Question… How Do I Manage the Q&A Portion of My Webinar?

As a follow up to our recent AMA webinar, “Can You Hear Me Now? Best Practices for Presenting to a Virtual Audience,” I’ve compiled some questions we didn’t have time to answer. In this blog post, I tackle questions about how to manage online Q&A during a webinar.

Raised handsQ. How does the managing of Q&A work in the background? How many people are involved? What do they do?

A. Managing incoming questions and answers in the background is a crucial role that the moderator can fulfill. For a larger webinar, I strongly recommend using the chat feature in our service (see Put the Chat Feature to Work for You). Having visibility to the questions allows your moderator to filter the questions into simple categories such as:  ones that can be answered on the fly by the moderator, ones that should be answered by the speaker(s) and ones that can be held until after the conference conclusion. If your moderator is planning to handle Q&A, make sure they have a good understanding of the subject matter especially as it relates to “good” questions vs. the more ancillary ones

Here are some other tips for moderators handling Q&A:

  • Act like the co-host. Verbally relate the questions to the speaker so he/she won’t have to sift through the list of questions (e.g., Henry, here’s a question for you…). As the moderator, you can paraphrase or combine multiple questions based on what has come through the chat window. This is also the best method if you have multiple speakers and need to assign different questions to different speakers.

  • Chat flag as answeredRemind the audience these messages are private. This will give many people the comfort to ask “dumb questions” (even though, of course there are no dumb questions).

  • Answer simple questions on the fly: “Will we get a copy of the presentation?” You’ll get that one A LOT. You can also be proactive and chat this one out before, during and near the end of the webinar.

  • Use the “flagging” feature (right click on any chat message to flag as a question or as answered). This new feature will help you organize questions as they are being asked.

  • Ask your audience questions through chat. This can often prompt more engagement from your audience and in return some really good questions.

Someone in a moderator role can effectively manage the chat questions during the presentation. All it takes is attention to the chat feature to ensure the best questions don’t get missed. As you are defining the roles for your upcoming presentation keep in mind your team’s natural talents and assemble a group in which the delivery is natural, and the rapport between the speaker and moderator is comfortable.

Couldn’t attend the webinar? Listen now and let me know what other questions you have.

Next up – Shawn shares best practices for post-webinar follow up.

  

 

Use ReadyTalk VoIP for Better Web Meetings and Collaboration

ReadyTalk customers enjoy the convenience of hands-free meetings.

For better collaboration, you can now use ReadyTalk VoIP. Whether dialing-in on the phone or connecting over a computer, provide chairpersons, co-presenters and participants with the flexibility to choose the audio experience that’s right for them. Participants can use both VoIP and the telephone in a “hybrid” fashion, giving them the flexibility to choose the option that’s right for them. Additionally, VoIP is an affordable audio option for internal collaboration and smaller meetings. (VoIP is included as a free offering in some subscription packages, check with your account manager for details).

With the addition of VoIP, you can now select computer audio or phone as an option for joining a conference.

VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) delivers reliable, high quality audio using a computer’s microphone and speakers. ReadyTalk’s fully secure VoIP is supported using a tier-one global telephony network.

During the next few weeks, VoIP will be enabled for all ReadyTalk web subscriptions through a phased release. 

To turn on VoIP, you'll have to configure your settings accordingly. Check the FAQ section of the ReadyTalk website for instructions.

For more information on how to get started, including turning on VoIP within your account, please check the FAQ Section of the website. You can also contact your ReadyTalk Account Manager for more details and pricing.

How will VoIP benefit your internal collaboration? Tell us below.

To Moderate or Not? That is my Question.

As a follow up to my recent AMA webinar, “Can You Hear Me Now? Best Practices for Presenting to a Virtual Audience,” I’ve compiled the questions I didn’t have time to answer. In this blog post, I tackle questions about whether a moderator is necessary during an event.

microphone and filterQ. Should webinars always have a moderator? And should they be heard too? Or should they have more of a background role?

A. Let me first start by saying there are no set rules for acting as, or seeking out, a moderator. Personally, I prefer to have a moderator when I’m speaking to a larger group where there may be a robust Q&A session. I have found that when you make a presentation more “conversational” it’s more consumable by the audience and much easier to listen to.  On a related note, when someone else introduces you, they’ve instantly promoted you as a “special attraction” worthy of a personal introduction. During the presentation, the audience then “sees” you at a virtual podium with your emcee on the side ready to jump in – think Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon.

So when should you have a moderator? Ask yourself these questions:

 

  1. Is the subject matter complicated, somewhat “dry” or is there a lot of information to cover? If yes, a moderator can bring some life into the presentation. Even if it’s just to add another voice to the mix try and break up the monotony; rehearse with the speaker so you know when/if it’s OK to jump in.

    • Tip: Rehearse, don’t over-rehearse. Work toward an “organic” interaction with questions, comments or experiences.

  2. Can you co-present with the moderator? Instead of a role just as moderator, expand that role to take a portion of the presentation to give the audience different voices and presentation styles. It will also give your speaker a break.

    • Tip: While one of you is speaking, the other can/should be answering and managing questions from the chat feature.
  3. Is there good chemistry between you and a team member? By all means then lobby them to present with you. You’ll both have fun, sound more natural, and the audience will get more out of your material.
  4. Do you anticipate many questions to come through the chat feature? If so, a moderator allows the speaker to concentrate on the delivery of the content without the risk of being distracted by questions and comments coming into chat. The moderator can flag questions and prioritize answers to make the Q&A session valuable for the audience.
  5. Want to have someone to introduce you, tee up Q&A and conclude the webinar? This can take some of the pressure off the logistical side of the presentation. As the speaker, you can then concentrate on the material and your moderator can manage the logistical/technical side of things.

Did you miss the webinar? Listen now and let me know what other questions you have below.

Next up – I answer your questions about managing Q&A behind the scenes. Also, stay tuned for more of my professional development best practices as I kick off my new blog series on making you a better presenter. 

 

A Whirlwind of a Week for the ExactTarget HubExchange Launch

As  I mentioned last week, ReadyTalk was very excited to launch our ExactTarget application as part of HubExchange week. There were live and virtual events going on around the globe…from ExactTarget's headquarters in Indianapolis, IN to live meetups in London and Sydney.

The week kicked off with a keynote webinar from Scott McCorkle, president of ExactTarget, discussing the original vision of HubExchange (2+ years in the making!) as well as trends they are seeing in marketing, advertising, and promotion. As part of the webinar, several apps were demoed, including Windsor Circle, Eyequent, Localytics, and which we were most excited about, ReadyTalk. Scott mentioned the ability to use ExactTarget landing pages for registration and ExactTarget emails for webinar-related communication, as well as the fact that our application integrates with the IMH calendar.  Fantastic shoutout by ExactTarget…and much appreciated!

We also sponsored two live meetups in Indianapolis and Atlanta. It was a great opportunity to network with ExactTarget users, and have a very captive audience for showing off our application. The excitement rang true across all of the ExactTarget teams that we met, as well as their various customers and partners. In addition to sponsoring, we also hosted a live event at ReadyTalk's headquarters in Denver, CO.  Our meet-up was more focused on the local 3Sixty user group, and highlighted the value proposition of both the HubExchange Marketplace and the ReadyTalk for ExactTarget application.  We learned about the various functionality that users take advantage of within ExactTarget, and even got some great roadmap ideas, especially with how our integration interacts with salesforce.com.

Lastly, our virtual session gave us a chance to demonstrate our application to a wider audience, as well as create recorded content to share with those that missed it the first time around.  Check it out!

After a jam-packed week of travel, networking and demos, we are excited to continue to get the word out about our ExactTarget application. Want to see it for yourself? Sign up for a demo today.

Feature Friday: Promoting a Co-Presenter

Visit the ReadyTalk blog every Friday to learn more about a ReadyTalk feature.  

Today's feature is "Promoting a Co-Presenter"

Why use this feature?

Make meetings more collaborative by promoting participants to co-presenters.

When a participant is promoted to co-presenter during a web conference, they are able to directly contribute. They can share relevant content such as documents and presentations through desktop or application share. And, with the same controls as the chairperson, a co-presenter can help run an efficient meeting by managing chat, muting and unmuting participants, pushing polls and more.

This feature is quick and easy, and does not require a special login for the participant you intend to promote. Simply invite an attendee as you would normally, and then promote to co-presenter within the meeting interface.

How To:

  • Start a meeting
  • In the participants section of the interface, right click on the name of the participant you intend to promote
  • Double click on the “Promote to Co-Presenter” option in the menu
  • While this is processing, the word (Promoting) will be next to the participant’s name
  • When complete, the name will say (Presenter) next to it
  • The co-presenter is now able to share content, manage the meeting and more
  • If you would like to demote a co-presenter, simply repeat the right click action and click on the “Demote to Participant” option.

 

Have you used co-presenter in your meetings? Has it been helpful? Let us know by sharing a comment below.