In his Harvard Business Review Blog Network post, Jerry Weissman makes the point that for many people asking “does that make sense?” during a presentation has become a filler. Other well know examples of fillers include: “like,” “you know,” “to be honest,” and the all too frequent and dreaded “um.” Jerry is an expert at coaching business people to be successful presenters. He has published several books on the subject including the most recent book Presentations in Action: 80 Memorable Presentation Lessons from the Masters (FT Press: 2011).
I agree with Jerry’s point which is essentially that asking your audience “does that make sense?” can convey. . . uncertainty or doubt which will undermine your credibility. If you ask this question as a filler, that will likely be the outcome for at least some members of your audience which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
The lesson: Be thoughtful about the words you use and wide array of meanings that your audience will attach to your words.
Following Jerry’s post, there are well over 100 comments from readers with varying opinions– very well worth reading. The breadth of opinions expressed in response to this blog post goes directly to the lesson above.
Does that make sense?;)