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Interest Questions, Your Key to Conversation Success

By June 5, 2019June 1st, 2020No Comments
black and white image of hundreds of small question marks, overlay text Interest Questions or Understanding Questions

It’s 8am. You just arrived at your conference. You make a bee-line for your necessary morning jolt of java. As you are stirring in your sugar, Jenna, next to you, smiles at you as she pours her own cup of coffee. She looks at your name tag and then asks, “What do you do?” You of course, respond with your well-rehearsed elevator pitch.

Jenna smiles as she listens. After you finish, she doesn’t ask any questions. She doesn’t make any comments. Rather, she shares her elevator pitch. What just happened?

One of two things:

  1. Jenna completely understands your elevator pitch and doesn’t have any questions
  2. She didn’t understand/is confused. She doesn’t want to either embarrass you or embarrass herself by asking any follow up questions


You see, there should be a third option. Jenna asks “Interest Questions.” These are follow up questions to better understand the value of your products and services. With Interest Questions, she is demonstrating, well, interest. You piqued her interest with a “Wow! Tell me more” elevator pitch. Your pitch performed as it was designed.

On the flip side, are what we call “Understanding Questions.” These are asked for clarification because someone doesn’t understand what you said. Your listener wants examples and clarification to get unstuck.


Interest Questions and Understanding Questions are not just for your elevator pitch. They are universal. They can be applied to anything you say, write, or post online.

If you are consistently receiving Understanding Questions in marketing, customer service, prospecting/outreach, conference presentations, all-hands meetings, recruiting, etc. it’s time to address and fix these issues.

They won’t go away with time.

We help organizations, leaders, and experts simplify the complex, especially when the stakes are high. If you are being asked “Understanding Questions,” contact us to learn more about our services.

Improve (dramatically) your storytelling, public speaking, and communication skills

Photography Source: DepositPhotos for Picture, Design © Copyright 2019, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.