Sponsoring a live Q&A session will give attendees the chance to interact with you – and each other – and find out more about the topic you are presenting. Q&A’s are an important part of live events and can easily be incorporated virtually. They are the ideal forum in which to exchange ideas, foster debate, and share knowledge.
As with any type of presentation, preparation is a must:
- make a list of potential and back-up questions – with your audience in mind, create a list of 3-5 potential questions based on their demographic;
- promote the Q&A session – give attendees the time to prepare any questions they may have. You can promote your Q&A session on the webinar registration page, landing page, on social media, and by mentioning it during your webinar introduction; and,
- follow up email – highlight some of the questions and answers that were addressed as part of the live Q&A. This also gives you the opportunity to expand on some of the topics covered.
To encourage a lively Q&A session, consider the way you ask for questions. Use open questions, such as, “What questions do you have?” rather than closed questions like “Does anyone have any questions?”. Specify an area of interest, such as “What questions do you have regarding our new product?” A trick used by many when presenting seminars in grad school is to seed your audience with questions. Have an associate ready with questions to stimulate the discussion, allowing you to better control the direction of the session and get things rolling.
When closing the Q&A session, be sure that attendees have the contact information they need to follow up.