It would happen in more meetings than I would care to admit. But as you’re presenting, no matter the size of the group, there would be a side conversation that would start between two people at the back. It wouldn’t be malicious in intent, but the purpose was for them to discuss the topic at hand quietly and realize that they were both lost or that they both had the same question.
There is strength in numbers and that’s what would then give them confidence to ask a question.
In Online conferences, you don’t have someone sitting next to you. You do have a chat window which perhaps you can chat with someone to ask them the same question – just be careful it’s not in the main conference conversation.
It’s not bad that we don’t have side conversations in online conferences, because our mics pick up everything, but it also doesn’t mean you need to stay silent the whole time.
You don’t need the numbers to ask a question, you just need voice.