What is a compelling question

A question that arises is “ how to engage the students’ attention and make them understand a topic better?” How to divert the students’ minds towards the task at hand? Every teacher would have these questions.

How to do this? I would explain that.

Today’s generation is a whole lot difficult to handle. To tackle this problem, you first have to study the students’ mind and perception. Different topics develop interest in the students. The important factor is how you plan you lesson and lectures and whether they have the characteristics that call upon the students’ minds. 

A very useful method is preparing the lecture thoroughly and developing compelling questions. What are compelling questions? OK OK I am getting to that.

Compelling questions are the ones that you usually ask the students at the start of a lecture to develop the students’ interests. You might start a Quantum Physics lecture by asking “Have you watched the Sci-fi movies ever?” This would surely get their attention and create a long-lasting environment of curiosity. These are compelling questions. 

Compelling questions help build up students’ confidence and increase their curiosity. As for confidence, definitely let a student answer the question if tge know them. This helps them feel valuable and increase their suspicions on the topic. 

The type of questions you ask, form the basis of your lecture telling if you know what you are teaching or not. These questions can be a treasure ti you lecture or could land a deathblow on it.

These questions also come in handy while delivering a lecture. Asking questions give you the idea of students catching up to your lecture and whether they are getting bored or not. This keeps the students attentive at all times and does not let your precious work be wasted.

One more thing that I might like to add, the questions asked by the students themselves could rather be very compelling. Not answering those questions or answering them wrong could result you in getting branded with a not-that-good teacher. Make sure you prepare your lecture with high standards and kbow every little detail. This would aid you in overwhelming questions. The details keep you from getting nervous in front of the students and helps answering them fluently.

Now, how to prepare compelling questions?

  • Prepare the task at hand thoroughly. This helps you understand it better.
  • Look at it from the students’ point of view ( yes that’s important because adults can be boring sometimes as compared to the open-minded teenagers). Never look at it from your own eye, always look at it like a student might.
  • When you know everything from the context, write the questions ( they should neither be too hard nor too easy).
  • Review the questions and make sure that they make some reference to the topic. They might even indicate the basic topic or trigger its memories in various students’ minds.
  • Now look at them with a teenaged students’ eyes and try to answer them ( yes yes, you know the answers already but  just suppose?).
  • Now review the topic and try to ask yourself questions like your students might ask you. Prepare these questions too because they would cone in handy while addressing the lecture ( as I have mentioned above).
  • Now you would be ready to address a class with some beginning and compelling questions. You would also be ready to answer every question you are asked.

Now you would have prepared your questions. But remember that these questions must have following characteristics in order to be successful:

  • The questions must be general and not complex.
  • They must be intriguing and must be a challenge to the students.
  • They must be related to the lecture and the topic under discussion.
  • You might make references to the interests but don’t get so much into it, just keep it simple because not everyone has same interests and perspectives.
  • The questions must give the students some idea of what they would be studying.


The above points have been taken in reference to the2013 article by S.G Grant. The conference focused on such topics and provided the basics that might come in handy. 

My suggestion

These points can be very beneficial while preparing a lecture, but remember! To deliver a lecture, you have to prepare yourself mentally and must have confidence in yourself, otherwise this world just swallows you up as a shark attacks small fish. Believe in yourself and prepare the lecture. Everything would go great. Best of Luck!…Read more on Forbes

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