Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I like this presentation of Emilie about demo’s. In a lot of courses people forget to talk about this. It’s simple to say: do a demo, hold a review. As most teams figure out, doing a demo is a lot of hard work.

This weeks ATQ is about powerful question. Last year I worked together with Deborah Preuss who is probably an even bigger fan of powerful questions than I am. She wrote a nice introduction to the quiz, that I decided to publish together with the answers.
We hope this quiz teaches (or reminds) you of  at least one practice for your people-skills toolkit!

1) What makes a question “powerful”?

A) It conveys the questioner’s strong desire for change.

B) It sets a clear direction for answerers to follow.

C) It evokes the answerer’s wisdom.

D) It is specific to the answerer’s context.

E) It is easily answered.

F) It has never been asked before.

2) Which of these is (or are) evidence that question has been “powerful”?

A) The energy in the room shifts.

B) There is a pause, while a deep breath is taken.

C) Body language indicates curiosity.

D) One or more of the above may happen.

E) It is impossible to tell right away.

F) All of the above.

3) Which of these are sure to weaken the effect of a question?

A) feeling nervous and stumbling when posing the question.

B) already knowing the answer you want the answerers to discover.

C) presenting some possible answers, to get the ball rolling.

D) rephrasing it, to be sure it was understood.

E) allowing an awkward silence to lengthen after asking it.

F) None of the above.

4) Which of the following statements about “Why…?” questions is (or are) FALSE?

A) Research has found “Why” questions, in general, to be more powerful than “what,” “when” and “which” questions.

B) You can pose a “why” question without using “why”.

C) A “Why” question is the fastest way to the real root of any issue.

D) A “why” question may need to be repeated to dig down.

E) A “why” question can put answerers on the defensive.

F) It doesn’t matter who asks it – a solid “why” question always works.


  1. Avoid Alliteration.
  2. Prepositions dangle awkwardly if you use them to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid clichés and colloquialism like the plaque, or you will seem old hat.
  4. Employ the vernacular, while eschewing arcane and obfuscate verbiage.
  5. Avoid ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Take it easy with parenthetical remarks (however relevant) to avoid chopping up sentences (unnecessarily (we might add)).
  7. To ever, however artfully, split an infinitive, marks you as grammatically challenged.
  8. Skip the foreign words and phrases you know, n’est-ce pas?
  9. Never generalize.
  10. ‘I hate quotations. Tell me what you know’ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  11. Comparisons can clog up writing as badly as alliterations and cliches.
  12. Avoid redundancy and verbosity, or readers will think you are repeating yourself and using too many words as well besides.
  13. We really get @*&%$**)!! when you use vulgarities.
  14. Clear, specific writings beats vagueness, we suppose, Whatever.
  15. Overstatement totally destroys any credibility you ever had before.
  16. Understatements can, at times, perhaps shade a point to the point of it’s fading a way.
  17. One word sentences? Eliminate.
  18. Analogies work about as well as fur on a flounder.
  19. “Is” just sits there. Pick verbs that mean something.
  20. Even if a mixed  metaphor sings, you should derail it.
  21. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  22. Its dstrakting too punctuat, an spel rong?

Update: I received that list from a friend, years ago. I have no idea from where it comes. If you know the author, please tell me and I will give credit.