Effective Q&A Conference Call Sessions
How to do an Effective Conference Call Question and Answer Sessions
To benefit the participants make sure you are fully prepared in advance to take their questions in an appropriate order when hosting a conference call. Having participants talking over each other does not provide a good experience and also allow enough time for questions.
Try to avoid being in the situation that you cannot answer all the questions because the time allotted has run out. It is important to ensure that all participants have some think useful to take away from the call. You do not want participants to leave feeling bored or frustrated.
To ensure the call runs smoothly you will need to fully understand how all the technology works. Preparing your approach to the participant's questions and answers will help your participants get the most from the call.
The Process to Run a Question and Answer Session
To make sure you can operate the technology smoothly, practice by running a few test calls. The other option you have is to assign someone else as the call host to manage the call and have yourself as a guest speaker.
That the beginning of your question and answer session let the participants know that they are all muted and when they want to ask a question to 'raise their hand' or dial 5. The call manager will show a question against their name.
When it is time to take participants question all you need to do is unmute them in the call manager. The participant will receive a message that their line is unmuted. This indicates to them that it is their turn to ask a question. It is also a very good idea to announce the name of the next person you will be taking a question from.
Once you have taken their question you can put them back on mute and proceed with your answer. You can repeat this process until you have finished answering all the questions from participants.
Hosting a Successful Conference Call
Maintain order while still making the participants feel heard. Let participants know beforehand how many questions you will be answering. Also, let them know the order you will be answering questions so that they have a rough idea when is their turn. This way you can control their expectations if you do not have the time to answer every question.
Advise the participants to keep their questions short as well as on topic. If a participant has a long and drawn out question ask them to email you after the conference call.
Choosing Which Questions to Answer
There are a number of different ways to approach this, you can follow the order the questions were asked, ask for questions to be emailed in advance, or select the questions that will provide the most value.
You could also choose questions that random. While all these techniques are valid, make sure you have chosen your preferred option before the call starts.
For the Most Effective Call Remain on Topic
Prior to taking questions make a few suggestions to the participant's to keep them on track. For example, you can say today we are taking questions about web design only. If you have questions about domain names or web hosting email your questions to me.
Using conference calls for question and answer sessions is a great way to engage with the participants and educate the group. Remember to keep focused and remain organized so that the calls benefit everyone.
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