When the audience needs more than a nudge

In the observation notes on your iSWOOP programs, I am seeing nice sequences of questions. Great examples of getting the audience use their observation skills. You are weaving questions into your talks in a natural way. Sometimes you are getting a good response. Sometimes a bit more silence.

Below are  some of the techniques that are working well. Maybe some ideas for your back pocket–in case you get one of those groups that doesn’t warm up quickly and doesn’t give much back.

What can you tell from the color?


What do you notice? (Seemed to work best for Eric when he gave the challenge to see something in 1 second or for Ellen when she has people compare and contrast the fruit bat and the Brazilian free tail)

What is happening in the left/right, center of the shot?

How would it feel to be a bat in this image? (Yes, this may lead to anthropomorphizing, but it’s helpful to adopt a new perspective).

What does it remind you of? Example: Thermal image is like lava or like looking at frosting. Eric got a lot of response from the simulation of 500,000 bats leaving the cave in a minute. “It looks like a meat grinder,” one person said and then others gave their opinions. Much laughter.

One of the common things about these sorts of questions is that they don’t have just one right answer. That means more people can contribute AND it doesn’t put you in a position of saying right or wrong to someone who took a risk and spoke out.

I’ll keep looking for more examples like this to share. Add your examples too, especially if you’ve had that situation–a quiet group and then found a question that changes up the dynamic.

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