Planning your next Q&A session? In this article I will explore the issue of moderation. By moderation, I mean the ability to selectively screen out questions from your audience.

Q&A is a great way to make your presentations more interactive. Increasingly, audiences don’t want to be talked at, they want to be part of a conversation. Q&A is a great way to engage them in a conversation. One of the big questions relating to Q&A surrounds moderation: to moderate or to not? When people ask me this question, there are a number of factors I ask them to concider. The primary factor is transparency. By heavily moderating a Q&A session, an audience might feel slighted by the sense that questions are being sanitized. I find that the most honest and engaging Q&A sessions are done without moderation. It takes a certain amount of guts for a CEO to get up there and answer ANY question. And this, done well, will earn the respect of any audience.

Having said that, there are risks associated with being 100% transparent. One of the features that people love about Zeeting is the ability for audience members  to easily connect to a Zeeting with no sign-up. This maximises the number of audience members who will engage in your Q&A session, as forcing sign-in leads to a significant drop off in participation. Allowing audience members to connect to your Zeeting with no sign-up allows them to submit question anonymously but this  also opens the door to profanity and misdirected questions. My guidance here is to judge your audience ahead of time. If you are talking to a mature and professional audience, then I recommend no moderation and anonymous sign-in. The questions will be strong, and your audience will respect your trust in them. If you are dealing with a immature audience then I would definitely recommend moderation. To enable moderation for your Q&A session,  make sure the moderation option (figure 1) in the broadcast screen before you start your broadcast. (note that this feature is not included in the Basic plan).

 

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figure 1: Moderation Option

With this option enabled all questions and comments posted in the activity feed can be deleted before the expiration of a 10 second count-down times runs out. Bad question? Simply press the Reject button and its gone.

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figure 2: Approve or Reject questions from your Q&A session.

Once questions are through the moderation screen the audience will self select the questions that are most relevant to the them. By liking questions in the activity feed the audience   is able to communicate to the moderator the questions they most want answered. The moderator can find these by sorting the activity feed via the ‘Most Likes’ option (see figure 2).

Happy moderating.

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related posts: Q&A

photo: Anna Hicks

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