Useful Ways to Energize Your Meetings with Polls
Polls are one of the easiest ways to add energy and engagement to your meeting or training. They are also an excellent way to quickly gather information or opinions from any size group, and it takes less than a minute or two to execute.
Most meeting platforms have a built-in polling feature. If they don’t, you can check out some commonly used polling apps like Mentimeter, Kahoot!, and Polling Everywhere. These polling apps work well at in-person and hybrid meetings too, so long as everyone can see the facilitator’s screen for the results.
Here are five ways and examples to use polling during your online (or live) events:
Purpose: Get people ready to talk about a topic.
Example: If your meeting objective is about how to improve your remote team meetings, you might ask:
How do you feel about our team meetings?
- They rock!
- Pretty good
- Just OK
- Ug, not another meeting!
Purpose: Find out how people in the session think/feel about a topic or how much experience/knowledge they have with the topic.
Example: If you are going to have a speaker talk about legislature and policy related to child labor, you might ask the question:
How familiar are you with “X” policy?
- I have never heard of “X” policy.
- I know a little bit.
- I’m fairly familiar with it.
- I could write a book about “X” policy.
Purpose: Allow the group to vote on a topic to find out what people want to focus on.
Example: If your team is voting on who they want to speak at the annual team meeting, a voting poll might be:
Select your top two choices for our guest speaker:
- Name of Person 1
- Name of Person 2
- Name of Person 3
- Name of Person 4
- Name of Person 5
- Name of Person 6
Purpose: Check in to be sure the participants understood and remembered your key point.
Example: At the end of a training session, you can ask a series of test questions to assess understanding and retention of key content, such as:
If you are interviewing someone who seems like the perfect candidate for the job, what type of question should you ask:
- None of the above
Purpose: Give the participants the opportunity to assess the success or the process of the meeting/training.
Example, you can ask one or more questions to gather information about their experience of the participant, such as:
The information provided was helpful to me.
- Strongly Agree
- Strongly Disagree
Polling Best Practices
Best Practices for administering polls in meetings:
- When you post your poll, read it out loud to them slowly. This helps people follow along and fills dead air.
- After the poll is finished, be sure to show the responses to the team. Then, you can react or better yet let them react to the responses.
- If you have a large group (over 50 people), when you see that 75%+ have completed the poll announce they have 10 more seconds to complete the poll then stop it. With large groups, chances are some people will have stepped away, and it will be rare to get 100% participation. If you wait too long for everyone to answer the poll, the lag in time lowers the energy.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and Forward, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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