I've been running HotDQ with a group of people for about 9 months now (about 20 sessions; we're on Ep 6.)
My current frustration is that things go along OK as long as I'm narrating and asking occasional questions. But when we're in an area that's less THIS IS THE PLOT, and more freeform - like right now when they've mostly-successfully infiltrated a stronghold, and business will continue as usual while they explore/until they make something happen - it's like pulling teeth to get them to do anything.
I've formally surveyed the group and almost unanimously, they said they were extremely interested in accumulating cool powers (and hence levels), advancing the story, and exploration. And fully unanimously, they said they're having fun, but the pacing of the game is too slow... and yet any time I try to sit back a bit and say "OK, it's up to you and your characters to decide what happens next, so go for it - I'll just respond to whatever you tell me," the game slows to a crawl. (Combat is also slow, but that issue is well addressed elsewhere on this site.)
To be clear, it's not like they're timid in-character - they're fine with throwing themselves into dangerous situations and even being a bit reckless when it's in character, and they're not actively searching for traps or anything (though I think there might be some subconscious hesitation about the consequences of making decisions one way or the other.)
Two of the group are relatively new to roleplaying, three I've been gaming with for a few years, one more has played other games of DND a bit, but not with me. So it's not like they're totally new to RPGs, though all could probably be classed as novice roleplayers. I think it's more a basic personality thing - most of the players are the type who, in a classroom, wouldn't raise their hand or volunteer unless called on. When I've played with some of the same people, but with an additional player who, like me, is more assertive, more extroverted, and more comfortable with formal improv, everything went much faster because she was more decisive about making things happen - though she did tend to steal the spotlight, as one might expect in that situation, so there were times it felt like the two of us were the only ones really playing (and we got this feedback from other players as well).
I could, of course, just grab the reins more - "Ok, sounds like you're good to move into the next room. This one has a large desk you'll probably want to search. Roll Investigation." But that feels like taking too much away from the players; I really want them to make their own decisions and be actively involved.
So here's my question - given that we've talked about it, and everybody wants the game to move faster yet can't seem to make it happen, how can I get my players to act less like passengers waiting for someone else to tell them what to do, or discussing every little detail in committee, and more like heroic adventurers who can make a plan and confidently execute it until something significant changes?