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Hosting A Successful Live Q&A Session - In 3 Steps

Matt Tobin
11-Apr-2017 11:01:49

A good Q&A session should be about people getting the answers to their questions.

Granted, that’s a pretty basic way of looking at it.

It’s also about exchanging ideas, fostering debate and knowledge sharing too.

A Q&A that does all of these things requires a little more than the speaker just answering everything that’s fired at them.

Here are three of the most important steps to take in order to host a successful live Q&A session during your webinar.

Step One - Study Your Audience

Because if you don’t know a little about the people who’ll be asking the questions, how will the speaker be able to accurately respond?

Learning a little about those in attendance beforehand is a useful little tip before your webinar commences.

On most webinar registration forms, companies will include a form field that asks the occupation/job title of the registrant and the company they work for.

Quick Tip - If you don’t include these fields on your event registration landing pages, do so from now on!

Using this data, you can view the professional demographics within your audience beforehand.

By this, we mean you can look and see if the majority of those attending are of a certain level of employee.

i.e. Majority of those registered are entry-level professionals

Once you know who makes up your audience, the person responding to their questions can tailor their answers accordingly.

If those attending are in more entry-level positions, you maybe don’t need to delve too deeply in your responses.

Conversely, if your audience is made of high-level professionals, you can perhaps give more in-depth answers.

Portrait of a man hiding his face behind a question mark against a white background.jpeg

Step Two - Advertise The Session

If you spring your Q&A session on people at the last minute, don’t you think that their questions will be of poorer quality?

Making people aware of the session is crucial if you want it to mean something and have a fruitful debate with them.

It’s pointless to mention it at the last minute, as attendees will then have to think on the spot about what to ask, resulting in questions of lesser quality and substance.

Mention the Q&A session on your webinar landing page. Clearly indicate:

  • How to submit questions
  • The deadline for submitting them
  • When the Q&A session will commence
  • Who will be answering the questions

That way, attendees will be able to prepare their questions long in advance and have time to consider perhaps how they will ask or word the question and what kind of response they will be hoping for.

Once your session is underway, everyone is a little more aware of what is going on, making the job of hosting it, much, much easier!

Taking a step sideways for a second, registrations can really be boosted too by promoting the Q&A session.

Having an interactive segment during your webinar and advertising the fact that the audience can participate can be a real draw and increase registrations.

Quick Tip - If you have a guest speaker on hand, people may relish the chance to quiz them during your webinar, which also builds anticipation for your event!

Step Three - Stick To The Plan

Deviating from the initial plans for your Q&A will only cause confusion among those involved and, most importantly, the audience!

Setting a plan for how you want your session to go, is vital to its eventual success.

There are many different ways to conduct a Q&A during webinars.

Sometimes a rigid answering of questions submitted is the best way to go, especially if there is a large number of attendees.

Other times a more open forum of debate is preferable if a freer exchange of knowledge is the purpose of the session.

Pick a format to suit your audience, speaker, topic and stick to it!

Changing things up midway through the event could throw your event into disarray.

i.e. Suddenly deciding to open the floor for debate through Live Chat and disregarding the questions submitted beforehand may leave those who sent them in advance, very disappointed.

Ensure your webinar does what it advertised! Registrants will have signed up for what was promised on your landing page, so give them what they originally signed up for!

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