5 reasons Poll Everywhere’s seamless PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides integration is such a big deal

What’s one thing that all polling platforms that aren’t Poll Everywhere have in common?

They can’t go all the places Poll Everywhere goes.

They can’t offer true integration with PowerPoint on Windows and Mac.

And on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. And in Office 2010, and Office 2013, and… you get the idea.

Only Poll Everywhere can do all that. Longtime Poll Everywhere enthusiasts know how important true native integration with PowerPoint is.

Poll Everywhere customers tweeting about Poll Everywhere's PowerPoint integration in 2014

But if you’re new to Poll Everywhere, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Allow me to break down precisely why native integration is such a big deal.

 

What does “native integration” mean, and how does it help me create interactive PowerPoint presentations?

Note: For the sake of simplicity, I’ll reference PowerPoint throughout this article. But all of the following apply equally to PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides.

Native integration means:

1. Portability. Seamlessly sync your polls, wherever you work.

How does no uploading, no reinserting, and no saving multiple versions sound?

Let’s say you’re a college professor who wants to edit your PowerPoint presentation at home, on a Windows machine. When you arrive at work, you want to edit that same presentation on your work machine, a Mac.

Professor lecturing students with open-ended poll displayed on wall

Hardware-based polling platforms can’t do that, because the programs only store your data locally, on the machine you’re working on. You’d have to reinsert every slide you changed at home when you get to work (and vice versa).

Not ideal.

Poll Everywhere syncs seamlessly on all platforms. So begin working at home in PowerPoint on Windows, switch to a Mac at work, then stop at the coffee shop on the way home and fire up Poll Everywhere for iPad.

It works where you do.

You can even add poll activities as you’re presenting with a feature we call “on-the-fly.” True integration means true portability.

2. Word clouds. And lots of other audience-engaging activities.

Word clouds are one of our most popular visualizations. And only Poll Everywhere puts them directly in your slideware presentation.

Why? Because most integrations lean on Microsoft’s own built-in charts for PowerPoint… which is great if all you want are bar charts and line charts.

But if you want to use Q&As to find and eliminate knowledge gaps, or clickable images to get to know the audience, or word clouds as formative assessment tools, you’ll need Poll Everywhere for that.

Poll Everywhere employee smiling

3. A decade of experience. Across an array of platforms, configurations, and security settings.

Poll Everywhere has spent the last decade working in concert with IT departments of all sizes, deploying to hundreds of thousands of users.

Because Poll Everywhere works with virtually any setup, our Customer Support specialists have ten years of experience in handling virtually every known configuration of Windows and Office (or macOS and Office).

If native slideware integration is what brings educators, trainers, and presenters to Poll Everywhere in the first place, exceptional support is what keeps them coming back year after year.

“You guys were great. Every time, I got really, really wonderful         support, and I could rely on the team that was there to help me with the show.” — HPE digital strategist Liviu Onesco

4. Live polls and content side-by-side in the same deck. Seamless presentations with no A/V switching.

If you’ve ever tried to use another tool to create an interactive PowerPoint presentation, you know the drill. Start your presentation, then alt-tab to the other tool. Then alt-tab back. And on and on it goes. (Some less sophisticated  alternatives  try to hide it behind a ‘remote control’ PowerPoint app, but it’s still just an alt-tab in disguise.) Or worse, upload your presentation to someone else’s content system and have to manage your presentation from there.

This is where native integration truly earns its keep. Poll Everywhere activities live in your presentation, side-by-side with your slides. Just advance through your presentation as you normally would, and when you get to a poll activity slide, it will automatically activate.

When that happens, that poll activity will instantly be displayed on the screens of every audience member. They don’t have to do a thing but input their response and watch it suddenly appear onscreen.

And you never have to worry whether you and the audience are on the same page.

As an added bonus, poll activities living side-by-side with other slides means it’s a breeze to organize dozens — or even hundreds — of poll slides before the show, right from PowerPoint.

5. Consistency. It’s why they call us Poll Everywhere.

Poll Everywhere’s native integration means that no matter which slideware application you add your Poll Everywhere activities to, everything will still look and feel like Poll Everywhere.

In technical terms, that’s referred to as the user interface (UI). In reality, it simply means that everything is where you expect it to be… no unpleasant surprises, no learning curve as you try to navigate an unfamiliar layout.

No one wants to come home to find all their living room furniture rearranged. And no one wants to learn confusing new software just because they switched from Google Slides to PowerPoint.

Poll Everywhere feels like home, no matter where you hang your hat.

 

Wrapup

Some other platforms can claim some of these five benefits: consistency, portability, word clouds, years of experience, and no complicated A/V switching.

But only Poll Everywhere can check

☑ Every.
☑ Single.
☑ Box.

And now you know why Poll Everywhere’s native integration is kind of a big deal.

 

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