7 “ask me anything” webinar tips you didn’t know you needed

If you’re looking for other ways to expand your webinar creativity, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we will be discussing how to host an “Ask Me Anything” Webinar.

An “ask me anything” webinar (or AMA) is not a new format. It’s an adopted format that gained traction with Reddit users. However, the ‘ask me anything’ format can be a bit of a wild card. 

This week, I want to breakdown the best tips for hosting an ‘ask me anything’ webinar so that you can get the most out of this format.  

Why Host An Ask Me Anything Webinar?

Webinars are a great way to get your audience engaged. Plus, it helps you to understand where your audiences are in your sales funnel. That’s why webinar platforms continue to evolve with new tools and features that assist with engagement. 
As mentioned, the AMA webinar format can be uncontrollable. This is because questions can range from your product, to the brand, to more personal questions. These topics can be both humorous or serious. 
That’s why you need to have plans and strategies in place to help keep you, and your audience, focused. So, let’s jump into the 7 ‘ask me anything’ webinar tips that will help you get the most out of this webinar format. 

1. Invite The Best Speaker

This one seems obvious, but it’s extremely important to your webinar success. You want your audience to get the most out of your topic. Ensure that you or your speaker know the material inside and out. That way, when faced with a difficult question during your live session, there is not a moment of hesitation.
You or your guest should always be confident about the topic you are highlighting. To ensure success, make sure the speaker can deliver on all aspects of the subject. That way, your speaker will not only feel comfortable when faced with hard questions, but also remain relaxed. This is how you will establish yourself as a Thought Leader

2. Have A Great Moderator

The moderator has a very important job, and you’re going to need a great one—Why?
The moderator is the gatekeeper of your AMA webinar. 
On top of being your gatekeeper, your moderator is also the person who keeps your audience engaged. Plus, they ensure that production is running smoothly.
Your moderator should be able to handle the following: 
  • Walk you, and your audience, through the roadmap of the webinar. 
  • Keep the webinar on track and on time. 
  • Moderate questions, including inappropriate questions.
  • Stimulate your audience to keep questions coming through.  
  • Select the best questions to answer in the queue. 

3. Be Prepared With Question and Answers

Let’s say you have a large number of registrants. You have the best speaker and you were able to find a great moderator. In theory, this should ensure your webinar success, but sometimes, it doesn’t. 

By preparing questions in advance, you guarantee that there will be no awkward pauses at any time during your event. Just because you have a lot of registrants, doesn’t mean they always ask questions. You should always have some questions in your back pocket to stimulate the conversation. This way you avoid any awkward situations.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Get participants to submit questions a couple hour prior to your webinar event.
  • Reach out to your sales team and identify 5-7 pain points your customers experience.
  • Other frequently asked questions surrounding your business or product. 

4. Use The Tools & Features Available To You

Depending on what webinar platform you choose to use, you should have numerous Call-To-Action widgets and tools available to you. Be sure you have a full understanding of all the features that your webinar platform provides, and how you can benefit from putting them to use. 

Not all of them will work with an ‘ask me anything’ webinar. For instance, the polling feature might not make sense for this style, unless you want users to vote for the final question or an upcoming one. 

Your moderator should also have extensive knowledge about these tools to assist you during your live webinar.

5. Do A Dry Run Prior To Your AMA Webinar

Although this seems obvious, this tip is one of the most important suggestions of all.
You need to make sure everything is working properly before your AMA webinar. This time can be used to make sure all of your visuals are planned and set up correctly. This step also allows you to check the audio and video quality.
A dry run will also help you with tips 3 & 4. You’ll have a chance to play around with the platform so that both you and your moderator understand how it works before going live.

6. Don't Forget The Follow-Up

Be realistic, you might not get to every question that you’re asked, and that is okay. A follow-up email will help you with that. Create an FAQ of all questions missed, most often they are similar to one another, and list out all the answers. Include this in your follow-up email along with your on-demand webinar.

This is also your opportunity to discover where your leads are in your sales funnel.

By continuing to nurture your leads with answers to questions that weren’t on the AMA provides a great way to build a relationship with your listeners and to build trust.

7. Have Fun & Embrace The Risk

Like any event, some risks come with hosting an ‘ask me anything’ webinar.

It’s not a planned or scripted webinar, and it can be much more candid than any other live events you may have been a part of. 

Some risks include: 

  • Not knowing if anyone will ask questions of substance. 
  • If questions will even be submitted. 
  • You, or your speaker’s reaction depending on the questions asked.

That’s okay though, because you are prepared. You’ve taken first handed advice from industry-leaders who are here to help. Similar to what you’re providing your audience. 

Just remember to have fun and try to relax. Higher risk events can lead to much higher returns when executed properly. 

Let's Recap

Ask me anything webinars make your brand more personable and you, the expert of your industry, can provide insight to viewers that they may not have had previously. Follow the 7 tips above, and you will see a great reward in this format. 

  1. Have the best speaker: Be sure you’re knowledgable about the industry, product, and brand. 
  2. Have a great moderator: Your moderator should understand the tools and know how to stimulate conversation.
  3. Be prepared for anything: Be ready for silence, or for too many questions in the queue. 
  4. Use all the features available to you: Every webinar platform has tools & features, find the one that fits your needs. 
  5. Test all equipment: Always test equipment for crisp, clean audio and visuals. 
  6. Follow up: Nurture your top funnel leads and answer questions you didn’t have time for.  
  7. Take the risk & have some fun: Remember, the higher the risk, the higher the value, and never forget to have fun while you’re on camera. 
If you’re looking to plan a webinar from the beginning, you can check out our 8-week guide to planning a webinar, and if it’s an ‘ask me anything’ webinar, come back these 7 tips once you have the plan rolling out. 
Of course, you can reach out to me directly if you have any other questions. I’m always happy to chat.
Matthew Ley

Matthew Ley

Matt Ley is the current President and co-founder of The Streaming Network. Starting his career in virtual events in 2007, Matt is an industry veteran that is passionate about helping customers stand out in their industry with compelling virtual events that people want to attend. The driving ambition for Matt is that virtual events are not a utility for information distribution but an opportunity for firms to create a competitive advantage. Matt is an accomplished speaker, moderator and a sought-after thought leader.

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