"It was fun to use Poll Everywhere in person. Now it’s a necessity."
Mario Côté, independent management consultant, uses live activities to build connections with attendees during the trainings he has now converted to a virtual format. “When attendees become small squares on my screen, I miss all of the nonverbal communication and one-on-one dialogue. Increasing those moments of interaction through technology helps me see if things are going well or if I need to focus on a specific topic. I appreciate that Poll Everywhere gives me more flexibility with a variety of activity types.”
Facilitating productive discussions
Mario specializes in management consulting for teams looking to increase their collaboration and productivity levels. “I run training sessions, conferences, and webinars for a variety of audiences like managers, HR specialists, and the general public. In the last few months, I've also been hired as a consultant by a large hospital in the area to run consultations and feedback sessions with various stakeholders.”
Mario discovered Poll Everywhere several years ago through a colleague in the video game industry. “We were preparing a conference together and I really enjoyed seeing the engagement we got from the audience. I used to use other audience response systems, but they were complicated because I had to provide a physical clicker. Poll Everywhere is much easier to work with since participants can use their own devices.”
Since then, Mario has been incorporating Poll Everywhere activities into his own presentations and collecting data in a streamlined way. “Normally when we work as consultants on these types of interventions, we gather people in small groups and use flip charts to collect feedback on different questions. It usually takes a long time to transcribe those results into a final report. With Poll Everywhere, I’ve been able to run sessions with over twenty different groups in less than two months and report back to my client. I like that it’s easy to see where you have consensus and where you still need to have further discussion. Poll Everywhere gives you the opportunity to narrow down to what you should focus on for the next few weeks, months, or years in the hospital’s case.”
When he first started out with Poll Everywhere, Mario was interested in taking the pulse of the room. “I was asking multiple choice questions like ‘Do you think we should link performance and pay raises?’ I got the audience’s reaction and could discuss their answers. Then I discovered the potential of all the other activity types, like the word cloud. On the same topic of performance at work, I could ask ‘How would you like to see performance reviews conducted in the future?’”
Most recently, Mario has been using Competitions to quiz the audience’s knowledge.
"I wanted to see what my audience knew about the subject rather than just presenting the information. Participants really like the excitement that comes with winning the Competition, and I can then focus on what’s really important. When done correctly, the impact you can have on a group is fantastic."
Creating personalized experiences
Mario adjusts his approach to Competitions based on the specific setting he’s presenting in. For example, “I was giving talks about increasing teamwork and collaboration on engineering teams while traveling across the province of Quebec. My venues were movie theaters, so it was an interesting experience for attendees to be eating popcorn while listening to me speak. At the same time, I was concerned that there were more chances to lose them in that type of environment. If you're boring, they'll fall asleep. I wanted to include more interaction and give a preview of the content, so after a few slides of introduction, I hosted a Competition to keep them on the edge of their seats. If they got an answer wrong, they were listening more carefully throughout the rest of the session.”
Another way Mario gets the audience involved is by hosting a Competition at the end of a workshop. “I might use a Competition at the end of my presentation as a fun test to see if participants understood the essence of the content. When I’m training new managers, for example, we spend two hours together on an online meeting and then conclude with a fun quiz. I think I’ll integrate more of those activities into the end of my virtual classes.”
Building two-way presentations
The Poll Everywhere app for PowerPoint lets Mario both insert activities into existing slide decks and create new presentations from scratch. “I’ve been asked to help managers and team members become more efficient while working remotely, so as I’m creating my slides I think about the structure of my training sessions and make sure to build in interaction. From what I’ve read, we should interact with participants in online meetings every six to eight minutes maximum so I focus on incorporating live Poll Everywhere questions throughout.”
Mario is making the most of virtual experiences and turning online trainings into dynamic group sessions. “It’s nice to be able to provide small groups specific questions that feed into the larger group discussion at the end. I’m playing with the potential interactions between the videoconferencing platforms I use and Poll Everywhere to have the maximum interaction with participants.”
"I’ve received comments at the end of conferences where participants said it was the greatest event they’d been to. I’m sure the interactive elements contributed to that. Most of the time, participants like to be asked what they know and think rather than passively receiving information. That’s what I really appreciate about Poll Everywhere."
Poll Everywhere for learning and development
Turn your next virtual training into an interactive experience.