If there is any common factor throughout every seminar out there, it would have to be the question and answer (Q&A) session at the end of the session. In fact, to not have a Q&A session at the end of one’s seminar is extremely rare. This is the part of the seminar where participants actually get their doubts clarified and provide any form of feedback, both positive as well as negative, to the presenter. At the same time, it is also the period where participants get to interact and mingle with others.
Although majority of seminars have a Q&A session scheduled at the very end, a certain percentage of them do not necessarily allocate sufficient time. This is another problem that should be overcome. In order to solve this problem, one has to consider the total number of participants. Obviously, if there are over thousands of attendees, it would probably not be possible to answer to every single one of their queries. However, most of the time, not every person would have something to say.
During a Q&A session, the most common practice is to open the floor to whosoever would like to make a statement or ask a question. By doing this, you won’t have to address those participants who have similar questions. Unfortunately, there could potentially be a number of shy participants who might not like to ask their question in front of everyone. In this case, you might want to split the Q&A session into two parts. The first part would be for everyone as a whole. As for the second part, it would be catered to those who have individual questions that have not been addressed yet. As for those with general feedback, you might want to include a feedback form in the portfolio that is handed to them before the seminar. This allows them to fill it up if they have any feedback for you.
During your introduction of the seminar, you should also notify the audience about the scheduled break times as well as the format for the Q&A session(s). This will provide them with an idea of how you intend to go about addressing any concerns that they might have. At the same time, it will give them a clearer idea of the way you will be approaching the presentation.
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