions?” to be useless…
    >a lot depends when you ask this question (5.55pm or 1.29pm don’t tend to get a response) but just after you have set a task and said “You will have 20 minutes, does anyone have any questions?” usually does where appropriate.
    >It also depends on how you have handled questions so far; if you have created an environment where people feel confident in asking questions then it will still work, if you have growled at people or made them feel small for asking then they won’t!

    I hope this helps

  2. Stupid Questions in Webinars
    I’d be very interested to see the responses to your posting as when you deliver a live e-learning session (i.e. webinar), these questions usually generate a deathly period of silence that unsettles both facilicators and attendees.

    In the face to face classroom, you can look around the room and stare people into answering, but not so in a virtual classroom.

    I always coach my online facilitators to avoid them like the plague, so having a database of alternatives would be a great resources, as more and more trainers move online.


  3. Questions

    In the words of the wonderful professor Lief Edvinsson: which is better a great answer or a great question?

    So, in keeping with your theme, should I give you an answer, or perhaps ask you a question?

    Have you ever tried using ‘if’ questions? (like ‘If you were to take an alternative view what would that be? If there were a question about this that hasn’t yet been answered, what would that be?)

    Are you looking to uncover any uncertainties? (eg Out of what we have covered, what are you most unsure about?) Are you looking to open up new territory? (eg How else might this be applied?). Are you aiming to get people involved? (eg What do those who have spoken less think about this?) Or are you, in that great trainer tradition, wanting them to think things through for themselves? (eg How would you approach this? What should be done next? What alterantives would you consider? What are the strengths/weakeness of this approach?)

    Does that make sense?

    Graham O’Connell 

  4. Glad you found the post stimulating…

    Hi Derek,
    Glad you enjoyed our post our post Hash Teabags and Great Questions and found it thought provoking.

    It certainly is a challenge because we all know that great questions are a key piece of the trainers skill set. We also know that it’s easy for us to fall back on the old favourites. In the article, Tony shares his expereince of asking the same questions every day to his daughter after school – and the negative impact this routine.

    SO how can we break the routine…

    As an alternative to "Does anyone have any questions?", recently I’ve been experimenting with variations of  "What clarification can I offer?" – the jury is still out though!

    Thanks again for sharing one of our blog posts




    I blog at
    Follow me on twitter at
    Hook up with me at LinkedIn:

  5. Thanks for your ideas

    Thanks for your comments they have been useful in starting to generate a stock of questions I can draw from. The comments about being clear on the reason for the question is particularly helpful.

    Here’s another suggestion:

    If you were only allowed to implement 1 idea from today/this session what would you choose? Alternatively if you were only able to remember 1 learning point from today/this session and had to forget everything else what would you choose? (helps learners reflect and prioritise what they have learnt/will do?)

    Any other additional suggestions for good questions are always welcome!




No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!