Webinars are fantastic tools to get your message out there and, at the same time interact with your audience. More and more businesses are seeing the value of incorporating webinars in their overall marketing strategy.

The value of polls in webinar presentations is enormous. They help to get the audience involved with the presentation by allowing everyone to have a part in the discussion. They give a valuable insight into the thinking of one’s attendees. This can be used to help market products, get feedback, and plan for more and better webinars. It is important however to use polls in a strategic manner to get the most out of them.

 

How can polls be used to increase their value?

First of all, it is important to understand why polls are used in webinars. They are used to elicit responses and opinions from the audience, so they have to be relevant to the theme of the webinar. Some hosts don’t pay enough attention to the questions being asked in the polls, missing out on golden opportunities to really zero in on the audience’s thoughts.

In addition, if the poll question is completely irrelevant, then you will only frustrate your audience. Remember that you have an opportunity to find out something of value from your audience. Use these opportunities wisely.

 

How to create the best polls in your webinar?

What can a host do to make sure that polls that are used in webinars add true value to the presentation?

  • Don’t risk losing too much of your attendees attention during the webinar. Make sure that the poll questions are direct enough so that the audience doesn’t have to think too much. The choices should be short and kept to the fewest amount of words possible. If you are doing intricate polling, consider sending out the questions to your audience before the webinar, so they have a chance to think about their opinions. This can be especially useful if the poll is to determine their needs, or problems they want to solve within the industry, as it gives them time to consider meaningful answers and gives you key marketing information to use in the future.
  • Consider the time allotted for answers. Set a clock to give your audience a certain number of minutes to complete the poll. Consider this carefully and how it relates to your particular poll configuration and topics you are asking about.
  • Inform the audience about the technicalities of the poll. Some polls allow for only one answer, some polls allow for multiple answers. It is always good practice to let your audience know this. In this way you will avoid frustrating them if someone only picked one answer, submitted it, and then realized that he could have given more answers.
  • Include the results in the presentation. Polls are there for a purpose and should be used in the presentation. Once the poll has been conducted, share the results with the audience and comment on them. There could be some results that you expected, but there could be some that are surprising. Avoid the tendency to just repeat what the audience can already see on the screen. Back up your comments with some facts or extra research.
  • Be prepared to drop them if necessary. Although polls are great for engaging the audience, quality of the presentation and value of content should not be sacrificed just to include a poll. If you start running out of time be prepared to drop a poll. It is much better to use that time to give something of value to your audience. If the poll was important, it could be used in a follow-up after the webinar.

 

More ways to use polls to increase the value of webinars

There are other interesting ways that polls can be used to increase the value of webinars. With a little imagination, you can make your polls even more engaging.

  • Combine polls with chat. If your answers are limited, you could have the last option listed as “Other (please write your response).” This could give you even more insight into opinions that you haven’t considered.
  • Use polls to research. You can use polls as valuable tools to evaluate what your audience might expect in the future. This can be used to both generate interest for your next webinar and help you develop your presentation skills.
  • Use polls to plan a presentation. Polls are valuable tools in gaging your audience’s interest in a particular topic before a webinar in order to use that information in planning your presentation. Send a poll to your email list or post one on your site to gage interest in specific topics.

 

Polls will add value to your webinar when you make sure that they are done properly and that you engage your audience in the most effective and interesting way.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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