Irrespective of your role or background, asking questions during a webinar provides a unique opportunity for interactive learning. Besides the main topic of the event flowing from speaker to attendee, asking interactive questions aligned with the attendees' personal, professional, or business interests unfolds new insights in an enlightening way.
Given that guest speakers bring diversity from different backgrounds, interactive topical questions increase engagement while enriching the overall webinar experience. However, some might wonder what good questions to ask speakers during a online webinar or event.
Below, we have highlighted a list of questions to ask to learn from the speaker's expertise or work experience. Through these questions, you can learn some valuable lessons.
Why engage attendees to ask a guest speaker relevant questions during your virtual events?
Encouraging audience members to ask questions during a webinar holds significant importance for several reasons. It boosts active engagement and interaction, transforming the webinar into a dynamic two-way conversation rather than a passive, one-sided communication. In addition to keeping attendees attentive and interested, it also allows them to clarify doubts and seek specific information, making the content more relevant and valuable to their needs.
Moreover, audience questions provide valuable feedback to the presenter, indicating the audience's level of understanding and areas of interest. This feedback helps the presenter adapt their content on the fly, ensuring that the webinar remains informative and meets the audience's expectations, ultimately enhancing the overall learning experience.
Thoughtful ice breaker questions to ask guest speakers
An icebreaker question is a conversation starter or a light, often fun, and non-intrusive query designed to break the initial tension and facilitate social interaction among individuals in a group setting, such as a meeting, team-building activity, or social gathering. It helps people get to know each other, establish rapport, and create a more comfortable and open atmosphere for further discussions or activities.
Here are some examples of icebreaker questions to ask your guest speaker at a virtual event.
"What inspired you to pursue a career in [topic of the webinar]?"
"Can you share a brief personal anecdote about the subject matter?"
"What's the most exciting project or development in your field right now?"
"If you had to give one piece of advice to someone starting in [the field], what would it be?"
"What do you consider most challenging about [subject matter], and how do you overcome it?"
"Could you share an unexpected or surprising fact about your work or expertise?"
"What's a book, article, or resource you'd recommend for those looking to learn more about this?"
"How has your perspective on [subject matter] evolved over your career?"
"What's the most memorable experience you've had while sharing your knowledge on this subject?"
"In your opinion, what's the biggest misconception people have about [the topic], and how would you clarify it?"
These questions not only help build a connection between the guest speaker and the audience but also offer valuable insights into their expertise.
Career and industry-related questions to ask during your virtual events
For most guest speakers, their experience is usually derived from a defined career path, job role, or industry. To make it more fun for everyone, consider focusing all relevant questions on specific themes related to the industry. There is no need to ask general questions that may sound vague to the audience and everyone else participating in the virtual events. Look at the following examples you can use or brainstorm better ones.
"What do you believe are the key trends shaping the future of our industry?"
"How did you initially break into this field, and what advice would you offer newcomers?"
"Can you share a pivotal moment or decision that significantly influenced your career path?"
"What skills and qualities do you consider essential for success in this industry?"
"In your experience, what are some common challenges professionals face in our field, and how can they be overcome?"
"Are there any certifications, courses, or professional organizations you recommend for career development in this industry?"
"What strategies do you use to stay updated with the latest developments and innovations in your field?"
"Could you describe a project or accomplishment in your career that you are particularly proud of?"
"How do you maintain a work-life balance in a demanding industry like ours?"
"What advice would you give to professionals looking to advance to leadership roles within this field?"
These questions can provide valuable information and insights into the guest speaker's career journey and guide those aspiring to excel in the same industry.
Leadership questions to get insightful information from guest speakers
Especially when you want to engage people in senior management and leadership roles as guest speakers, it might be useful to ask some revealing questions as well. If it is a leadership-related webinar that you are presenting, these questions will even be more interesting to the event viewers. Besides, it is also important to listen carefully when these questions are asked in an expert interview. Again, we have given some examples of good questions to ask guest speakers during your virtual events.
"What does leadership mean to you, and how has your definition evolved over your career?"
"Can you share a specific instance where you had to make a tough leadership decision and how you navigated it?"
"What leadership style is most effective in today's ever-changing business landscape?"
"How do you foster innovation and creativity within your team or organization?"
"What strategies do you use to build and maintain a strong company culture?"
"In your experience, what are the most common challenges leaders face, and how can they address them?"
"What books, mentors, or resources have had a significant influence on your leadership approach?"
"How do you handle and learn from failure as a leader?"
"What practices do you use to empower and develop your team members into future leaders?"
"What advice would you give to emerging leaders to help them grow and succeed in their roles?"
Webinar-related questions to ask guest speakers at a webinar
When some people attend the webinars you're hosting, they often see the possibility of hosting webinars to generate leads or grow their businesses. And that prompts some questions inside their heads. Interestingly, great questions directed at guest speakers in this context can provide a fantastic opportunity for attendees to learn how to host webinars for their businesses. Though you can ask spontaneous questions that come to mind around any theme, these are some examples to get you started.
"What tips do you have for engaging and maintaining the audience's attention in a virtual setting?"
"Can you share some best practices for structuring and organizing a successful webinar presentation?"
"How do you handle technical challenges or glitches that may arise during a live webinar?"
"What are your preferred tools and software for hosting and promoting webinars effectively?"
"Do you have any strategies for encouraging audience participation and interaction during a webinar?"
"What metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) do you track to evaluate the success of a webinar?"
"How do you prepare for Q&A sessions and handle questions from the audience in a live webinar?"
"What are your thoughts on post-webinar follow-up, such as sending out resources or recording links to attendees?"
"Can you share some insights into marketing and promoting webinars to reach a wider audience?"
"How do you adapt your presentation style and content for different webinars, such as training, marketing, or thought leadership events?"
These questions can help the audience gain valuable insights into the guest speaker's expertise in hosting successful webinars and improve their webinar hosting skills.
Fun questions to ask a guest speaker during a virtual event
Sometimes, asking questions doesn't have to be about serious topics and being mean about it. You have to find a way to add fun to the experience. Depending on the speaker's experience, how they answer the questions will excite some people naturally and ask even more follow-up questions. Just try to make your guest speaker relaxed first. Meanwhile, attendees may agree or disagree with their answers. Check out these examples of fun questions for speakers during your virtual events. With these examples, you can also use your imagination to discover more interesting ones.
What's the most interesting or unusual place you've ever given a presentation or talk?
Can you share a funny or memorable anecdote from your career that relates to the topic you're discussing today?
If you could have any superpower to enhance your speaking abilities, what would it be and why?
What's your go-to pre-presentation ritual for getting in the right mindset?
If your life story were made into a movie, who would you want to play you, and what would the tagline be?
Share a memorable interaction you've had with the event participants, whether it's a touching story or an unusual request.
Can you reveal a surprising hobby or talent your audience might not know?
What's the most unexpected question or challenge you've faced from an audience, and how did you handle it?
If you were to give a TED Talk on an entirely different topic, what would it be, and why?
Imagine you're a motivational speaker for fictional characters – who would you choose to inspire, and what message would you convey to them?
These questions can help create a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere during the webinar while allowing the participants to connect with the guest speaker on a personal level.
Frequently asked questions about webinar
How do I attract more people to my webinar?
To attract more people to your webinar:
- Focus on effective marketing and engagement strategies.
- Start by defining your target customers and tailoring your webinar content to their needs and interests.
- Utilize various marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, and your website to promote the event well in advance.
- Craft compelling and informative promotional materials, including engaging teaser videos or graphics, and use persuasive copy highlighting the value attendees will gain from participating.
Consider collaborating with industry influencers or partners who can help promote your webinar to their followers. Additionally, incentives like early-bird registration discounts or exclusive downloadable resources can entice potential attendees.
Finally, engage with your audience throughout the promotion period by leveraging pre-webinar Q&A sessions, sharing sneak peeks of the content, and actively responding to inquiries. Building a sense of anticipation and community around your webinar will increase its appeal and draw more participants.
When should I start marketing a webinar?
Start marketing your webinar at least 2-4 weeks before the scheduled event to give you ample time to build awareness, generate interest, and allow potential attendees to plan their schedules accordingly. However, for larger or more complex webinars, you may want to start marketing 6-8 weeks in advance to ensure a broader reach and higher attendance. Tailor the timeline to your specific audience and promotional strategies while considering that early promotion allows for better results.
How do I promote my webinar on Google?
To promote a webinar on Google, start by optimizing your webinar landing page with specific keywords for organic search visibility. Utilize Google Ads to run paid campaigns, including search ads, display ads, and YouTube ads, targeting your desired audience based on their interests and demographics. Leverage Google's audience targeting options, like custom intent audiences or similar audiences, to reach potential participants effectively. Additionally, use Google Analytics to track your campaign's performance and make necessary adjustments to enhance your promotion's effectiveness.
How do I find guest speakers for my webinar?
Finding guest speakers for your webinar can be done by first identifying your niche or topic and then reaching out to experts or influencers within that field. Start by exploring social media, industry forums, or professional networks to discover potential speakers with a strong online presence and a willingness to share their expertise. You can also consider contacting relevant organizations or associations and attending industry events or conferences to network and connect with potential speakers. Ensure you have a clear value proposition and an engaging pitch to entice speakers to participate in your webinar.
As the host or attendee, asking thoughtfully sensitive questions will help everyone delve deeper into an engaging topic of interest. The questions above could also help you dig further to uncover certain obstacles and fill some knowledge gaps in overcoming them. Most times, it all depends on how you formulate or craft the questions.
With the examples we've compiled in this post, you now have the basis to brainstorm new ideas on the right questions to ask during your virtual events. If you are the CEO in charge of everything at your company, consider involving the guest speakers in the webinar decision-making process. Doing this will help ensure everything flows smoothly from beginning to end, especially the interactive question and answer session.