Webinars are a wonderful way to help you reach your organisational goals. Whether it’s lead generation, relationship building, understanding your audience, or establishing authority within your industry—a quality webinar is a powerful tool. However, any virtual event expert will tell you that the key to hosting a successful webinar is audience engagement. Without it, many of the great benefits that can come with your webinar may be lost.
The good news is that there are simple strategies you can use to create audience engagement in a webinar. And one of the easiest and most effective solutions is a webinar Q&A session.
The following tips will help you host a webinar Q&A session that will maximise the value of your webinar, increase engagement and capture invaluable audience insights that can benefit every area of your business.
What is a Webinar Q&A Session?
A webinar Q&A session is an allocated time during your webinar that allows attendees to ask speakers questions and spark discussions.
You can choose to hold one Q&A session at the end of your event or break up speaking sessions with multiple Q&A sessions. It’s best practice to have an experienced moderator run a Q&A session.
A Q&A moderator vets incoming questions, introduces speakers and audience members, and keeps the agenda running smoothly and to schedule.
Tips for Hosting a Powerful and Effective Webinar Q&A Session
Now that you know what a webinar Q&A session is, let’s discuss how to make your own webinar Q&A as powerful and effective as possible.
1. Keep Q&A Sessions Under 15 Minutes
No matter how compelling the content of your webinar is, audiences have short attention spans. If you want them to make it all the way through to the call to action (CTA) at the end of your webinar, don’t let your virtual event run over an hour, including 15 mins worth of Q&As.
Setting an agenda that outlines these expectations is a great place to start. Your moderator will help keep your sessions timely and vet for the most appropriate and interesting questions to broadcast. If you have lots of great questions but can’t get through them all, you can turn those that didn’t make the cut into future content such as blogs, or even the topic of your next webinar.
If you’re worried that your audience will be silent and no one will ask a question, craft your own seed questions to get the conversation flowing.
2. Keep it Authentic
Don’t stress out if a speaker doesn’t know the answer to a question or stumbles in their response. Webinar audiences want an authentic experience, not a highly polished and over-rehearsed sales pitch.
If there’s a question that can’t be answered, it’s actually a wonderful opportunity to keep the conversation going later, online. Advise the speaker to let the audience know that they will look into it and post their response on social media.
3. Use Your Live Polling and Chat Features to Your Advantage
It’s important that you choose a webinar platform with live polling and live chat features. As well as helping you gauge audience sentiment, they’re a helpful tool for your Q&A sessions. During the webinar, use them to find audience response trends and conversation starters.
Appoint someone on your team to be a live chat moderator who can jump in and start conversations online that can then be continued by your speakers during their Q&A session.
The results of any live polls you run during your event is another great talking point that can lead to even deeper audience insights.
4. Anticipate Specific Questions
There’s likely to be a list of predictable questions that will arise in your Q&A sessions. Use your dress rehearsal to run through these questions and how they could be answered. However, remember the earlier point on keeping things authentic. Don’t memorise answers word for word as it will come across as robotic, jeopardising the trust you’ve built with your audience.
5. Practise Using the Tools and Technology
Moving seamlessly between speakers in a Q&A session can be challenging if you haven’t already practised with the tools and technology. For example, muting and unmuting correctly to avoid background noise, learning how to switch on their camera and microphone when tuning in remotely and how to present a slideshow on-screen correctly.
Working with a professional webinar provider is the best way to ensure that your event runs smoothly. They’ll worry about the tools and technology and work with your speakers during the dress rehearsal so they are fully prepared.
With professionals taking care of what happens behind the scenes, you and your speakers can focus on what’s important—providing valuable content to your audience.
6. Repeat the Question Before Answering
Give the person who asked the question positive reinforcement such as, “that’s a very thoughtful question” before repeating the question back.
This is a trick professional speakers use to not only clarify the question they are about to answer but also give other participants who didn’t hear it clearly the chance to follow along. Rephrase the question out loud if it wasn’t concise enough or request that the person who asked the question clarify it for you.
7. End Your Q&A Session With a Short Summary
Before launching into your CTA after your final Q&A question has been answered, have your Q&A moderator make a short summary of the questions covered and thank participants for their contribution to the session. Prompt them to join your social media community to keep the conversation going and share any information about upcoming webinars or virtual events.
8. Choose the Best Webinar Platform for the Job
The quality of your webinar platform will make a big difference to the outcome of your Q&A session and overall webinar experience. It’s essential that you look for a webinar platform that offers a managed webinar service.
A managed webinar service is an end-to-end webinar experience in which the webinar provider manages the whole process for you, guides you through the planning process, manages your webinar technology, and provides you with a Q&A moderator who is highly experienced in getting maximum value out of your sessions. The webinar platform that you choose should have the following features:
Custom branding so your logo and colours are front and centre
Capacity for thousands of event participants
Seamless and customised event registration
A live voting/polling process
Moderated Q&A sessions
Optional recording and transcription
Complete pre-event support and a dress rehearsal
There are many wonderful benefits to hosting a webinar, so don’t let a poorly run Q&A session bring down the quality of your virtual event. To maximise the value that you and your audience get from your webinar Q&A session, speak to the team at Express Virtual Meetings about our leading managed webinar service. We’ve helped countless Australian businesses host highly successful virtual events, and our platform is packed with features that will take your webinar to the next level.
Book an obligation-free demonstration with our team to discover how you can deliver a professional, engaging, and secure webinar that’s easy, stress-free, and managed for you. Otherwise, simply get in touch here or call 1300 849 300 between 6 am and 9 pm Monday to Friday (excluding Australian national public holidays).