7 Tips on How to Prepare a Live Poll That Will Captivate Your Audience

Juraj Holub

Live polls can be an effective tool for instantly engaging with your audience. They encourage participants to not only read your questions but also think about what the best answer should be based on the provided content.

Polls are simple, fun and they bring powerful insights to your audience and great feedback to you as the presenter. 

So here are few tips on how to come up with poll questions that will pull your audience in:

1. Focus on the big picture

You don’t want to scare off your audience by making them feel that they are not experts in the subject you’re about to present. So prepare a question that focuses on the bigger picture of your topic and its underlying trends, not on granular details.

2. Make it simple yet relevant

Less is always more, so don’t overcomplicate it. Ask a simple, yet relevant question and provide 4-5 short answers. If you feel that it’s not enough, include “Other” at the end of the response list and let the audience send in the specific responses.

3. Have the audience in mind

Always consider what your audience is interested in. Try to avoid asking random questions just for the sake of fun, rather come up with polls that have the potential to reveal valuable insights to your audience. If you have a room full of experts, you can capture priceless insights with well-targeted questions.

4. Encourage participation

The professional coach, Nathan Gold gamifies the entire polling experience by not moving forward unless all the delegates send their votes in. While this is not always possible with larger groups, you can always encourage participation by commenting on the incoming votes and putting a certain time pressure on the attendees to send their votes in (for instance: only 20- 10- 5 seconds left).

5. Create tension

Ask questions that ignite the competitiveness in the audience. Then let your audience vote in the poll but don’t show them the results. Instead, let them hang on the edge of their chairs and tell them that you will display the counts only at the end of your presentation to increase the excitement.

6. Always comment on results

Give your audience enough time to let the poll results sink in. Then always comment on the outcome of the polls to make your audience feel that their opinion truly matters. By providing the comments, you will also make a smooth transition to the rest of your presentation.

7. Share the results after the event

Instead of sending a mundane ‘nice to meet you’ email after the event, you can share valuable insights captured in your polls with people who attended your keynote or panel discussion. It gives you a competitive edge and massively boosts the after-event impact of your presentation.

Did you use live polls at your event? What was your experience? Please share with us in the comments below.

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