How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Rhetorical Questions


Techniques > Questioning > Rhetorical Questions

Gaining agreement | Hedging | Self-talk | Multiple questions | See also


Rhetorical questions are not really questions, but statements given in question format.

Public speakers often use rhetorical questions in the middle of speeches. Of course, the audience cannot all answer, but the intent is to engage them in thinking and consider what answer they would give if they could.

In figures of speech, rhetorical questions are known as Erotema.

Gaining agreement

Rhetorical questions are often intended to make the listener agree with the speaker as the answer is obviously yes. Even if the listener does not say the word, they will think it. And once they start agreeing they are more likely to keep doing so.

Is the Pope a Catholic?
Is the sky blue?
Is this a great product?


We use rhetorical questions sometimes when we want to make a statement but are not confident enough to assert a point. The question format thus allows others to disagree, but is not necessarily seeking agreement.

Isn't that wonderful? Is it a shade of blue?


Sometimes when you ask questions, you are really asking them of yourself rather than the other person. this is particularly noticeable when you give the answer soon after asking the question.

What is that? A bird, I'd say. What type? Maybe an eagle? I think so. What a lovely flight path.

Multiple questions

When you ask multiple questions at once, you seldom expect them all to be answered, and perhaps none of them.

They become particularly rhetorical when you do not give time for the other person to answer.

Where have you been? What time do you think this is? Do you think you can come home late like this and nobody notice?

Terminating statement

Another way that stopping the other person from answering is to put a statement of some sort immediately after the question.

There is hence no space for the person to answer the question and they are directed more by the final statement than the question.

Can you see? Look there!

See also

Figures of speech

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |


You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book

Look inside


Please help and share:


Quick links


* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design


* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower


* Principles


* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values


* Alphabetic list
* Theory types


Guest Articles


| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-
Massive Content — Maximum Speed