How and When to Manage Audience Q&A

Questions from the audience can enrich a panel discussion or derail it, so decide ahead of time when and how you will manage questions. You can:

  • Take Questions As You Go. Allow questions to percolate from the audience at any time.
  • Stop Periodically and Ask For Questions. For example, stop for questions after each panelist presentation, key topical discussion or stop every 20 minutes to take questions.
  • Dedicate a time for Q&A. Create a specific time to take questions from the audience, usually held at the end of the program and before the final summary.

Attention Meeting Professionals: The Main Reason Your Panels are Boring

This year at IMEX America in Las Vegas, I was speaking about how to make your panel discussions go from boring to bravo. Before the session began, a meeting professional said, “I’m not a big fan of panels. They are just too boring.”

My dear meeting professional. One of the main reasons your panels are boring is that YOU have not set your panel up for success. Sure, you identified a slot of time, selected a topic and wrestled up a moderator and some panelists. You consider your job to be done.