A big part of your webinar will be the question and answer sessions that you have. These Q & A’s are sometimes a major reason attendees cite for going to a webinar in the first place. Maybe they have a unique situation and they can’t find an answer to their problem any other way or they just don’t understand and need something explained in detail.
Whatever the case, you are almost certainly going to have people with questions and the more you answer, the more willing your audience will be to come back for future webinars or buy products or services that you recommend.
How Many Questions Can You Handle
This is the big question that any webinar host asks themselves when they begin thinking about questions. The answer depends upon how much time you are willing to set aside for questions and quickly you can give answers.
Someone who has 50 attendees is going to handle questions quite differently than the person who has over 1000. If you only have 50 people in your webinar, then you can probably handle questions yourself, even throughout the presentation. If you had ten or twenty times that number you wouldn’t be able to take questions throughout the presentation and you might even be there for hours answering questions if you asked everyone to hold them until the end.
If you do have a large number of attendees and you don’t have time to answer everyone’s questions then consider getting a moderator to help you. A moderator has many jobs throughout a presentation. First, they can answer questions that they already have the answers to. For example, if someone asks what your website address is. Second, a moderator can hold questions one at a time until you are ready to answer them. Third, a moderator can weed out questions that have already been answered or are of a low priority, or just are not relevant to the conversation. Fourth, a moderator can prioritize questions so that you answer the most important ones first – like triage in an E.R. Finally, a moderator can keep the audience company in chat, which makes your webinar a little more engaging.
How to Take Questions
The decision on how to take questions from your attendees will depend upon your personal preference and what you have available in your platform. Most platforms come with a chat room where your attendees can type. Some platforms will even take care of the questions for you, sending them to your phone or someone within the platform so that you can answer them while you are doing the presentation.
If you use a moderator, then you will probably have to add them as an organizer in order to field the questions, although some platforms allow you to add a moderator. The bottom line here is that how you take questions will specifically depend upon what platform you choose and without knowing that, it is difficult to advise you on a particular method.
When to Take Questions
Now you come to the question of when – when do you take questions? The answer will depend upon the number of people attending your webinar and your own particular style. Some people prefer to take questions as they move through the presentation, and others like to ask everyone to hold their questions until the end. Another style altogether is just to begin with questions and get them all (or mostly) out of the way.
How to Answer Questions
When you answer people’s questions, you want to make sure that they feel like you actually care about them understanding so spend a little time with each question. For example, take a look at the example chat below, using our old friend Steve from the first few chapters, who is doing a webinar on niche marketing.
Attendee4223: My question is, how do I start anemail marketing list?
Presenter_Steve: Mailchimp is a good service.Next?
Attendee113: Okay, how do I start a nichewebsite…I mean blog…do I use WordPress or hire someone to make it for me or what?
Presenter_Steve: You can do either one.
Attendee4223: I still don’t understand. I meanthow do I get people to sign up for my list.
See, if Steve were to actually answer questions like that, the people attending would feel as if he didn’t really care about helping them but was just trying to get through the questions as fast as possible. Here is what Steve should have done.
Attendee4223: My question is, how do I start an email marketing list?
Presenter_Steve: Well, are you asking how you actually collect addresses, like a service to do so, or are you asking how you get the addresses in the first place.
Attendee4223: I guess both.. but mostly collecting the addresses.
Presenter_Steve: Well, somehow, you’ve got to get people to land on a site where they can sign up for your email list. This is known as a “squeeze page.” You obviously need something to offer them like a free eBook or whatever to get them to sign up. As far as services, I like to use WordPress to build my sites, Hostgator to host and Namecheap is where I mostly get my domains from.
Attendee4223: Awesome, thanks!
Attendee113: My turn? Okay. My question has already sort of been answered. I didn’t know what I needed to do to start a niche website but you said what you use so I will go try those things out.
Presenter_Steve: WordPress is great because you can have content online in very little time and then slowly tweak the site the way that you want it, customizing widgets, sidebars, adding things, etc. I like Hostgator because it’s unmetered and I can host as many domains as I want and I don’t really know why I use Namecheap. I think all registrars are pretty much the same. I just have always used them.
As you can see, Steve was much more thorough the second time and he actually made the attendees feel like he cared about their question and wanted them to have a thorough and complete answer. That’s how you need to handle questions, whether you respond by chat or over your microphone.