‘Make sure you include a poll…’ – our 4 Golden Rules!

‘Make sure you include a poll…’ – our 4 Golden Rules!

Blog, Tips and Tricks, redBACK  January 6, 2016

“Polling is great…”
“You can’t have a webinar without a poll…”
“Make sure you poll…”
“You must poll!”

We’ve all heard this before! While polling is an effective way to initiate feedback and increase engagement from your online audience, it’s important that we don’t get too carried away and poll for the sake of polling.

We believe in the 4 Golden Rules of Polling – follow these guidelines to prevent poll burnout!

Golden Rule #1: Explain

When we facilitate a webinar we always advise our audience on how they can ask a question. When we train our presenters we always explain how to move the slide show. So why don’t we provide instructions on how to answer polls?

Many fall into the trap of assuming that instructions on how to interact should only be provided at the beginning of a webinar; when in reality, we should be encouraging people on ‘how to’ interact throughout. An example: “To participate in the poll on your screen, please select the radio button that best corresponds to you.”

Golden Rule #2: Use feedback to tailor your content

Collecting feedback then completely disregarding it – a pet hate for many. Virtual audiences do not like being ignored (do any of us really?) – So if you’re going to ask the question, use the information.

Consider asking your online audience what areas of your presentation they would like you to focus on and then respond with something like the following: “Based on your responses, 70% of you said you would like us to focus the area of content marketing, so today, we are going to spend the majority of our time on this topic.” – Now how’s that for engagement?!

Golden Rule #3: When in doubt, think popcorn!

Knowing when to close your poll can be a little nerve-racking, what if people haven’t finished? Has it been open too long? Why have only 80% of people responded?!?!

The Virtual Presenter says that open polls should be treated the same as microwave popcorn. “Avoid losing momentum – pull it out when the frequency of popping gets down to a certain point — if you go longer you’ll burn the stuff. In a webinar, you probably don’t know if an attendee ran off to the restroom or took an emergency phone call. Watch the pace of responses coming in, wait until the “popping” slows down, and then get on with it.” – Rodger Courville, The Virtual Presenter

Golden Rule #4: Don’t.Just.Read.Results

“Thanks for your feedback everyone, I can see that 31% of you prefer winter to summer”… so what, who cares?

Collecting feedback is one thing, but using it to inspire and engage your online attendees is another. As feedback comes through it’s always a good idea to use it to facilitate further discussion, for example… “I can see that 31% of you prefer winter to summer, can those of you who selected this option please use the chat box facility to explain why?”

Thought provoking discussions that occur in the chat box increase engagement levels of all involved and have a tendency to build a community like feel to your event.

Do you have any other golden rules of your own? If so, let us know in the comment box below!

Until next time,