5 Ways to Make Your Next Poll More Engaging for Participants

You need to engage participants if you want them to respond to your poll. Failing to do this will land you with a lackluster, inaccurate result. Too many people just assume people will be interested in taking their poll. But in reality, no one has any obligation to take it. These are five ways to make your next poll more engaging for participants.

Ask Thought-Provoking Questions

There are certainly situations when “Yes or No” questions can prove useful. For instance, they’re great for gauging where a group stands about a subject. But these kinds of inquiries typically aren’t going to get people thinking deeper about a subject. Usually, people answer directly from their pre-conceived notion about something.

More complex questions will require deeper thought from participants. This will lead to some interesting results, while also increasing critical engagement. You can even incorporate some questions that have no true “answer,” and offer a nice list of possible responses that cover a wide range.

Find New Ways of Introducing Ideas

In the same vein as asking thought-provoking questions, you should attempt to present ideas in new ways. We tend to fall into patterns of communication. There are methods that work well enough, or conform to the societal standard, so they’re used to the point of saturation. Finding novel ways to ask questions, or propose ideas, will get people to engage with your poll. This all sources back to piquing interest of people in the audience in order to foster more engagement.

Use Better Tools

The presentation of your poll is going to play a big role in how well people respond to it. Are people going to want to respond to each question by writing their answer on a little piece of paper? Probably not. This will likely be met with more groans than excitement. But it’s also not efficient for you to be counting individual votes in that way. What about a show of hands? That’s much more time-effective; but it runs into a huge problem with anonymity. Some people won’t want to participate if they feel their answer is compromising to them.

Fortunately, there are modern tools that can help you make a poll in a much better way. Poll Everywhere solves both aforementioned issues through interactive, real-time polling. Users can respond to polls through their smartphones and instantly see the compiled results. It’s even possible to implement anonymous polling to preserve privacy for more divisive questions. These features boost engagement by streamlining the process, while also boosting trust from participants.


Illustration: Freepik / SilviaNatalia

Offer Incentives

You need to think about your poll from the perspective of the people taking it. What’s driving them to take the time to give honest, well-thought-out responses. This is your poll, after all. One idea is to make the content more relatable to the people taking it. If the participants are truly invested in the outcome of the poll, they’ll be more likely to take it seriously.

Alternatively, you can find other more tangible ways to incentivize people. Prizes are one way of doing this. People will be even more likely to engage if you offer rewards tailored to the target audience.

Intermingle Less Serious Content

Some people assume that a poll or survey needs to be a serious thing. But this isn’t really the case. Adding in some fun content can refocus people’s attention and get them excited about what you’re presenting to them. Consider your audience before you use this tactic. For instance, this might not go over well with a group of business executives. They could possibly perceive this as a waste of their time.

Most people, however, will appreciate a bit of humor. This can be especially effective when it’s unexpected. Large audiences enjoy a bit of entertainment value. It’s important to do a bit of research ahead of time to determine if it makes sense to build humorous or topical content into your poll.

You’re not going to have a ton of success with your poll if you don’t consider your audience. They have no inherent reason to be interested. Use these techniques to foster engagement with your next poll.

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