Presenters: How to Ask Better Questions

How to ask better questions

The secret to using an Audience Response System effectively is to ask the right questions, in the right way, at the right time. Of course, that may sound easier said than done at the moment, but in our experience, there are just a few key things to remember when planning a presentation around an interactive technology.

1 – Start easy

One of the biggest obstacles to participants responding to a question is their fear of giving the wrong answer. By starting with easy questions, you can get your audience quickly warmed up to the idea of interaction and allow them to become familiar with their CLiKAPAD handsets, rather than plunging straight into the deep end.

2 – Build it up

Once your presentation gets rolling, keep your audience focused and interested by asking unusual questions, or ones without an obvious answer. For example, if your topic is linked to any controversial opinions, try asking your participants about their opinions. The anonymity of a voting system will allow people to be honest about their beliefs and provide some interesting data for you to work with. If the questions are too unchallenging, people will feel like they don’t need to answer and gradually switch off.

3 – Be clear

Nothing will scare respondents off quicker than confusion. Go through your questions carefully, and make sure that there is only one way to interpret them. Avoid waffle, double negatives and clever phrasing – ask a friend or colleague for their thoughts if you’re not sure. Simplify any complicated questions, or add extra clarification if required.

4 – Know what you need.

If you’re struggling to come up with questions to ask your audience, start by defining the information that you need to support your presentation. Are you interested in demonstrating a spectrum of opinions, or do you need to test factual knowledge? Can you ask for a specific judgement about a product or statement? Don’t forget that there are many ways to format a question, and closed questions, multiple choice options and Likert scales will all give you a different kind of data to work with.

5 – Reconsider

While CLiKAPAD technology is a great way to boost engagement, the novelty will wear thin if it’s overused. Does every one of your questions need to be included, or can you phrase some as statements? If you don’t need the audience to back up part of your presentation then don’t ask them to.