One of the questions we get most often (aside from why are we so awesome) is….
What do I do with free text polling?
(To catch everyone up: Free Text Polling is a polling style that allows for open response)
An example of a Free Text Poll.
So here are some ideas and tips, gleaned both from actual stories from our customers, as well as our own crazy imaginations.
Note: we use the word audience here to describe the people viewing a poll, but classrooms are equally applicable for these ideas. So teachers and professors, these are for you too!
1. Find out more from your audience
You learned this in high school: asking open ended questions yields better insight. Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
- WHY do you like this conference?
- WHAT questions do you want me to address?
- WHERE should we go for lunch?
- WHO should shave their head for this year’s sales challenge?
- WHEN is the best time to have this meeting?
Take your audience’s responses to free text polls…
…and make fascinating word clouds!
3. Hear your audience’s questions before the end
Every presentation usually ends with “any questions?” Well, why wait until the end? Let your audience ask questions during your presentation. If they’re registered you can follow up one on one with them, or ask anonymously for difficult subjects like management feedback, ethics discussion, sex education, or people’s opinions about current events.
If you’d rather not have your audience tweeting to the whole world about what they’re seeing, a live text wall helps everyone see everyone’s comments during your talk. Warning: this is highly engaging! (Use our moderation feature if you’re worried about a joker in the back of the room). Try some of the following approaches:
- Show the questions during the presentation
- Show the questions at the end, then try Discourses, currently in Beta, and have your audience VOTE on which questions they want answered.
- Download the questions afterwards privately.
4. Brainstorm more effectively
Some people are too shy to contribute to brainstorming sessions. Others are uncomfortable verbalizing in a second language, large groups or unfamiliar settings. Still others would rather not know who came up with the controversial idea.
Anonymous free text walls enable everyone to contribute, not just the folks who talk the most. You never know where the next incredible concept will come from. Use moderation if you want to decide what options to show to the group. Try Discourses, currently in Beta, and have your team vote on the ideas they like best.
5. Involve more people in strategic planning
Open up the process of Strategic Planning to your entire organization. Yes, 400 people or more can do strategic planning together. Get buy in BEFORE you launch your next plan.
6. Make your employees happier
Employees always have questions and feedback. Make it easy for them to anonymously ask what’s really on their mind using open ended polls. Here’s how.
Bonus: Teach Shakespeare, Creative Writing, or Storytelling
An enterprising teacher found a clever way to engage her students about iambic pentameter.
How do you use Free Text Polls? Share your ideas with everyone in the comments!