The article is about questions from the audience at literary festivals but could also apply to academic conferences.
Over the course of the weekend, I attended seven hour-long events, which means I sat through 105 minutes of audience questions. That’s 110 too many. There isn’t even a spontaneity about it because there are really only five types of audience question and they’re all bad. The Gusher (“this isn’t really a question but I’d love for everyone here to know that I love you”); The Empathiser (“This isn’t really a question but I work in an industry tangentially related to the subject of your book”); The Philosopher (“This isn’t really a question but I have this idea that I would like you to validate”); The Accuser (“This isn’t really a question but I think I’ve found your problem. Please defend yourself”); and The Memoirist (“This isn’t really a question, it’s my life story”).