A poll is a sampling of attitudes or opinions towards a certain subject. In a webinar, polls can be made in advance and scheduled periodically. On some platforms, the results of the polls will be anonymous to everyone viewing the webinar. Hosts can access attendee data and see how audience members responded.
Some benefits of adding polls to webinars are:
Polls are engaging for audiences. Engaged audiences tend to be more responsive to making purchasing decisions.
Polls also help webinar organizers learn more about their audiences. They can check for an audience’s understanding of certain topics. Educational institutions can use polls to quiz students on topics. Or, customer support can reinforce their training sessions with polls.
Polls are also a great way to get direct feedback about a webinar presentation. They can act as a feedback loop from an audience to presenters. Hosts can learn immediately if their content is working, and make adjustments as needed.
Polls also help to filter ideas for new content. This will make an audience feel like their interests are being met.
Polling questions should always be framed in a way that serves the audience. For example, questions about demographic information might be useful for presenters to know but could signal to respondents that the webinar organizer cares only about gathering their information. It’s best to frame polls in a way that is related directly to the webinar material.
The easier it is to respond to a poll the higher the participation rate will be. Avoid grouping multiple questions together, as audiences could become confused. The more simple the phrasing, the better. There is a magic number of polls to include in a webinar. A typical 45-minute webinar benefits from two to three polls. Any more and it could distract respondents from the webinar. Finally, it is always a good rule to direct attendees to the polls. Showing viewers where to find the polls, and prompting them to answer them can encourage responses.