Questions can be one of the trickiest things for a presenter to manage. If you allow questions at any and all times during the session, they can derail your content plan and irritate the audience. If you put a Q & A block into your agenda, participants can become frustrated or confused while waiting. Of course, the best facilitators will roam the room to connect with people and encourage questions at the breaks.
Some trainers use the parking lot strategy. They pick a wall space or a door that will become the parking lot for questions. During their opening, they explain that questions are welcomed during the session, but they may not be able to get to all of them. Instead, they encourage participants to write questions on sticky notes and place them in the parking lot. This approach also addresses the needs of the shy or introverted participants.
If you use the parking lot strategy, here's an “impress your audience” twist - Ask them to write their name and email address, along with the question, so that you can follow-up with them if you don’t get to their question that day. Participants will be so impressed at your willingness to communicate with them even after the session is over. In addition, it gives you the chance to pick and choose which questions are relevant to your goals, without feeling guilty about skipping ones that might derail your presentation.
For additional ideas that impress audiences and result in high outcome learning, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
var switchTo5x=true; >