Interactive presentation software: The Poll Everywhere apps

Laptop, desktop computer, iPhone and iPad displaying Poll Everywhere response page

Poll Everywhere is the interactive presentation software of choice for over 75 percent of the Fortune 500 and 300,000 worldwide.

That ubiquity can be traced back to Poll Everywhere’s enterprise-level security, a broad array of activity types like word clouds, clickable images, and Q&A, and world-class support.

But it’s the extensive suite of native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and even Office 365 that makes working with Poll Everywhere such a delight.

They’re kind of a big deal, transforming your content into an interactive, engaging experience.
What follows is a brief overview of the entire Poll Everywhere family of apps.

Poll Everywhere for Windows

PowerPoint displaying a Poll Everywhere activity on a tablet and iPhone displaying Poll Everywhere remote control mode

The basics

PowerPoint is still the centerpiece of many presentations for presenters and educators. So it’s crucial that their polling software plays nice with PowerPoint. Luckily, Poll Everywhere for Windows integrates seamlessly with PowerPoint.

To get started, download the app. Once installed, either restart or open PowerPoint. You’ll see a new “Poll Everywhere” option in the menu bar. Select that menu and (once you’re logged in) simply insert activities you’ve already created on polleverywhere.com, or create a new activity right from PowerPoint.

The full suite of activity types are all there: multiple choice, clickable images, Q&A, Spotlight, even Competitions (to name a few).

These activity slides live right next to your presentation slides. Move them around just as you would any other slide to organize your presentation. Once you’re satisfied with the order, present as you normally would, in Slideshow mode. When you reach a Poll Everywhere activity, that slide will automatically “activate.” When it does, the activity will also automatically appear on participants’ devices, so they can follow along without lifting a finger — literally.

Tip

The Poll Everywhere mobile app can act as a remote control for your presentation. To use it, download the app to your iOS or Android device and select “Remote control” from the menu. Once connected, advance through your presentation using the onscreen buttons.

 

Poll Everywhere for macOS

iMac computer displaying a Poll Everywhere multiple choice activity

The basics

Poll Everywhere for macOS works just like Poll Everywhere for Windows, with two exceptions.

First, Poll Everywhere for macOS works with both PowerPoint and Keynote. Install it once and you can use it in both. Second, the app is controlled via an icon in the macOS menu bar, rather than as a new menu in the PowerPoint ribbon. Once you open Poll Everywhere for macOS, open either PowerPoint or Keynote, and control Poll Everywhere from the menu bar for both presentation platforms. The same options are still there: add or create an activity, sync placeholder previews, or check for updates.

Tip

Of course, Poll Everywhere for macOS can insert your Poll Everywhere activities, but it also has a trick up its sleeve: LiveSlides integration.

LiveSlides can embed virtually any webpage into your presentation. YouTube videos, Twitter threads, weather, your company homepage… anything with a url. To add a webpage to PowerPoint or Keynote, select the Poll Everywhere icon in the menu bar, then select “Insert > Website.” Enter a url, and you’re finished.

When you reach that slide in your presentation, the webpage will load just like it does in any traditional web browser like Google Chrome or Firefox.

 

Poll Everywhere for Google Slides

Person typing on laptop displaying a Poll Everywhere clickable image activity in Google Slides

The basics

Google Slides is a popular alternative to PowerPoint. It nearly matches PowerPoint in features, can be accessed from any web browser, and is free to use.

Poll Everywhere for Google Slides transforms Google’s offering into a powerful piece of interactive presentation software. To get started, download the Poll Everywhere extension for Google Chrome.

Once installed, you’ll see a new “Poll Everywhere” option in the menu. Insert activities just as you would on Windows or macOS, and present as you normally do. It all just works.

Tip

One of the main draws of Google Slides is the ability to collaborate with colleagues. The same holds true if you use Poll Everywhere in Google Slides. Just be sure that your collaborator is on the same Poll Everywhere account.

 

Poll Everywhere for Office 365

 playing at Poll Everywhere word cloud activity

The basics

If you’re using Poll Everywhere on a desktop or laptop computer, Poll Everywhere for Windows or Poll Everywhere for macOS is your best bet. If, however, you want a quick and easy way to present Poll Everywhere activities from your iPad, look no further than Poll Everywhere for Office 365.

You’ll need to have PowerPoint installed on your iPad. Next, search the Office 365 store for Poll Everywhere, then install the add-in when prompted. Log in with your Poll Everywhere account, and you’ll see the familiar interface asking you to insert an activity.

To insert another activity, create a new slide. Next, select “Insert” from the Ribbon, then look to the far right or the Insert menu for the “V”. Select it, then select “Add-ins,” and finally select Poll Everywhere to insert another activity.

Tip

If you plan to present from your iPad, be sure to disable auto-lock so the iPad display doesn’t suddenly turn off in the middle of your presentation. To disable auto-lock, open Settings. Locate and select “Display and Brightness,” then press “Auto-lock” and set the timer to “Never.” Just be sure to turn it back on once the presentation’s over.

 

Poll Everywhere for iPhone and Android

Person holding an iPhone displaying an iPhone containing a Poll everywhere confirmation text message

We’ve already talked about the Remote Control feature for the Poll Everywhere mobile apps, and of course you can easily respond to Poll Everywhere activities from your phone.

But it also comes in handy for presenters, especially when you need to add an activity on-the-fly. Download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Sign into your account, then open the menu and select “Create activity.” You’ll see the same activity creator you do everywhere else. Enter your question and options, then select “Create.”

When you do, the activity will automatically activate at your Poll Everywhere response page (found at pollev.com/your-username). And since your audience is already on that page, they’ll see the new activity immediately. This is a great way to add last-minute questions, or to adapt to a conversation on-the-fly based on audience feedback.

 

Wrap-up

Most interactive presentation software comes with a slew of compromises. Either you have to upload your entire deck to the platform (essentially giving up ownership of your own deck), or you’re limited to rudimentary bar and line charts, or the program requires constantly switching between it and your presentation slides.

At best, most interactive presentation software requires you to adapt to the way it works, not the other way around. But Poll Everywhere works where and how you do — so you can get back to wowing the audience.