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There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind.

However, there is a such a thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, particularly in a conference setting where someone is trying to cram months worth of research into a 45-minute talk in front of presumed experts in the field. In such cases, it might be preferable to not derail the speaker's presentation.

How can I tell if my question is "dumb" (i.e. the answer is well-known or searchable), or if it addresses legitimate ambiguity?

Really, there's no way to tell for sure during the talk. However, if you venture to ask your question, you can preface it with something like:

"I'm sorry if I'm asking something obvious here, but..."

So far, my answer doesn't really differ from some of the other advice you've gotten in other answers. However, I want to address the professional etiquette part of your question. While you are asking your question, and in the immediate wake of getting the question out of your mouth, pay careful attention to the body language of the audience at large. If you see several heads nodding affirmatively, that might be a good indication that you were brave enough to ask something that was nagging in the minds of everyone else, and the speaker has made some erroneous assumptions about what was presumed to be fundamental or obvious. However, if you notice some sideways glances accompanied by grimaces or eye-rolls, then maybe you've touched on something that would be better left until the end of the session, or until the next break, in which case you can quickly add:

"If you'd rather discuss that with me off-line, that's okay."

In summary, be aware of your environment:

  • What is the purpose of the talk?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the speaker's time constraints?

Moreover, be cognizant of non-verbal audience reaction to your initial question, and use that as a barometer before venturing to ask follow-on questions. In my experience, people are rather forgiving the first time a presentation is interrupted by an elementary question, but they begin feeling exasperated when that one question is transforms into a hijacking of the presentation as a whole.

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind.

However, there is a such thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, particularly in a conference setting where someone is trying to cram months worth of research into a 45-minute talk in front of presumed experts in the field. In such cases, it might be preferable to not derail the speaker's presentation.

How can I tell if my question is "dumb" (i.e. the answer is well-known or searchable), or if it addresses legitimate ambiguity?

Really, there's no way to tell for sure during the talk. However, if you venture to ask your question, you can preface it with something like:

"I'm sorry if I'm asking something obvious here, but..."

So far, my answer doesn't really differ from some of the other advice you've gotten in other answers. However, I want to address the professional etiquette part of your question. While you are asking your question, and in the immediate wake of getting the question out of your mouth, pay careful attention to the body language of the audience at large. If you see several heads nodding affirmatively, that might be a good indication that you were brave enough to ask something that was nagging in the minds of everyone else, and the speaker has made some erroneous assumptions about what was presumed to be fundamental or obvious. However, if you notice some sideways glances accompanied by grimaces or eye-rolls, then maybe you've touched on something that would be better left until the end of the session, or until the next break, in which case you can quickly add:

"If you'd rather discuss that with me off-line, that's okay."

In summary, be aware of your environment:

  • What is the purpose of the talk?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the speaker's time constraints?

Moreover, be cognizant of non-verbal audience reaction to your initial question, and use that as a barometer before venturing to ask follow-on questions. In my experience, people are rather forgiving the first time a presentation is interrupted by an elementary question, but they begin feeling exasperated when that one question is transforms into a hijacking of the presentation as a whole.

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind.

However, there is such a thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, particularly in a conference setting where someone is trying to cram months worth of research into a 45-minute talk in front of presumed experts in the field. In such cases, it might be preferable to not derail the speaker's presentation.

How can I tell if my question is "dumb" (i.e. the answer is well-known or searchable), or if it addresses legitimate ambiguity?

Really, there's no way to tell for sure during the talk. However, if you venture to ask your question, you can preface it with something like:

"I'm sorry if I'm asking something obvious here, but..."

So far, my answer doesn't really differ from some of the other advice you've gotten in other answers. However, I want to address the professional etiquette part of your question. While you are asking your question, and in the immediate wake of getting the question out of your mouth, pay careful attention to the body language of the audience at large. If you see several heads nodding affirmatively, that might be a good indication that you were brave enough to ask something that was nagging in the minds of everyone else, and the speaker has made some erroneous assumptions about what was presumed to be fundamental or obvious. However, if you notice some sideways glances accompanied by grimaces or eye-rolls, then maybe you've touched on something that would be better left until the end of the session, or until the next break, in which case you can quickly add:

"If you'd rather discuss that with me off-line, that's okay."

In summary, be aware of your environment:

  • What is the purpose of the talk?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the speaker's time constraints?

Moreover, be cognizant of non-verbal audience reaction to your initial question, and use that as a barometer before venturing to ask follow-on questions. In my experience, people are rather forgiving the first time a presentation is interrupted by an elementary question, but they begin feeling exasperated when that one question transforms into a hijacking of the presentation as a whole.

2 it > in
source | link

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind.

However, there is a such thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, particularly in a conference setting where someone is trying to cram months worth of research into a 45-minute talk in front of presumed experts in the field. In such cases, it might be preferable to not derail the speaker's presentation.

How can I tell if my question is "dumb" (i.e. the answer is well-known or searchable), or if it addresses legitimate ambiguity?

Really, there's no way to tell for sure during the talk. However, if you venture to ask your question, you can preface it with something like:

"I'm sorry if I'm asking something obvious here, but..."

So far, my answer doesn't really differ from some of the other advice you've gotten in other answers. However, I want to address the professional etiquette part of your question. While you are asking your question, and itin the immediate wake of getting the question out of your mouth, be sure to pay careful attention to the body language of the audience at large. If you see several heads nodding affirmatively, that might be a good indication that you were brave enough to ask something that was nagging in the minds of everyone else, and the speaker has made some erroneous assumptions about what was presumed to be fundamental or obvious. However, if you notice some sideways glances accompanied by grimaces or eye-rolls, then maybe you've touched on something that would be better left until the end of the session, or until the next break, in which case you can quickly add:

"If you'd rather discuss that with me off-line, that's okay."

In summary, be aware of your environment:

  • What is the purpose of the talk?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the speaker's time constraints?

Moreover, be cognizant of non-verbal audience reaction to your initial question, and use that as a barometer before venturing to ask follow-on questions. In my experience, people are rather forgiving the first time a presentation is interrupted by an elementary question, but they begin feeling exasperated when that one question is transforms into a hijacking of the presentation as a whole.

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind.

However, there is a such thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, particularly in a conference setting where someone is trying to cram months worth of research into a 45-minute talk in front of presumed experts in the field. In such cases, it might be preferable to not derail the speaker's presentation.

How can I tell if my question is "dumb" (i.e. the answer is well-known or searchable), or if it addresses legitimate ambiguity?

Really, there's no way to tell for sure during the talk. However, if you venture to ask your question, you can preface it with something like:

"I'm sorry if I'm asking something obvious here, but..."

So far, my answer doesn't really differ from some of the other advice you've gotten in other answers. However, I want to address the professional etiquette part of your question. While you are asking your question, and it the immediate wake of getting the question out of your mouth, be sure to pay careful attention to the body language of the audience at large. If you see several heads nodding affirmatively, that might be a good indication that you were brave enough to ask something that was nagging in the minds of everyone else, and the speaker has made some erroneous assumptions about what was presumed to be fundamental or obvious. However, if you notice some sideways glances accompanied by grimaces or eye-rolls, then maybe you've touched on something that would be better left until the end of the session, or until the next break, in which case you can quickly add:

"If you'd rather discuss that with me off-line, that's okay."

In summary, be aware of your environment:

  • What is the purpose of the talk?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the speaker's time constraints?

Moreover, be cognizant of non-verbal audience reaction to your initial question, and use that as a barometer before venturing to ask follow-on questions. In my experience, people are rather forgiving the first time a presentation is interrupted by an elementary question, but they begin feeling exasperated when that one question is transforms into a hijacking of the presentation as a whole.

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind.

However, there is a such thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, particularly in a conference setting where someone is trying to cram months worth of research into a 45-minute talk in front of presumed experts in the field. In such cases, it might be preferable to not derail the speaker's presentation.

How can I tell if my question is "dumb" (i.e. the answer is well-known or searchable), or if it addresses legitimate ambiguity?

Really, there's no way to tell for sure during the talk. However, if you venture to ask your question, you can preface it with something like:

"I'm sorry if I'm asking something obvious here, but..."

So far, my answer doesn't really differ from some of the other advice you've gotten in other answers. However, I want to address the professional etiquette part of your question. While you are asking your question, and in the immediate wake of getting the question out of your mouth, pay careful attention to the body language of the audience at large. If you see several heads nodding affirmatively, that might be a good indication that you were brave enough to ask something that was nagging in the minds of everyone else, and the speaker has made some erroneous assumptions about what was presumed to be fundamental or obvious. However, if you notice some sideways glances accompanied by grimaces or eye-rolls, then maybe you've touched on something that would be better left until the end of the session, or until the next break, in which case you can quickly add:

"If you'd rather discuss that with me off-line, that's okay."

In summary, be aware of your environment:

  • What is the purpose of the talk?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the speaker's time constraints?

Moreover, be cognizant of non-verbal audience reaction to your initial question, and use that as a barometer before venturing to ask follow-on questions. In my experience, people are rather forgiving the first time a presentation is interrupted by an elementary question, but they begin feeling exasperated when that one question is transforms into a hijacking of the presentation as a whole.

1
source | link

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind.

However, there is a such thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, particularly in a conference setting where someone is trying to cram months worth of research into a 45-minute talk in front of presumed experts in the field. In such cases, it might be preferable to not derail the speaker's presentation.

How can I tell if my question is "dumb" (i.e. the answer is well-known or searchable), or if it addresses legitimate ambiguity?

Really, there's no way to tell for sure during the talk. However, if you venture to ask your question, you can preface it with something like:

"I'm sorry if I'm asking something obvious here, but..."

So far, my answer doesn't really differ from some of the other advice you've gotten in other answers. However, I want to address the professional etiquette part of your question. While you are asking your question, and it the immediate wake of getting the question out of your mouth, be sure to pay careful attention to the body language of the audience at large. If you see several heads nodding affirmatively, that might be a good indication that you were brave enough to ask something that was nagging in the minds of everyone else, and the speaker has made some erroneous assumptions about what was presumed to be fundamental or obvious. However, if you notice some sideways glances accompanied by grimaces or eye-rolls, then maybe you've touched on something that would be better left until the end of the session, or until the next break, in which case you can quickly add:

"If you'd rather discuss that with me off-line, that's okay."

In summary, be aware of your environment:

  • What is the purpose of the talk?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the speaker's time constraints?

Moreover, be cognizant of non-verbal audience reaction to your initial question, and use that as a barometer before venturing to ask follow-on questions. In my experience, people are rather forgiving the first time a presentation is interrupted by an elementary question, but they begin feeling exasperated when that one question is transforms into a hijacking of the presentation as a whole.