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When inheriting a pre-existing project/task, what's the best way to conduct a meeting in which the primary purpose is for the meeting lead to be more informed, as opposed to the other members?

I'm looking to run a meeting to gain answers to several loose threads on a task I inherited. Being as it's my task, I have the beset knowledge of the specific problems being encountered.

As such, I was planning on creating a slide presentation to present these problems. However, when creating the presentation, I noticed there are several portions of the task I am unsure of, and need answers to better understand the task as a whole.

Is it improper just to ask questions directly in the slides? Is it still okay if contiguous portions of your presentation are just questions?

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    why do the questions have to be in th power point? why cant they be asked outside of it, after it for example? – Rhys Apr 3 '13 at 21:20
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There are nontrivial benefits to including the questions in the slides:

  • You can't forget questions: depending how many questions you have this may be a significant plus
  • Everyone's on the same page: The question's right there on the projector
  • Closure: Once you're done talking about X you're talking about Y, switching slides shows closure and lets you ease into the next question

Deciding whether to include the questions as slides depends on the situation, but the more appealing the above points sound, the more likely it is you'll want to put the questions right on the slide. Is this a big board meeting or a group of 3 people brain storming? The more people there are, the more important it is to keep everyone on the same page. Are there lots of questions? If there are only one or two questions, including them in slides may not be necessary.

The purpose of Powerpoint in a meeting is to guide the meeting visually and keep everyone on the same track. If you need to do that when asking questions I don't see any reason why not to use Powerpoint. It can be overkill of course, but if your meeting is mostly/significantly a Q&A session, your powerpoint should be a tool to guide the discussion, questions included.

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    Interaction during a PowerPoint presentation?! But then people may need to pay attention and interact! – jmac Apr 4 '13 at 0:07
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what's the best way to conduct a meeting in which the primary purpose is for the meeting lead to be more informed, as opposed to the other members?

Have an agenda prepared in advance.

Seriously.

Then, don't get into the dozens of related-but-not-quite-as-important discussions which will happen.

Is it improper just to ask questions directly in the slides? Is it still okay if contiguous portions of your presentation are just questions?

It's totally ok to do this. But keep in mind your reports who are not actually needed in the meeting are going to start judging you, and quickly, if you waste their time by scheduling a meeting with the entire team to work through a variety of things which you can get answered "off line" - especially if most of the questions are individuals answering you.

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Ask questions in any format where they can be conveyed accurately. For that purpose, I don't have anything against your use of PowerPoint. In fact, I think it's a nice innovation :)

The PowerPoint format forces you to be concise and organized in the way you ask questions, and I think that's a good thing.

The one aspect you need to be concerned about, in my opinion, is that you arrange your questions in a way that does not break up the flow of your Powerpoint presentation. That's important because that flow leads the audience to the next question or the next set of your questions.

Having said that, what arrangements are you making for your questions being answered i.e. do you want the audience to give you some or most or all of the answers to you on a real time basis during the presentation? Do you want these answers given to you face to face just after the presentation, or do you want them to communicate with you by email, IRC or homing pigeon (provide email address, IRC forum, pigeon nest and pigeons) for the answers? :) You need to work out those arrangements ahead of time :)

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