If you’ve ever hosted a community event, you’re probably well aware that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating events that appear effortless. Whether you’re bringing an expert onboard to teach a workshop, moderating a panel of community members, or hosting your own solo masterclass, there’s a lot to consider—including the question-and-answer portion of the event.
But how do you set the scene for an engaging and insightful Q&A session?
Our use case
In the Circle community, we host regular masterclass sessions with subject matter experts that always include a Q&A portion at the end of each event so members can ask the expert questions.
To prepare for these events, our team would draft a short list of my own questions for the expert. During the event, we use one or two of these questions to kick off the Q&A portion and then keep the rest on hand in case attendees aren’t particularly forthcoming with their own questions.
But here’s the issue: while thinking of two or three questions is easy enough, compiling a much longer list takes a significant amount of time, research, and brain power—and it takes even more time, research, and brain power when the masterclass is about a topic we may not be all that familiar with. This puts some pressure on the question drafting process because the last thing we want is to let attendees down by asking repetitive or uninteresting questions.
✨ Enter: co-pilot, one of our new Community AI features that helps you write, edit, and repurpose content.
How co-pilot made us more efficient
We recently hosted a masterclass event with public relations strategist Sabina Hitchen where she shared her best strategies for securing meaningful press coverage for your business. To prepare for this event, we compiled our usual list of questions—only this time, I enlisted the help of co-pilot.
To start, we draft a prompt that provides some context on the use case (i.e. We’re hosting an event about PR) and includes a specific ask (i.e. Give me a list of 10 questions that I can use for this event).
Then, we fed co-pilot the prompt: “I’m hosting a community event with a PR strategist who’s an expert in helping small business owners/creators secure media coverage for their businesses. What are 10 questions I could ask her that might be helpful for my community members?”
Here’s what it came up with:
This is a really solid list, and many of these questions speak to subtopics we never would have thought of organically in such a short frame of time. One of the questions was particularly interesting (“How can small business owners measure the impact of their media coverage?”) and we thought it would appeal to many of the event attendees, so we asked co-pilot to dive even deeper.
Building off of the initial list, we prompted co-pilot with the following: “Generate 5 new questions about measuring the success of PR efforts.”
Co-pilot did not disappoint! Here’s the list of new questions:
Once we had the two lists, we selected the questions that we wanted to keep for the event. Then, we re-ordered the list (placing the most impactful question higher up) and rephrased a few of the questions to better match Circle’s tone of event hosting.
With the help of co-pilot, we were able to come up with a strong list of questions for the masterclass event in no time at all. If we had compiled the list of questions without help, it would have taken about 20 to 25 minutes.
With co-pilot, it only took seven or so minutes to develop the list of questions, generate additional questions around a specific focus, and comb through the list to decide which ones to use and which ones to scrap.
In addition to getting time in our workday back, using co-pilot helped us come up with a more comprehensive list of questions than we would have gotten organically. We were able to go even deeper on the topic and create an engaging discussion to the benefit of our members.
Steal the prompt
If you’re also looking to generate a list of questions or thought starters, feel free to use the prompt(s) below with co-pilot.
Ask co-pilot to generate a list of questions around a specific topic:
I’m hosting a community event [ with/for/about _________ ]. What are 10 questions I could ask [ the speaker/panelists/other: _________ ] that might be helpful for my community members?
Ask co-pilot to dive deeper into a specific focus area:
Generate 5 new questions about [ _________ ].
Curious how you can use this prompt (or one similar) to achieve a different outcome? Here are some ideas! If you’re…
- Struggling to think of new discussion starters for your community: Ask co-pilot to come up with discussion questions or prompts that you can share with your members. You can use these as thought starters during a live event or share them in a discussion space and ask your members to respond as part of an async community ritual.
- Gathering member testimonials but unsure of what to ask: Have co-pilot generate interview questions that encourage quality responses from your members.
- Feeling stuck when drafting a post, creating a course, or designing a resource: Overcome writer’s block by asking co-pilot to come up with questions about the topic you’ll be covering in the post, course, resource etc. Co-pilot’s questions can help you think about the topic in new ways.