How to Keep Audience Responses Focused

— 2 minute read

For online presentations, I am not a fan of open-ended questions. Does not mean I think you should avoid interacting with attendees? Far from it!

Using Yes/No Questions permalink

I want speakers to avoid the awkwardness and confusion that comes from waiting for replies from an online audience.

One way to do that is to ask closed-ended questions: questions that require a simple "yes" or "no." Through these types of general questions, feedback is more immediate.

To make sure attendees know it's a question, be sure to give a rising intonation at the end of the question.

Using Choice Questions permalink

If desired, I could move beyond a simple "yes" or "no" replies. I would need to make sure to give the audience a small answer set when asking the question.

For example:

  • "Or you a teacher or a student?"
  • "What is the best type of CSS positioning to use in this example: Absolute, Relative, Fixed, or Sticky?"
  • "Which color is one that would be good for a color scheme about food: Green, Blue, Purple?"

Again, make sure there is a rising intonation at the end of the question – and then say the list of potential answers clearly with distinct annunciation.