Kanishka RatnayakeQuestions Worth Asking – An Interactive Forum For Philanthropy University’s Learners

Questions Worth Asking – An Interactive Forum

Questions Worth Asking (QWA) is the signature online community program hosted by Philanthropy University. Each month, we invite an interesting guest speaker from the development sector to join a handful of Philanthropy University learners to field pre-collected questions collected from its thousands of learners. “Questions Worth Asking” Q&As is held on Google Hangouts and live broadcasted to YouTube with the intent to have them serve as a resource for connecting, sharing knowledge, collaborating, and inspiring.

There is a lot of work that goes into setting up an interactive session of this nature. Reversed engineered, three weeks prior to the main event, a mass email campaign will be sent out to learners highlighting the next guest speaker and his/ her background. The learners are given two weeks window to respond with their questions to s/he and to let us know their availability to be featured on air. Once all these questions are compiled, the best questions related to the guest’s expertise and ability to speak would be filtered and shared with the guest.

Simultaneously, those who indicated their availability to come online will be featured following to a background check done. Prior to featuring them, test calls would be set up with each caller In order to make sure they are comfortable with using Google Hangouts. Also, this would serve as an occasion to make sure they are a real person. Here are some of the past sessions covering topics of social entrepreneurship, fundraising and  

Grantmaking; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72K9f6RB7Ic

Fundraising: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWVg1x2Xvio

Social impact: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=492jZ7vHn90

Here are some tips that I followed to enhance the maximum experience of the on-air hangout experience.

  1. Be mindful of your internet connection. It is highly recommended to use a hardline internet connection as opposed to Wifi.
  2. Always, make sure to be in a place where light up. Ideally, keep away from direct fluorescent lights. Let plenty of daylight come into the room.
  3. Always, use a  fast computer and close down other running applications. If you use multiple Gmail accounts, make sure they are signed out other than the one you are using for the on-air hangout.
  4. Use headphones. If you have a budget available, connect an external mic and speakers for better quality.
  5. Make sure to look into the camera at all times. As it may sound obvious, this is something we all tend to forget very often.  
  6. Make sure to have a support team. Practice, practice and practice before your main event. Set up test calls with each participant to make sure they are familiar with the setup. It is highly recommended to convene all the callers half an hour before going on LIVE for a final one last roll call.
  7. Keep all mics muted other than the person who is in action. The slightest background noise could be picked by built-in mics and that could affect the aesthetic, camera angle and general ambiance of the event.