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5 Types of Polls & How to Pick the Right One for Your Meeting

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Are you planning to use live polls in your next meeting? You’re off to a great start. This is one of the most effective—but often underutilized—team engagement strategies you’ll find. While you may know you want to include a poll in the meeting, you might not be so sure about choosing between the different types of polls and what’s right for your meeting.

Are you planning to use live polls in your next meeting? You’re off to a great start. This is one of the most effective—but often underutilized—team engagement strategies you’ll find. While you may know you want to include a poll in the meeting, you might not be so sure about choosing between the different types of polls and what’s right for your meeting.

5 Types of Polls & How to Pick the Right One for Your Meeting

But you’re about to find out! In today’s post, we’re going to discuss five different types of polls, as well as considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right one for your meeting. 

5 Types of Polls

Let’s get started!

Multiple choice polls

Like the name suggests, this type of poll involves giving participants multiple options to pick from when they vote in a poll. You can use this strategy as an icebreaker with attendees (for example, “Do you prefer pizza or burgers?”. Alternatively, you can use it when the stakes are higher and you need team members to vote on more important issues. It’s also a helpful strategy if you want to test attendees on their subject knowledge.

Word cloud polls

Whether you call them word clouds, tag clouds, a word collage, or a wordle, the idea behind this tool is to collect data and insights from an audience and have them visually represented in a cloud of words. The more frequent an answer or response, the bigger and bolder it will appear. Not only is it visually appealing, but your audience will get a thrill seeing their input represented this way over traditional graphs and charts.

Word clouds can be used during in-person and remote meetings and events–and with software like Swift Polling, it only takes a few clicks to set up polling tools and start collecting feedback, input, and other data. They’re particularly useful during brainstorming or when you’re trying to engage meeting attendees. 

Rating polls

Chances are you take part in your fair share of rating polls, although you may not realize it. For example, a ride-sharing app may ask you to rate your trip on a scale of five stars. Rating polls can be used in a number of situations and several different meeting types. 

(This is similar to a Likert Scale Survey and you can learn more about those in this post)

If you want to measure the mood in the room, try running a rating poll with meeting attendees. Alternatively, you can ask them to share their thoughts or opinions on a number of different things with this type of poll. They can also help you measure how well meeting attendees understand the subject matter being presented. For example, “On a scale of one to five, how well did you understand the concept we discussed today?”

Open-ended poll

An open-ended question is one that lets your participants share their thoughts, opinions, or answers freely. They aren’t limited to a set of options you give them to choose from. Instead, they can write as much or as little as possible. 

Live Q&A are an effective meeting format for many reasons. Listeners can ask questions or offer ideas and then vote for other submissions. The host of the presentation answers questions and manages different ideas presented throughout the session. This allows the presenter to keep the audience engaged and participating in the meeting. 

This type of poll is particularly useful during these types of meetings:

  • Press conferences
  • If you want to collect anonymous opinions and feedback (Swift Polling enables anonymity with polls and Q&As)
  • Meetings with fans
  • Brainstorming
  • Lectures and seminars

Ranking polls

For the fifth option in this list of five primary types of polls, we’ll discuss ranking polls (not to be confused with rating polls). 

With these polls, your participants can rank a series of options based on their preference or any other desired order.

For example, you can present them with four possible solutions to an issue your company is facing. Then, attendees can rank the solutions in order of the ones they think would be most successful for solving the problem. Essentially, anytime you need to make decisions or ask attendees to vote on more than two options, a ranking poll is a useful tool to have on hand. 

Explore Different Types of Polls with Swift Polling

Now that you know more about the different types of polls you have to choose from, it’s time to get started! Whether you’ve decided a ranking poll is right for you or you’d like to stick with an open-ended format, we have the tools you need to create a poll with just a few clicks. 

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