How to Conduct a Question and Answer Session by wpm87015


									                      The Southwest Computer Conference – May 29, 30, and 31, 2009

                                  How to Conduct a Question and Answer Session
The purpose of the workshop is to explore ways to conduct a Q&A session so that there is a flow of information
between the person asking the question and the person (s) answering the question. In addition we will explore how
to make sure that the questions and answers are understandable to the other people in the audience.

The Question
1. When to get the question
           a. general part of meeting
                    i. take the questions as they come
                   ii. ask that questions be held until the Q & A session
                  iii. Ask that the questions be written down prior to the Q & A section
           b. tips & tricks segments of meeting
                    i. encourage suggestions or questions
           c. specific Q & A segment
                    i. use a Q & A form
                           1. Name, Operating System
                           2. Question
                   ii. Ask for questions after questions on form are answered
           d. Presentation
                    i. Check with presenter to see what there preferences are
                   ii. Ask presenter to set aside time for Q&A and then after the intro ask the audience to hold
                       questions for the presenter’s Q& A
2. How to get the question
           a. In writing by using a Q & A form or simply a piece of paper or card
           b. Orally by picking out upraised hands
                    i. If you have more than one microphones have the questioner use one.
                   ii. It might be possible to have an assistant (s) with the microphones (s) to pick out the
                       questioner, and then have the Answering party give the answer.

Answering the Question
   1. Repeat the Question and ask if you understood the question.
   2. Answer the question
           a. Answer any secondary questions
           b. If you don’t know the answer, admit it and ask if anyone else knows it
                   i. Sometime you can have an assistant looking up a answer while your are working on your
           c. After answering the specific person’s question, it is helpful for the whole audience to generalize the
               answer so that it applies to everyone.

    3. Move on to the next question

Making a better answer
   1. Keep the answer as simple and short as possible
   2. Explain or translate any “jargon”
   3. Perhaps, set a time limit for each Q & A or for the Q & A period

Things to Avoid
   1. Don’t get into a personal back and forth conversation. Answer the question so that everyone can participate.
   2. Unrelated Questions
   3. The show-off in the audience who is positive he knows the answer usually at great lengths.
   4. Use the microphone if one is available
   5. Don’t run over the time limit

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