The difference between a webinar that is good and one that is a major success is often determined by how well the Q&A session goes. In order to host a successful webinar with an effective Q&A session, it calls for planning and precise execution. Unfortunately, most webinar hosts leave the organizing of the Q&A to the last minute and don’t give much thought to it.
A Q&A session can be even more challenging when you have a large audience who want to ask questions and get answers on the issues that most concern them.
How can you organize a Q&A for a large webinar audience?
Here are some of the best ways to organize a Q&A session for a large webinar audience. Of course, these top tips are also applicable if you host a Q&A for a small audience.
Plan the Q&A
The first factor to consider is when you would like the Q&A in your webinar presentation. The Q&A session doesn’t always have to be left to the end but can be incorporated into different segments in the presentation. Of course, because the audience is large, you have to plan enough time to answer the many questions that your audience has.
There are 3 ways that you can organize when to have the Q&A in the webinar:
- Have the Q&A during the presentation. If you decide on this, then you have to make sure that it doesn’t run over time because you will have to cut out material at the end.
- Have the Q&A at the end. Leaving the Q&A to the end means that you must stick to your time schedule during your presentation to leave enough time at the end to answer the questions your audience raises.
- Have Q&A sessions interspersed in your webinar. This is good because it breaks up the webinar and avoids the audience forgetting what they wanted to ask. However, you may not have a lot of time for each session.
So, think which option will work best for your webinar.
Use an Assistant to Moderate
It can be very practical to use an assistant to help with the technical aspect of the webinar presentation. Your assistant can also help moderate questions that come in from the audience. For this, many webinar presenters choose to use the chat system to ask questions. You can encourage your audience to ask questions at any time during the presentation and let them know that you will address during the Q&A session.
Your assistant can then moderate these questions by filtering out duplicate questions and prioritizing the most important questions. This can also save time because the assistant can sometimes combine a few questions into one question if they are closely related. This can be especially useful for hosting webinars with large audiences.
Don’t Make Your Audience Feel Awkward
This can happen if you invite questions and only a few are forthcoming. Don’t try to force question from your audience and don’t leave long gaps of silence waiting for a question. To avoid this, you could remind your audience throughout the presentation that there will be a Q&A session. Also, a few minutes before you have your Q&A session, you could say something like: “In a few minutes, we will have our question and answer session. So, be ready to bring up any issues or questions you may have. However, just before that I want to tell you about.”
Get a List of Questions Beforehand
When you send out your email reminders before the webinar presentation, you could elicit questions from your audience. These questions could be used in case questions are not forthcoming during the Q&A session. Or you could anticipate questions that your audience may have, and use these to fill the gaps. This also has an added benefit when you are organizing a Q&A for a large audience because the better you anticipate the questions you will be asked, then the better prepared you can be to deliver a concise answer.
There are questions that always come up that you can ‘pre-answer’ before they are given. When organizing your Q&A session, try to think of questions that are commonly asked and incorporate them into your presentation.
For example, one of the most common questions is: “Can we get a copy of the presentation at the end?” So, remind your audience a couple of times that they can all receive a copy of the presentation after the webinar.
Q&A sessions are an essential part of a successful webinar. Especially when you are hosting a webinar with a large audience, you need to organize it properly. If you use the best ways that are mentioned here you will make sure that your webinar is enjoyed by everyone who attended.