In a recent presentation to a large group of lawyers in Sydney, Australia I decided to try a different approach in my presentation.Â After a brief introduction, I simply asked the audience, “what would you like to know about social media for lawyers?”
There was brief pause and silence.Â Inside I wondered, would anybody have a question to ask?Â Would the deafening sound of crickets chirping force me to change my strategy?Â Then the floodgates opened.Â The questions began.Â We ended up having outstanding questions that directed what I feel like was one of the better sessions I ended up running.
The session was great because I wasn’t telling the audience what they needed to know, in my opinion.Â It was a conversation, and their insights drove the content.Â So how do we create blog posts that START conversations?Â How do we take advantage of the wisdom of the crowd?
Some bloggers are experts at this.Â Seth Godin writes three sentences with a good question and can get over 100 responses.Â We may not get Seth’s traffic – but we can learn a few great lessons from the way he strategically generates conversation.Â From everything I have read there is one general rule I can share:
GOOD QUESTIONS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN GREAT ANSWERS
To be honest, I am still figuring out what makes good or even great questions.Â In live presentations open ended questions work well- but sometimes on blogs simple yes or no questions can generate real conversation.Â What types of questions really engage people in discussion?Â What has worked for you?
While in College I was blessed with the opportunity to work for Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma.Â He told me about his first few days as a student at Harvard.Â He didn’t have the fancy degrees or prep school past of his peers, but he did have a great curiosity and desire to keep up.Â So he listened intently to each comment made by a fellow student in class, went back home, reviewed what they had said, and asked himself- what question led that student to make that comment?Â Taking it one step further, what question was behind that question?Â By figuring out THOSE questions, Clay was able to gain powerful insights into the material- but also to make sure he was learning what his peers were learning.Â Before long he gained a powerful understanding of the material because he figured out the right questions.
Any other ideas on generating comments, please share.