Guide for Discussion Leaders
The question box may be used as an aid to stimulate an audience which it is feared may not volunteer questions from the floor. It can be used with any of the forms of discussion attended by a question period.
The mechanics of the question box are simple. All that is necessary is a strategically located and well-advertised box. In it interested persons may place questions in advance of the meeting. If the questions are to be written out and collected during a meeting, the audience should be supplied with slips of paper or small cards. Enough pencils should be on hand to help men who do not carry one.
The question box is a device which may assist the leader to control the questioning very rigidly, because he can select for answer in advance only those questions he deems suitable. The disadvantage of this use is that it reduces audience participation almost to nothing, with an attendant drop in interest. It is recommended only for use at large meetings when for some reason it is desirable to limit the range of questions or when it is believed that spontaneous questions may not come from the audience.
Another use for the question box is to collect ideas for future discussions.