When it comes to presentations, one of the most important things you can do is get your audience engaged and participating. This can be a challenge, but with the right questions, it can be easy!
In this post, we will provide you with over 50 different questions you can use in your next presentation. These questions are broken down into different types, so you can easily find the ones that will work best for your needs, as well as slide deck recs for each type of question.
Using questions in an introduction to a meeting or presentation sets the tone for the rest of your time together. These questions can also give the speaker an idea of the expectations and wants of those in the audience.
While asking some of these questions to a group can quickly devolve into side conversations or serve as distractions, picking one or two of them and having the group answer on their phones can provide real insight. We suggest using the Meeting Kickoff slide deck to quickly ask the questions, get the audience participating, and set the tone for the rest of the meeting.
1. Who here has ever been to a meeting where they were completely lost within the first five minutes?
2. How many of you have some knowledge about the topic we're discussing today?
3. What is something you're hoping to come away with after this presentation?
4. What are you tired of hearing about on this topic?
5. What motivates you most to learn about this topic?
6. What can I do to make this presentation valuable to you?
7. If you aren't here due to work obligations, would you still want to be here?
8. How do you prefer to consume information on this topic?
9. Do you prefer presentations/meetings in-person or virtually?
10. What would help you focus for the rest of this presentation?
Another fantastic way to gauge what your audience feels or thinks about certain topics (while keeping them engaged and entertained) is through the use of word clouds. Unlike open-ended questions, word clouds allow an audience to answer a prompt and give a visual representation to the group on which answer is the most prevalent.
Word clouds are an excellent way to draw a group back in mid-meeting and gauge the mindset of your audience. Slides with Friends has a fantastic Word Cloud Game you can put together in a few moments to boost the participation in your next presentation.
1. How are you feeling right now?
2. Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
3. What person in our industry has had the biggest impact on your career?
4. What's something you're worried about professionally today?
5. What's something you're excited about professionally today?
6. What's one of the best ideas our company/group has come up with?
7. How would you describe our last month in one word?
If you’re hosting a meeting with a smaller group that’s already comfortable with each other, meeting icebreakers can loosen tongues and generate conversation. These questions are also a bit more fun, perfect for easing into a heavier presentation.
Use our Meeting Icebreaker slide deck to start your meetings with a little bit of sharing and laughter. Setting the tone at the beginning of your meeting will keep the audience engaged throughout.
1. What’s your favorite tradition or holiday?
2. What fictional world or place would you like to visit?
3. What is your favorite time of the day? Why?
4. What's one routine that has changed how you work?
5. What's something about the co-worker/person next to you that you appreciate?
6. What's your biggest non-work goal right now?
7. What's something you're willing to share that we don't know about you?
With larger groups, it can be even more difficult to grab and keep everyone’s attention, much less get the group to participate. The key to using questions with larger audiences is to keep the answers simple and easy to share.
One of our favorite ways of keeping an audience engaged with questions is with this or that questions. Or, as we call them at Slides with Friends, tea vs coffee questions. Our slide deck Tea vs Coffee was created to make engaging with big groups easier, but still fun.
1. Coffee or tea?
2. Hot or cold climate?
3. Pager or fax machine?
4. Train or plane?
5. Staycation or vacation?
6. Netflix or Amazon Prime?
7. Mountains or beach?
8. Macs or PCs?
9. Beer or wine?
10. Work from home or in the office?
Sometimes to generate audience participation, you need to let them do the talking. This is the concept that inspired the discussion questions we’ve put together. What are things people want to talk about while still staying on topic? What can you ask to get the group involved and engaged without derailing the purpose of the gathering?
With the Brainstorming Session Template slide deck, you can present your questions to the group and either have them answer aloud or through their phones. The key here is taking a step back and letting them lead the conversation.
1. What is the best advice you've ever gotten about your career?
2. What was your first job? How has it influenced your career now?
3. How have you seen your industry change in the past 10 years?
4. What is your favorite thing about your job?
5. What is the hardest thing about your job?
6. What are some of the biggest challenges you see in your industry right now?
7. What's one thing you wish was more efficient about your job?
8. What small change can we make today that will shift how we work long-term?
We’d all love to think every single one of our presentations was a slam dunk, but we know that’s not true. One way to finish up strong and with appreciated audience participation is to ask how you did.
Use the questions below in our Project Wrap Up slide deck to find out how you did and what you can change for the next time you meet. The best way to improve audience participation is to give the group what they want. These questions will help you figure out what that ‘want’ is.
1. What was your favorite part of the presentation?
2. What are you going to do with what you learned today?
3. Who is going to help you implement what you learned today?
4. When are you going to start using what you learned today?
5. What's your plan for continuing to learn about this topic?
6. How would you rate the overall quality of the presentation?
7. What could we have done better?
8. Was the pace too fast, too slow, or just right?
9. Did you feel like you learned something new?
And finally, just for the fun of it, here are a few of our favorite silly questions to ask the crew at your next Happy Hour Hang. Sure, these questions might devolve into laughter, but that still counts as participation!
1. How would you describe your job to a preschooler?
2. What would your entrance song be if you were coming out on stage?
3. What place in time do you think you'd fit in the most?
4. What do you think is the most overrated show or movie right now?
5. What fictional team (X-Men, Avengers, Justice League) is the best?