And Your Question Is?

For sixteen years, the brilliant speaker, author, and consultant Alan Weiss, PhD and I delivered seminars together called The Odd Couple.

One technique I learned from Alan, and have continued to use, is the practice of asking, “And your question is?”

How often, in the Q&A portion of a presentation, have you felt like pulling your hair out because someone is droning on before they ask a question?

And Your Question Is

In 2022, my brother guitarist Robert Fripp and his business partner David Singleton were on a speaking tour on the East Coast of Canada and the US. Their final performance was in Chicago. I attended with my good friend and fellow speaker, Bob Roitblat.

All was going wonderfully well until at 9:55 p.m. when my brother said, “We now have five minutes and three people to ask their question.”

The next fan standing at the center microphone spent fourteen minutes waffling on about every King Crimson and solo Fripp album he had and every performance, city, and year he had seen a show. All before he got to his question. I was in agony. I kept saying to Bob and the other fans next to us, “And your question is?” I wanted to stand on my chair and shout those four simple words.

However, I was concerned my brother would tell me off! Or, I might ruin the evening for him. Although I am certain I would have received applause from the other fans!

As Robert and David will be touring the West Coast in February and March for their Gentlemen Aboard speaking tour, I finally got up the nerve to mention this experience to Brother. Then asked, “Would you have been upset?”

His reply, “No, I wish you had stood up and shouted ‘And your question is?’”

Robert, known for his precision and depth both in music and conversation, once shared an insightful perspective on the importance of conciseness. He explained, “When asking a question, the clarity and brevity of your inquiry not only respect the respondent’s time but also sharpen your own understanding of what you seek to know.” This lesson from Robert serves as a powerful reminder: In the pursuit of knowledge or feedback, especially following a speech or presentation, getting to the point is not just courteous—it’s crucial.

Be aware Robert Fripp fans! Ask your burning questions. The only lead-up you need is, “Considering your innovative approach to music, Robert, how do you…” Or “Robert, after fifty-two years with King Crimson, could you tell us…” Or “For forty years your music has fueled my soul. My question is…”

The Fripp Kids agree.

Robert Fripp and David Singleton:
Gentlemen Abroad

As I tell my clients, “To deliver memorable messages, present powerful presentations, and achieve sales success, the art of brevity cannot be overstated.”

Learn about Robert Fripp’s live presentations with Patricia

Hall of Fame Speaker, Patricia Fripp Presenting with Her Brother Legendary Guitarist Robert Fripp.
Hall of Fame Speaker, Patricia Fripp & Her Brother, Legendary Guitarist, Robert Fripp