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Feeling comfortable asking questions of the speakers.

elizabeth_jones Community Leader May 03, 2021

Personally, I've always felt a bit uncomfortable asking questions of speakers. This is something that I'm working on growing into. Do you have any great tips on getting comfortable with speaking up or asking questions of speakers that you can share? I'd love any tips and tricks that you are willing to share. Thanks!

2 comments

Darryl Lee Community Leader May 03, 2021

One thing that might help is that from my experience, public speaking can be pretty nerve-wracking, and people asking questions actually means that they listened to your talk, which can be immensely gratifying, and also calming.

So one way to frame it might be: "How can I let the speaker know that I heard them, and I'd like to know more about ____?"

Another thing to consider is that your question is possibly something that others in the audience could find very useful, or could lead to a deeper or different topic that is also of interest.

Lastly - it helps to remember that many of the speakers at Atlassian conferences are Jira administrators and users just like you. In fact, they were probably sitting in the audience in previous years.

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elizabeth_jones Community Leader May 03, 2021

This is wonderful advice; thank you.

John Funk Community Leader May 04, 2021

I find that a good kind of icebreaker to interact with the speaker is to ask for clarification on a previous statement or comment by the speaker. Something as simple as, "You said xxxx - that's really intriguing. Can you elaborate on that a little more?"

If you do that a few times (or a variation on that) and the gets you more and more comfortable with asking something and interacting. And, again, as Darryl points out - it lets the speaker know you were listening and are interested. 

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