Best Practices for a Winning Q&A
For many webcast attendees, Q&A is considered a high-value portion of the event. For you, it’s a perfect opportunity to engage your audience and learn more about what makes them tick.
Following are some best practices to help make your Q&A session a success for you and your audience.
Create a Time Limit and Stick to It
Build time for your Q&A into your agenda. At a minimum, strive for 10 to 15 minutes. Stay within your time limit. If you don’t get to all the questions, tell your audience how you’ll address their questions after the webcast. Perhaps you’ll answer individual questions via personal email. Or you can address the unanswered questions via a blog, video, or other premium content. This “extension” of the webcast Q&A can be a great way to generate increased engagement.
Tell Them How to Ask a Question
This may seem obvious but it’s easy to overlook telling your audience how they can ask a question. Should they use a chat box? Are you taking questions live and online? Are you taking callers? Will you check Twitter? Take a minute or two to explain the process.
Be Prepared for Silence
Sometimes even the liveliest discussions can start out with an awkward silence. Don’t fret. Prepare a few questions in advance. Add value to your seed questions and aim for ones that stimulate conversation.
You can also promote the Q&A beforehand and ask people to submit questions when they register for the webcast.
Repeat the Question Aloud Before Answering
Always restate the question for participants who may not have heard it. Rephrase questions that aren’t concise, and ask participants to clarify questions you don’t understand.
Admit When You Don’t Know
No one will think less of you if you don’t know the answer to a question. Connect the person with someone on the podium who does know the answer or take the participant’s contact information and respond after the webcast. Generally, people respect this approach because it’s authentic and makes for a genuine experience versus an over-rehearsed one.
Wrap It Up with a Nice Bow
At the end of the Q&A, provide a brief recap of the new information discussed, information about upcoming events, a list of resources, and any next steps like calls to action for your audience.
PGi Blog: Surviving Your First Webinar Q&A – https://www.pgi.com/resources/articles/surviving-your-first-webinar-qa/
Slido: The Art of Organizing Successful Q&A Sessions https://blog.sli.do/the-art-of-organising-successful-qa-sessions-at-conferences/