Karmen Vladar

7 things you must do before asking your audience questions

One of the great things about our event apps is their ability to integrate live polling and questions into your sessions and presentations. These can be vital for creating engaging, vibrant sessions, but if you want it to be anything other than a faddy distraction for attendees then there are a few rules to stick to when planning your questions:

  • Don’t rush it. If you’re planning to integrate questions as part of your presentation or session, then take the time to plan these well in advance. And don’t ask questions for the sake of it, make sure they add value to your attendees.

  • Sense check them. It sounds obvious, but run through your questions with a friend or colleague to make sure they work, their meaning will be clear to your audience and there is no room for ambiguity when answering.

  • Don’t just ask the questions. Make sure you’re commenting on results of questions or polls, perhaps throwing them back to the floor for debate. If you’re not acknowledging the results, audience members will soon disengage and cease answering as your presentation proceeds.

  • Don’t give your audience an easy ride. Questions that are easy to answer or require little thought will not engage your attendees as much as those that require them to think. At worst, your questions could become a distraction if they’re too easy or have an obvious answer.

  • Expect the unexpected. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience members and try to anticipate their responses to your questions. It could be that one of your questions leaves yourself open to a controversial answer so plan and prepare for this outcome. That’s not to say a controversial answer is necessarily a bad thing – they’re often the ones that lead to the most interesting discussions. Speaking of which…

  • Get ready to react. If your presentation is as engaging and full of debate as you’d hope, then there’s going to be times where you’ll need to react to the discussions that are happening and ad-lib some questions. Be aware of this and try to consider questions that enhance the debate and discussions.

  • Keep it open. The most thought-provoking and interesting questions are often those that don’t have a correct answer. The answers you do get could provide a spark for some lively debate, so make sure you include one two questions like this.