Today I read an interesting post on the Neuromarketing Blog that asked public speakers about their Q-Ratio. Taken from Eric Bergman’s Five Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’
, the Q-Ratio is calculated by dividing the number of questions received from the audience by the length of the presentation in minutes. According to the post, Bergman suggests striving for a 1.0 Q-Ratio – meaning that for a 15 minute presentation you would field 15 questions from the audience.

As I read about the Q-Ratio I began to wonder how striving for a particular ratio would effect our sales and marketing conversations. How would your conversations changed if you focused on answering questions? Here are a few benefits that come to mind from striving for a high Q-Ratio:

  • Conversations would be more conversational, rather than one party spending a majority of the time lecturing the other
  • Striving for a high Q-Ratio would force you to focus on the needs of the customer
  • In order to maintain a high Q-Ratio, we would have to learn to be clear and concise with our answers

As marketing and sales people, we can also benefit from turning this around – paying attention to the number of questions during our time in front of prospects and customers.

I’m sure we can argue about the practicality of achieving a particular Q-Ratio in our presentations and conversations, but I believe that striving for a high ratio can certainly improve the quality of those conversations. What do you think?

Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant