A presentation is more than just a one-way transfer of knowledge. This is not the way people learn best. Rather, presentations should be more of a conversation where audience members are actually involved in the learning. For this reason, opening the floor to questions can be one of the most important elements of your presentation. Therefore, it requires as much planning and control as the delivery of the core material. Here are a few ways to make the most out of your Q&A.
Inform the Audience Early
Tell the audience at the beginning of your presentation when and how you will be handling questions. Not only does this prevent people from interrupting your speech to ask questions, but it lets them know they should be jotting down questions throughout the presentation. It also reassures them that their questions will be answered.
Allow Questions During the Presentation
Q&A’ s don’t always have to come at the end of a presentation. In fact, they are more effective when they are held during the presentation. Set aside specific times throughout the presentation when you will allow questions and make sure the audience is aware of this from the start. Answering questions throughout the presentation keeps audiences engaged and it creates more of that conversation feel.
A Few Prepared Questions
Some audiences are more willing to speak than others so it’s always best to be prepared. If your audience doesn’t have questions, you can pull out a few of your own questions that were prepared ahead of time. This will spark the conversation and usually kicks off the session.
While a traditional Q&A session is perfectly acceptable, there are a lot of creative ways to involve your audience. One way to enhance your questions is by assigning a unique hashtag to our presentation and allowing audience members to Tweet questions in real time. You can also split your audience into small groups and encourage the group to come up with a few questions. This gets your audience up and moving and also encourages communication between participants.
Opening the floor to questions is one of the best ways to involve your audience in your presentation. You want them to feel like they are part of the presentation and this is a great way to interact with them. People are more likely to remember your message and take something away from your presentation when you invite them to ask questions. It’s also a fantastic way to get people talking about your topic.