Interactive presentations benefit greatly from 7 types of questions.
I went to law school and questions were rarely encouraged and there were no interactive presentations. It was very boring. After 3 years I quit.
Doing something for the sole purpose of making money is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Someone at a careers expo told me that lawyers made lots of money so straight after finishing school I headed to the prestigious University of Queensland. Law wasn’t my thing mainly because I loathed the long, boring lectures. I am a visual learner so imagine my challenge having to endure a long procession of mumbling lecturers standing behind a lectern reading their notes in a sad monotone manner without any hint of enthusiasm and talking “at you” for 2-3 hours without a break. Microsoft created PowerPoint too late to rescue me and law lectures almost killed me. OK, that was a little melodramatic, but I decided right there and then that if I ever taught anybody anything I would make my classes engaging, interesting and that I would present with enthusiasm and lots of variety.
I have now been training people for more than 25 years and I love it. I will never want to stop. Delivering interactive presentations that engage my participants is my driving passion. So how do I do it? The one word secret to creating interactive presentations for webinars (and any training) is questions. Put simply, ask your participants lots of questions and inevitably you will create an interactive presentation that engages with their minds and their hearts.
Can someone please explain to me the psychology of why questions work? I would be fascinated by that. I suspect that part of it is as simple as remembering how we learnt as a baby or small child. When we were an infant, did we learn by listening to long monologues of educational content. Nope. More likely, our parents asked us short simple questions and gave us short snippets of information that answered our questions (or at least the questions our parents thought we might want answered). Can you name a fruit that starts with B?
People are trained from birth to respond to questions. A question mark is a call to action. Let’s not re-invent the wheel and instead let’s use questions to maximum advantage. There are 9 types of questions you can ask during webinars that will ensure an interactive presentation. Use a variety of these questions and your participants will be sitting on the front of their seats waiting for your next invitation to engage with them. Click on the video below to find out the details.
The above video discusses the 7 types of questions to guarantee interactive presentations, which are:
1. Participant Questions
One of the adult learning principles is that people learn best when they have a need to learn. When adults identify a need or motivation to learn something that will often stimulate them to ask questions. By answering their questions we can powerfully help our participants become more enthusiastic about our content. Consequently, we should proactively and genuinely encourage our participants to ask their questions. We should not hide from questions because we have fear about being able to answer them. Instead, by empowering our participants to ask questions we will understand what they are thinking and how they are reacting to our presentation; This is valuable intelligence information so that we can customise that webinar and improve our future ones on the same or similar topics.
Your webinar participants will love you for giving them the chance to ask their questions. Do not be concerned if you do not know the answer. Keep in mind that you always retain the option to research and reflect and provide an answer to them at a later stage.
2. Rhetorical Questions
Are you enjoying this article? OK, I don’t really expect you to answer that now, which is the definition of a rhetorical question. Most people ask many rhetorical questions every day. They are especially powerful for webinar presenters because every questions stimulates all of your participants to think about their potential answer to that question. That is the main benefit of rhetorical questions in that they stimulate the participants to focus on the topic without taking up significant webinar time.
3. Statistical Questions
I am a numbers guy. I love maths and statistics fascinate me. Yes, I am biased in saying that statistical questions are valuable. However, I am not alone. Most people are amused by relevant or interesting statistics. So find some. Use them to your advantage. Consider presenting them as a graphic to bring them to life and use persuasive statistics to to support your key arguments.
4. Audio or Video Response Questions
One time saving approach to presenting improved webinar content is to ask questions about pre-recorded audio or video. Some webinar systems provide great options for presenting audio (and sometimes video) content. Sometimes, it is clever to use a different voice to present a case study or support your conclusions. You can then ask questions about what your participants thought or felt about that pre-recorded content. This can be as interesting an activity in a webinar as it is a face-to-face classroom.
5. Confirmation of Learning Questions
Ask questions specifically to check if your participants are understanding your content and/or to find out if they are agreeing with your conclusions. If you don’t ask, you don’t know. There are lots of ways you can ask questions to confirm the learning of your participants, including:
- Do you understand what I just explained?
- Would you like me to repeat this concept for you?
- Shall I explain this again a different way?
- Would you like me to describe a case study that explains how this works?
- How are you going to use this information during the next week?
It is very dangerous to assume that your participants are learning. Confirming their learning will provide comfort to you that your webinar participants are still on your learning train and that they are still headed in the right direction.
6. Permission Questions
It can be very clever for you to secure permission or “buy-in” from your participants before you move onto different parts of your webinar. Three of my favourite examples of permission questions include:
- Do you understand this well enough so that I can move onto our next topic?
- Have I provided enough value so that you would like to hear about my available product or consulting services?
- I see that we are almost at our scheduled finish time, but would you like me to now give you the chance to ask some additional questions before we finish the webinar?
7. Really Tough Questions
My final advice for asking questions during a webinar is to be unapologetic in asking the really tough questions during a webinar, for example:
- What problems or challenges do you see with the approach I have outlined during this webinar?
- Would you like to buy this product?
How engaging are your webinars?
Click here to obtain my free Webinars Engagement Checklist. Put simply, it is your chance to identify lots of options for making your webinars engaging and interesting to your participants. Get your participants more involved in your webinars and they will reward you. It will help you identify:
- What you are doing well
- Engagement strategies that you can do better
- New ideas for improving your engagement
Click here to get your copy.
What do you think about asking questions to create interactive presentations?
Do you agree that asking questions achieves interactive presentations? Which types of questions work for you? Please click here to tell me and share your thoughts in the YouTube video comments.