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Protocol Toolkit Item: 4b

Collective Dialogue Through Question & Answer Spotlight

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In a group, teams are frequently asked to present information or practices. This protocol is appropriate after a team has presented information. It allows listeners to ask questions and get clarification on what was presented. It deepens communication bet


  • Sticky notes
  • Chairs to be placed at the front of the room following a presentation.


30-50 Minutes


This protocol takes place after a team presents information to a larger group. It allows participants to ask questions about and to get a further understanding of a presentation. It improves communication and understanding following a presentation.   To prepare for this protocol, facilitator(s) need to have sticky notes available for participants.   Participants will write questions on sticky notes as they listen to a presentation. They should write one question per sticky note. Encourage participants to ask challenging questions! Difficult questions with answers that require thought are a gift.   The participants should also be grouped into teams for this protocol. After the presentation, the teams will meet and share their questions and decide which questions they would like the presenting team to address.     Note: The time needed for this protocol also depends on the length of a team’s presentation. Adjustments may have to be made to the timeframe.


Step 1:

Introduce Protocol Share the following information with participants before the presentation:
    • You will hear from a presenting group, and during the presentation, everyone will write questions that arise on sticky notes. There should be one question per sticky note.
    • After the presentation, audience members will meet in teams and share their questions. The team will select several questions they would like the presenter to answer. Teams’ questions will be collected.
    • The presenters will sit in front of the room and randomly select questions and respond to those questions.
  • The facilitator(s) should introduce the presenting team, who begin their presentation.

Step 2:

Question and Answer Session
  • The facilitator(s) should begin the Question and Answer dialogue after the presentation.
  • Share that the group has now heard from the presenting team, and the presenters will now sit at the front of the room.
  • While the presenting team sits, the participants should be moved into teams to review their questions. The teams will have 5-7 minutes to select several questions they wish the presenting team to answer. 
  • Collect the agreed-upon questions from the group and provide them to the presenting team.
  • Put the sticky notes in a bag/hat/box and ask the presenting team to randomly select the first question to be answered by their team.
  • The presenting team should read the question aloud and provide an answer for the audience members. 
  • Allow 25 minutes for the panel team to randomly select sticky notes from the bag/hat/box and provide their answers for the audience. 
Note: Ensure all presenting team members have an opportunity to participate in answering questions.
  • The presenting team should respond to as many questions as possible in the given time.

Step 3:

Presenting Team Follow Up (optional)
  • Ask the presenting team to meet on their own time and review all the questions asked by participants to further reflect on their work.
  • The presenting team should address the questions not answered during the session by typing the question and their response on a document that will be shared with all participants.

Resources & Further Reading

Examples of Use

  • This protocol can be used following any team presentation or to follow up with a formal speaker.
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