We all have sat through countless meetings and conferences where audience members asked long and winding questions and presenters gave even longer and more circuitous answers. We also know that bad–or more precisely, badly phrased–questions and answers impede communication and understanding. The successful exchange of information relies on asking clear, pointed, and specific questions and giving focused, precise, and accurate answers. Asking the right question in the most effective manner to get the answer you need is an art form unto itself. This article provides some techniques that will help you communicate effectively, whether you are on the giving or the receiving end of the question-and-answer equation.