A webcast is basically a type of television broadcast, or comparable to a magazine show: a team presents a topic and reports on it. However, unlike linear TV consumption, a webcast allows you to ask questions to the production team about the broadcast topic during the broadcast. This article describes how the question and answer tool within SlideSync works – from the producer’s point of view.
Quick Start Guide
- Open the event in the SlideSync backend. If you have sufficient rights, you will see the “Questions” menu item. Click on it.
- Depending on the defaults in the webcast settings and your role (“Event Manager”, “Question Moderator”, “Speaker”), the display may differ slightly. Either a view with one or three columns will be displayed.
- For the full functionality of the question tool, disable the “Automatically share questions” option in the settings. Then all moderators and event managers will see a three-column view when you open the Questions menu. “Speakers” will always see a single-column view instead – more on that below.
- Questions asked by attendees in their attendee view will end up in the left column, which is called “incoming questions”. Questions that you want to give to the host for submission, drag and drop into the middle column – the “live” column. Those that are answered, or that you don’t want to be asked, drag into the right column – the “answered” column.
- Only the content of the live column can be seen by the “speakers”. This allows those to better focus on the flow of the webcast. If you as a moderator or event manager would also like to see the speaker view, click on the eye symbol in the upper right corner. The view switches to “speaker mode”. A click on the pencil switches back to the “editor mode”.
- To send a message to the speaker, you can compose a message at the bottom of the screen and select at the right end whether it should be marked “as an anonymous question” or “as a back office message” before you use the check mark to send the message to the system. Reaction messages are highlighted in red for better recognition.
- Editing questions is also possible. As long as the questions are in the left column, you can click on the question text, modify the text and save it with the check mark, or return to the original version with the circular arrow. With this function you can correct spelling mistakes as well as add answer options and facts for the speaker.
- At any time you have the option to export the questions, for post-processing. The third button on the top right, next to the pencil and the eye icon, allows you to download all the questions as CSV or Microsoft Excel compliant XLSX file.
With the help of the question tool, you get some interactivity with your audience. While the speakers guide you through the show, viewers can contribute comments or questions about the topics mentioned, which can be picked up and answered during the course of the show. Viewers will find an input option for this below the video frame. Depending on the setting of the webcast, the questioners are asked to state their identity. If this line is not filled in, or if the webcast only allows anonymous questions, the sender of the question will be displayed as anonymous in the question tool. If, on the other hand, specifying a sender is set as mandatory, the field must be filled in. If a registration form is used in the webcast, the sender field is automatically filled in with all the values from the registration form. The viewer still has the option to change the information to make himself a bit anonymous. It should be mentioned that SlideSync does not collect any further data to identify a question poser – apart from the data the viewer (voluntarily) leaves in the sender field, there is no way to identify the question poser!
In the backend of the webcast, a person known as the “moderator” or “event manager” to the event can view and edit the questions. Editing in this context means that questions are selected or sorted out, and the selected ones are offered to the speaker of the program for selection. In this way, the flow of the program can be influenced and controlled, as well as the (possible) flood of similar and duplicate questions can be filtered. In contrast, it is also possible to prepare questions in advance of the broadcast and insert them from the backend. These can serve as a kind of icebreaker, so that viewers are more willing to submit their own questions. To do this, you will find an input line at the bottom of the screen. At the end of the line, next to the checkmark to send the message, you have the option to mark the message “as Anonymous user” or “as back office” message. An editorial message is intended to give you the possibility to send a private message to the speaker of the program. This can be used to communicate the number of viewers or the remaining minutes for the current broadcast.
Please note that between the request to your viewers to ask questions and the receipt of those in the question tool, up to 30 seconds can pass. This has to do with the webcast technology used, where the delivery of the video image to the viewer takes between 18-24 seconds [link to tech background]. After that, the interested viewer still has to compose and send the question, which leads to the mentioned delay.
- Interaction with the viewer, even with large crowds.
- Control of the course of the broadcast by selecting the questions.
- Task sharing: The speaker in front of the camera can focus on his moderation. A second person behind the camera filters the questions.
- Questions can be stored in the system in advance as icebreakers.
- Notes to the speaker can be transmitted discreetly via the editorial news.
- Viewer response may be up to 30 seconds due to delay caused by webcast distribution.
- Interaction is only possible in writing.