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Q&A sessions allow you to understand your co-workers and to get precious feedback from them. However, organizing a Q&A session may often seem like a real challenge.
In the best-case scenario you will find yourself flooded with questions. The result? A part of your audience will remain frustrated because you can’t answer all their questions.
In the worst-case scenario you will find yourself facing awkward silence. You will need courage and willpower to fill in that silence.
Don’t worry – there are special techniques and tools to help you hold successful Q&A sessions.
We have quite a lot of experience in this field, so we decided to make a list of our most efficient tips for your meetings, workshops, conferences and conventions.
If you want your Q&A sessions to be successful, get ready to take some notes!
Gather questions in advance
To hold a successful Q&A session, it is important to gather the questions beforehand.
It allows your co-workers to prepare for the session and to participate in it. As for the managers, this allows them to deal with the most difficult questions and prepare relevant answers.
At Sparkup, for example, we launch a Brainstorming activity before All-Hands Meetings to gather all the questions. Then we regroup the questions according to the subject (HR questions, questions about the product, questions about the strategy…). That way the managers can focus on the most important questions and answer them in more detail.
Choose a moderator
To make your Q&A session lively, you should encourage audience engagement.
In order to do this, we recommend transforming your Q&A session into an interview. This means choosing a moderator! His or her main role will be to engage in conversation with different participants. The moderator can use a tablet or a smartphone to see the questions and to adress them to the speakers in the form of a discussion. This will make your sessions more interactive, lively and organized!
Give everybody a chance to speak up
In order to hold a successful Q&A session, you must make sure that everybody is participating in it.
Begin by encouraging the audience to ask relevant questions. You can also offer the participants to vote for the questions their colleagues asked.
You are afraid that some of the participants may prefer to stay low? Allow them to ask their questions anonymously. If you do this, don’t forget to mention that the questions will be moderated. You should always be transparent about this to avoid frustration from the audience.
Don’t foget to use a broadcasting screen to show the questions so that the audience could follow you.
Respond to oral questions
Do not limit the discussion only to the questions that were asked via Sparkup. To make the session more personal, we recommend taking the time to answer some question that may be asked orally.
Technology is a wonderful tool, but it should not fully replace live conversations.
Pay attention to the difficult questions
“Our company grows thanks to questions, not answers” (Eric Schmidt, CEO de Google).
If you want to grow and challenge yourself, pay attention to the difficult questions that your co-workers ask. Their uncertainties and lack of understanding will allow your company to grow.
If there is a difficult question, never avoid it. On the contrary, be transparent. Explain what you can and what you know.
Take the time to answer questions after the session
Using Sparkup for a Q&A session will certainly boost participation and you will gather far more questions than usually. Why not answer these questions even after the session is over?
In order to do this, we recommed taking the time to answer the questions in writing once the event or meeting is over.
For example, you can send an internal e-mail to answer the questions that remained unanswered during the session or discuss these questions during team meetings.
A well-organized Q&A session is a powerful tool to exchange ideas with your co-workers and to understand what they think. Use our tips to improve communication within your company and to stay aligned with your co-workers.