What’s your favorite curse word? Wet or Dry? What’s your goto gift for others? Adding a lightning round of questions to a guest panel or even a regular meeting increases both energy and engagement. You’ve seen it used on podcasts or in tv interviews like Inside the Actors Studio. We love using this tool in our daily huddles to quickly learn something new about a team member and set the tone for the rest of the session. To make this even quicker and easier we created a Rapid Fire Question Machine. Each time you click the button a new question is put on the screen. It is a fast simple way to ask a series of random questions. Best of all, this technique works in both virtual and in-person meetings!
Our guideline is that no answer should be longer than 30 seconds but you’ll find that letting the answers flow freely yields fantastic results. We rarely have to worry about long answers. And if the group wants a longer answer you can tease them with it as a reveal at the end of the meeting or on a break.
Interactive Ideas to Build Engagement With Random Questions
Here are some of the ways we use the Rapid Fire Question Technique:
- 1&3 – Choose 1 person to answer 3 questions. The big problem to solve is who to call on to answer. More about that below.
- Everybody Plays – each person in the meeting answers 1 question. If your meeting exceeds 10 or 12 people this may not be the choice for you.
- Sweepstakes– Tell you group that you are going to ask X number of questions (1 to 3) but you don’t want anyone to vocalize an answer. Instead say that on the next break you will call on random people to answer the questions. This changes the dynamic to allow people time to formulate an answer. They may not get called to share but they’ll probably use that question to start up conversations during networking or the next break, etc.
- Client Calls – Talk about a standout way to interact with a client. Ask them 3 random questions if they are game.
- Panic Questions– This game is a variation of Panic Pictures by Chad Littlefield. Tell the group that you are ask 10 questions, 1 at a time. You’ll ask the question then count backwards from 5 to zero. Before you get to Zero someone in the group must answer the question. If nobody answers the question the group loses a point. The goal is to keep all 10 points. No player may answer 2 questions in a row. It’s a fun upbeat way to get random people joining in the conversation.
Where Can You Use Quick Questions?
Where you use your questions can help break up content, set the tone or serve as a good segue into a different topic or session. Here are some ideas on where to use the questions:
- In the beginning… – Putting questions at the start of a meeting can lighten the mood, breakdown walls, and quickly build engagement.
- Breaks – Wrap up a block of content before you break or ask some questions as you come back from a break. Either way you send people into the break with fun stuff to talk about or you re-engage them coming back. =)
- At the End – You can use questions to finish out an interview or wrap up with a fun round of questions to get some laughs.
- In Slack – we often throw out a random question for a randomly selected team member to answer on our Slack. In fact, we wrote a separate article about how you can use slack to build engagement.