Why I use SMS to integrate Q&A into my talks instead of after the talk

A few years ago I started giving out my phone number when I give talks — so that people who might be listening to me can stop me at any time by asking a direct question.

Why do I do this?

Here are a few reasons:

  1. It enables introverts to ask questions. Because usually a Q&A section can easily be taken over by a few extroverts. Text messaging levels the playing field.
  2. Audience members can get immediate value. I prefer to deliver immediate value, and the only way I can do so is to know what the audience is thinking.
  3. Time is used efficiently. I have a bunch of talks online so anyone can hear me blah-blah-blah in general on YouTube. A live audience is used best with live data.

It’s a simple idea that I’ve noticed others are now starting to use all over the place. I hope it catches on more — and it’s totally open source. Enjoy! —JM

1 Comment

This is a great pro tip, John. I’ve used Twitter @replies before and checked it on my laptop or phone to answer them. Bonus: if I don’t get to them all in time, the conversations continue async.