I had the extreme pleasure of speaking in Toronto last week at the Ad Club’s Magazine Day event. As an integral part of their technologically integrated day-long session the Ad Club worked with a company called Turning Technologies to integrate live polling of the audience during the presentations. While the technology is appealing I found that the hardest part of integrating live polling into a presentation isn’t the technology at all – it’s formulating questions and answers that move the presentation along and keep the audience engaged.
Maintain presentation momentum
Live polling is a great tool to tailor your messaging to the audience in the room. However, you have to remember that polling slows down your momentum. Make sure you keep things moving and your presentation doesn’t lag. This means your questions must be able to be answered quickly.
Ask easy questions
Because you want to keep things moving you need to ask easy questions. Questions that don’t require a lot of thinking on the part of the audience. As soon as they read the question they should be able to react and answer. If they have to ponder the answer, you’ve lost momentum.
No more than four choices
You should also limit your answer choices to no more than four. I had the pleasure of rehearsing my presentation with the team at Tippingpoint Labs before heading to Toronto. Everyone’s immediate reaction to my 10-answer questions was that it took too long to process the selections. However, as soon as I provided the audience with only four selections, the questions shined and the answers worked.
Rehearse your response
Finally, with a limited answer set, easy questions and a fast-paced approach make sure you’re ready for the answers you expect. It’s important to ensure that the answers you get from the audience are integrated into the transitions of your presentation. This means that no matter what the majority answer is you need a response rehearsed and ready to go. Your audience will greatly appreciate it.
Live polling in the future
I hope to be able to use live polling technology more as the market evolves. The audience appreciated seeing their responses in real time and the integration of their opinions into the presentation material. Now that I know how to do it, I hope you’ll have the same success I have.