How to Use Live Polls for a More Engaging Product Demo

Martina Cicakova

Let’s be honest: the days of one-way presentations are numbered. How long do you stay tuned if someone floods you with tons of information without ever addressing what you want to hear about?

To nail your next product demo and make it worthwhile for the attendees, ditch the formal monologue. Instead, turn it into a conversation and be receptive to your prospects’ needs.

Live polls can help you learn more about your audience, re-engage people when their attention is waning, and measure the impact of your presentation.

Here are 5 ways to incorporate live polls into your product demo to make it more conversational, memorable and more focused on your customers’ needs.

1. Find out who is in the room

The first key to delivering a successful product demo is knowing who’s in the room.

A well-prepared presenter will have done the research to know who to expect. But people may drop out and be replaced by others at the last minute, or more people may turn up than you expected.

In such cases, running a simple live poll at the start will help you understand who the attendees are and why they are there. 

For instance, it is useful to know whether the people in the room will be direct users of your product, administrators, project supervisors or implementers.

Asking background-focused questions will help you tailor the content directly to the people in the room and ensure you’re speaking their language. Moreover, kicking off with a poll question can serve as an effective icebreaker.

For example, you can run a simple multiple-choice poll:

How do you expect to engage with the product?

  • Direct user
  • Administrator
  • Project supervisor
  • Implementer
  • Other

Simple multiple choice poll in Slido

You will get even better insights if you ask a specific question, e.g., to what extent people are familiar with some core concepts:

Do you know what a bitcoin is?

  • Yes, of course
  • I’ve heard the word but I don’t know what it means
  • No, I have no idea what it is

Or run a rating poll:

On a scale of 1-10, to what extent do you understand blockchain? (1 = no idea, 10 = expert knowledge)

Extra tip: Make sure you comment on the results once the polling is closed. For instance, you can prompt people who selected “Other” to elaborate on their answers.

2. Learn about the attendees’ expectations

Do you want your presentation to match the attendees’ expectations? Find out what they are.

Once you know a bit about your attendees’ background, ask people which topics they want to focus on. It’s a great way to check if you’re on the right track.

If you have a set of predefined agenda points, let the attendees vote on the topic that needs the most time:

Which of these topics would you like to focus on today?

  • Features
  • Case studies
  • Training
  • Integrations

Voting on a topic in Slido

If you have left some space for suggestions in the agenda, crowdsource the topics you can consider for adding in. You can run a word cloud poll: 

What would you like to discuss at this meeting?

Crowdsourcing popular topic with Slido

Understanding your potential customers’ expectations will help you ensure you can actually address them. What is more, giving them a voice will show them that you care. 

3. Find out how you can help them

The most effective way to add value to your potential customers is by helping them resolve their problems.

So once you know who is in the audience and what they expect to hear about, don’t launch straight into the detail of your product’s features. 

Instead, flip it around. Show your potential customers how they can achieve what they want by using your product. Use live polls to learn about their interests and pain points and find out how you can help them. 

For example, you can ask:

Using one word, what’s the biggest challenge your company is facing? (word cloud)

Using one word, what is the one thing you would like to improve? (word cloud)

Which tools are you currently using to address this issue? (open text)

Using live polls with Slido

4. Gauge levels of product knowledge

Before you launch into the details about your product, it’s also useful to find out to what extent the attendees are familiar with it. This will help you get to the point faster and skip any irrelevant parts.

You can use a multiple-choice poll to see how well the prospects know the product or where they heard about it:

How did you hear about this product?

  • From a colleague
  • I’ve seen it at an event
  • The internet
  • Not sure

Have you ever used this product before?

  • Yes, I have used it many times
  • Yes, but only a little
  • I’ve only seen others use it
  • I’ve never used or seen the product

Using multiple choice poll with Slido

If your audience is already familiar with your solution, why not go one step further and use it to dig a bit deeper? Here are two example word cloud polls you can use:

Which of the features have you used?

Which is your favorite feature?

5. Use feedback to measure impact

Now you have said what you had to say. And what your audience wanted to hear. But it’s always hard to tell whether you’ve really hit the mark.

Take a moment at the end of your presentation and use a live poll to measure your presentation’s impact and the attendees’ level of understanding.

For example, you can use a rating poll to find out how useful people found your presentation, or which feature was their favourite:

How useful did you find this product demo? (Scale 1-10; 1 = not useful at all, 10 = extremely useful)

Which feature did you find the most valuable?

  • Live Q&A
  • Live polls
  • Analytics

You can also ask your prospects how likely they are to use the product in the future. A simple rating poll will do the job:

How comfortable do you feel with using this product in the future? (Scale 1-5; 1 = not at all comfortable, 5 = very comfortable)

Gathering feedback with rating polls with Slido

Also, instead of wondering what they think, you can ask the attendees to rate the overall impact of your presentation. Create a quick survey and ask people to submit their answers before you leave:

How useful did you find this presentation? (Scale 1-5; 1 = not at all useful, 5 = very useful)

Is there anything you would have liked to hear more about? (Open text poll)

What could we do better? (Open text poll)

Extra tip: Leaving an open text field usually yields the most valuable insights.

Wrap Up

To deliver a successful product demo, there are always a few elements at play. Put your prospects right at the center and tailor your delivery to their needs. You can leverage your presentation skills in combination with tools such as live polls to drive the conversation with your prospects. These five tips will help you get to know your potential customers, understand how you can help them and collect valuable insights that will help you improve.

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