How to ask appropriate poll questions in any setting

As a presenter, no matter where you are or what goals you have, connecting with your audience is key. From classrooms and trainings to meetings and events, TurningPoint engagement software makes that possible through the power of interactive poll questions.

Of course, while the technology is versatile enough to serve such a wide variety of audiences, the questions themselves must be tailored to each specific group. The following tips offer strategies for making sure that the poll questions you ask are perfectly suited to your participants.

Consider your objectives

Before writing a single interactive question, it is a good idea to first define your objectives. This step, though often skipped, is critical. The first thing to do is to define the purpose of the class, meeting or survey. Get started by asking yourself the following:

  • What do I want my participants to take away from this experience?
  • What are the learning objectives for this session (if appropriate)?
  • Why am I asking this particular question?
  • How will I determine if I have met my objectives?

Technology today means that people are used to constant interaction and connection.

Know your audience

Understanding the broad goals and objectives of a presentation is only the beginning. Knowing your specific audience is just as important to create poll questions that meet their needs.

Doing some research beforehand by sending a survey to participants can reveal a lot. Ask questions to get a sense of participants’ background, current knowledge, state of mind, subjects they want to hear addressed and anything else that might inform your presentation. With this information in hand, you can then easily create or revise the interactive questions within to make sure that everyone’s objectives are met.

Vary question types

Multiple-choice questions are popular for a reason: Their versatility makes them suitable for any number of occasions. Nonetheless, participants can get bored if that is all they see.

TurningPoint offers an array of question types, including numeric response, short answer, WordCloud and hotspot. Make sure to branch out and use all of these, and don’t be afraid to experiment. You can always edit or move questions for the next time based on everyone’s response.

Include diagrams, charts, tables and illustrations

A picture is worth a thousand words, so think carefully about whether a question could be enhanced by the addition of one.

With PowerPoint polling, you can add any image to a TurningPoint slide, and adjust, crop and edit it as necessary. Hotspot poll questions also have a big impact when used because they allow participants to interact directly with an image. These are often used in medical education (identify the p-Wave in an EKG), safety training (point out OSHA violations) or even as a simple icebreaker (indicate where you are from).

Technology today means that people are used to constant interaction and connection. Carefully taking into consideration all of these points will help you to build strong interactive questions that serve a real purpose instead of just contributing to the background noise.

If you have never used TurningPoint before, but want to try your hand at enhancing your lessons and presentations with meaningful poll questions, sign up for our free 30-day trial today.