How to get the most out of a Q&A session

Q&A tips

It’s not always easy to speak up during a Q&A session. You might feel too nervous to talk in front of others, or not having clear what to ask! Don’t feel like the only one having these feelings, many people are scared about public speaking but since asking for more information is the key to improving your understanding of a given subject, it can be helpful to ask for information in the right way.

Here there are some tips to get prepared to your Q&A session:

1. Wait for the right time. 

Hold on to your question until you’re prompted for it, in this way the speaker will be able to reach a good stopping point and give you a detailed answer.

2. Book you for a question 

On a common classroom situation this would be the most common and courteous way of letting the speaker know that you have a question. During an interactive Q&A session it might be useful for you to book your time to ask by writing it on the community chat. It will help you get noticed in a room full of students. 

3. Advice the speaker that you have a question 

If the speaker fails to notice that you booked a time for your question, you can politely alert him during a break time within the session. Just remember to be careful to not talk over the speaker and your colleagues, wait until you’re called on before you begin talking. 

4. See if you can come up with the answer yourself. 

You may already have the information you need to find out what it is you want to know. Before you ask a question, think it over and make sure it’s something you can’t find out on your own.

5. Keep your question brief.

Formulate your question to be short and straight to the point, so that speaker will be able to answer exactly to what are your needs. To avoid confusion, the first thing you say should be a key question word: who, what, where, when, why or how. Speak in a clear, audible voice. Articulate your words and make sure the speaker and the rest of the class can hear you. Your colleagues might find interesting what you asked.

6. Ask for specific information

Point out exactly what you need to be clarified. The key to do this is to word your question carefully so that you can receive the information you’re missing.

7. Listen attentively to the answer

Listen carefully to the speaker while he is answering to you, or take notes so that you can look over them later. Once the answer has been explained satisfactorily remember to say thank you!

8. Write down your questions before the beginning of the session 

Prepare your questions before the beginning of the session, you will have clearer what you need to know. While collecting the information that you would like to receive always remember to be clear and concise.

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