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One great way to customize the experience for your audience is to learn something about your audience. And if you have a Chat Pod, you can certainly ask questions that are freeform questions, but you might also want some formal information collected in a way that you can use it more quickly, and for that we are going to use Polling. What I am going to do is create a new layout for this meeting. We'll select Create New Layout. I am going to create a new blank layout, because the only thing I want this layout to have in it, are going to be some Poll pods. So we'll select Poll and we are going to add a new Poll.
Now this is kind of a large poll as it is, so I am just going to shrink this down a little bit, and I'll ask a question. There are two types of questions that I can ask. The first one that I am going to ask is going to be multiple choice. So I am going to ask what people think would be the best color scheme for the website. Now as I am typing this, people aren't seeing anything, they are just seeing an empty Poll Pod. So they are not tempted to jump in and start answering right-away. I'll go ahead and add some choices, and to get the Poll started what I need to do is open the Poll.
Now as soon as I open the Poll, people who are in the room can start to participate in the Poll, and all they need to do is select their favorite choice among the color scheme options that I have offered. Now I am going to go ahead and create another Poll because I want to create another type of Poll that you can have, and again I am going to resize this Poll, and I do want this to match up, and the question that I have here is going to be What products should we offer? Now I am not going to limit it to 1, so I am going to have a multiple answer poll here.
Oil, Bottles, Recipes, Flavored oil mixes. And again, I am going to open up the Poll. Right now the other participants can't tell who has voted and what has been voted for, and if I want them to be able to all I need to do is broadcast the results. Now people can see what their colleagues are voting for. So if I am using a poll to gather opinions, as I am doing here, then I'll want to do that. However, polls are also useful for quizzes, and so if you want to offer a quiz during your meeting, well you certainly probably don't want to broadcast the results because then it becomes choice by committee.
There are a couple of other things that we'll want to do with these polls to make sure that we are maximizing the use of them. First off, I am going to, under the Pod Options, choose the Result Format that I am going to show to the audience. There maybe times when you are having a meeting where you don't have as many people in the meeting as you'd like, and so instead of showing the number of people who are voting for a particular thing you can simply show as percentage. And then the actually hard numbers aren't there. That's kind of a tricky little way not to give away the fact that no body showed up for your meeting, but you are still indicating the percentages, so you are still indicating who is voting for what.
Another thing that you should probably do for every Poll is change its name. To do that, we actually have to close the voting and go into Prepare mode and then double-click on it. There is a reason that we are doing this, and I'll explain it in just a second, so let me name this poll, and then we'll go ahead and reopen the polls. Notice that by closing and reopening the polls I've taken away the results, so people can go ahead and vote but once you open the poll, it's a good idea not to close it because you'll lose the data that you had in the poll.
In this case the reason that I changed the name of the Poll Pod is because Poll 2 doesn't mean anything. I don't know what that poll is for. Product choice does, and if I go up here to the Pods menu and choose Poll, you can see that Product choice shows up as a poll that is remembered and maintained. So if I am having several different meetings with a focus group or something like that, I can bring this Poll Pod back to the stage at any point that I want to in an ad-hoc way. Now the final thing that's really useful about polls is that you can use them not just to gather opinion, but also to find out who's paying attention. Because you might have a group of people, half of whom have decided to go off and look at something else, and if it's an important meeting where you really need them to pay attention, it would be useful to know who has toddled off, or who is not paying attention.
For that you can always select View Votes, and that will show you exactly who voted and how they voted. Now you can see that Kirk has changed his votes a couple of times, Olivia has changed her votes a couple of times, and that Judy voted once. If I have 50 people in the room and I only see that three of them, or four of them I guess in this case, have voted, then I know something is happening, and I'll need to take some steps to bring people back to the meeting. Whether it's to put up a big red note pod or whatever I might do, this is a great way to understand who is actually participating in the meeting versus who is logged in and isn't perhaps participating as fully as they should.
So polls are really, really useful tools, for gathering information about not just the opinions of your audience or quizzing your audience but also the attentiveness of your audience. Now once you click on View Votes again you'll go back to the Standard View. If you do need to make a change to your poll, it's no problem, all you need to do is click on Prepare. That will bring you back in so that you can add perhaps another option or change some of the options based on the meeting that you are having. Polling is one of the most useful ways that I have encountered for customizing not just the meeting room but the meeting content, because by knowing what your audience is into, or knowing what your audience thinks about, or knowing how many of your audience members are paying attention, you can adjust your content to make it specific and useful for them, not just you.
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