Why I Hate the Q&A Bit at the End

I love going to educational lectures. I love learning stuff. That’s a good thing right? But sometimes I find myself getting so annoyed, it just ruins it. Now I’m quite a passionate person and those who know me best also know I can get passionate, or should I say angry, about silly little things. Pet peeves is what we Brits call them. Well I have a hundred of them and this is just one.

Every month I’m guaranteed to go to at least one lecture. It’s usually from an author and it’s always inspiring except for the moment when the session draws to a close and the Q&A part is announced as live. Now it’s not the questions and answers that bother me, it’s the individuals who don’t know what a question is. Surely you know what I’m talking about, right?

Here’s my perfect example.

Last week I was at a Stress Workshop – at least that’s what they called it. To be honest it was more like a lecture on Stress Management. Interesting and thought provoking stuff. They highlighted some great and valid points. But stress is a broad spectrum and encumbers a number of topics. So they were talking about hyperventilation and defining its link to stress. Interesting stuff, right?

Of course there’s always one.

Somebody puts there hand in the air. He then precedes to tell the lecturers that he has been told by medical professionals that deep breathing is a form of hyperventilation. By taking slow deep breaths, your actually encouraging hyperventilation.


So where’s the question.

He’s looking at the lecturer expectantly. Poor woman, she doesn’t know what to say. Of course she doesn’t, she hasn’t been asked a question. She’s been interrupted so he can tell an anecdote.

He puts her to the test, asking for her view on that.

Well, what does she say? She stumbles for an answer that clearly isn’t what he wants or expects to hear and then awkwardly continues with the lecture.

Boy, oh boy.

So when I’m listening to an inspirational author talk and then the Q&A finally approaches, why do people feel the need to not only impart some of their life story but not actually ask a question? The Q does stand for ‘questions’, doesn’t it? I thought so.

Sometimes it makes me wonder. And my heart always goes out to the poor speaker who has been put on the spot for no reason.

What are your thoughts on Q&A sessions? Have you had a terrible experience? Do you find them as frustrating as I do?


  1. Aziza 18th December 2015 at 2:24 am Reply

    Yep, seen this a thousand times and I always think “cool story bro [thumbsupemoji]”. But it’s awesome when someone asks a thought provoking question that allows the speaker to go deeper into something that they may have otherwise only touched on briefly. This added value makes it worth enduring the awkward over-sharers or smug know-it-alls that get flushed out during Q&As!

    • Natasha Orme 22nd December 2015 at 1:43 pm Reply

      Aziza, I love your comment! You’re totally right 🙂

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