Avoid the same old, same old phrases that everyone says after every meeting.

“And now it’s time for our Q&A session…” These words can spell death (or life!) for your quarterly meeting. When we are watching the statistics for viewership on a live stream, it’s at this moment that we start to see the sharp drop-off of viewers. This is because while all employees might join the meeting, a substantial amount will not watch to the end, and the Q&A session consisting of rambling non-answers and intermittent awkward silences are not what will keep your teammates engaged.

We live stream quarterly updates for dozens of different groups in various organizations. Every client has different levels of what they are comfortable with when it comes to being “put on the spot” with Q&A.

Here are a couple of our suggestions for spicing up and adding variety to your Q&A session.

Use More Than One Method – Interactivity is where webcasts shine. Our most successful clients use a variety of avenues for questions. Ask for emailed questions before the meeting, set up “text-in” answers, and combine those with both in-room and phone line questions. Jumping back and forth will keep everyone on their toes, and attention equals engagement.

Plant Three Questions – The awkward silences can be mood-killers. Have a couple questions in your back pocket that you know teammates will want to ask. Especially if you can answer questions employees might be afraid to ask. If you want to get really fancy, have an Executive answer a common question on video and play it for everyone. The more you can break up the last 20 minutes of your meeting, the better.

Add Interactive Live Polling – As communicators, we do Q&A because it engages our teammates. This builds trust and productivity. The more ways you include viewers, the more they will engage with you. Live Polling is a fantastic way to take a break and let everyone text their vote directly to the webcast. Play a fun song while you watch the results come in live.

Never be afraid to mix it up. If you struggle with answering tough questions, plan for another Executive to be your “phone a friend”. There is no excuse for not including your teammates in a genuine back-and forth. Q&A might not be a new idea, but it shouldn’t be deadweight on your meeting.