At the end of your presentation, there is one more moment which makes you nervous. The moment when you ask if there are any questions. Hopefully, you will be able to answer them. But what can you do if nobody asks a single question? Digital tools can be helpful to avoid embarrassing situations.
Questions during your talk
Should I answer questions during or after my speech? While some speakers prefer to answer all questions at the end, others allow the audience to participate at any time. There are several things to consider. First, if you only allow interactions at the end, many questions which arise during your talk will be forgotten again. Second, your timing should be perfectly scheduled to enable a great Q&A session at the end. If you allow questions during your presentation, you will probably receive more contributions in total. However, it could easily happen that too many questions result in chaos and you could lose your central theme at some point. In general, it makes sense to allow questions during the presentation. If you notice that too many people raise their hands, you should postpone the remaining ones to the end.
Q&As at the end of your presentation
Answering questions only at the end of your speech has several limitations. As already mentioned, the total number of interactions will probably decline. Moreover, it is unlikely that you audience suddenly gets very active after a long presentation without any contributions. In case that you decide to make your Q&A at the end of your talk, you should plan enough time for it and highlight this part already in the very beginning. The main disadvantage of Q&As at the end is the risk of losing people who do not see the benefit of Q&A sessions. Besides the obvious disadvantages, it has the positive side effect that only the really interested people stay and ask questions. But if you want to increase participation, it makes sense to start with the first interactions already during your presentation.
Capturing questions with Beamium
Beamium makes it possible to optimize the gathering process of questions. With Beamium, your audience can ask questions during your whole presentation as well as at the end. Only you as a presenter can see these questions and decide if you want to answer them immediately, at the end or even after the end of your presentation. By simply following your presentation via a unique URL, your audience is able to ask questions through Beamium which are gathered in your account. Beamium helps you to maximize audience participation. Moreover, your participants can ask further questions after your talk through Beamium. This nice feature helps you to stay in touch with your audience and to capture leads even afterwards.
Your last chance to avoid embarrassment
But what if you are suddenly in this difficult situation at the end of your presentation where no one asks any questions? Take it with humor! Let your audience know, that either your presentation was so good that no questions remain or that your listeners maybe are scared by you. Talk directly to some members from the audience and ask if they have a question. If not, turn the setting around and ask questions to your audience. Sometimes, the fact that nobody asks any questions has to do with the overall setting or the boring presenter who talked before you. Don’t take it too serious and try to structure your presentation differently at the next time to encourage audience participation.
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