The Colorado Office of the State Auditor (OSA) share how they have been using ParticiPoll

The OSA is a nonpartisan agency in Colorado’s Legislative Branch whose mission is to improve government for the people of Colorado.

Their performance, financial, and IT audits provide the General Assembly, agencies, and the public with thorough, credible, and impartial assessments of the operation of state programs and the use of state and federal funds.

Dianne Ray, State Auditor (OSA) shares with us, her experiences of using ParticiPoll to engage her staff during their annual State Legislative Sessions.

Why did you choose ParticiPoll for audience polling?

Our main reason for choosing ParticiPoll is it enables us to poll larger audience sizes. I have a staff of 75 people and some of the other audience polling software providers we looked at limit participation to 15-20 people.

 

Staff of the Colorado Office of the State Auditor

 

How are you currently using ParticiPoll?

Each year at the end of the State’s Legislative Session we give a presentation to our staff on legislative bills that impact our office in some way. Following this session we conduct a poll with the audience on whether or not they think the bill passed.

What types of questions do you use?

We start the polling with a simple pass/fail question, e.g.:

Here is Legislative Bill X. This bill does XX.

Did the bill: a) pass b) fail

We then also cluster some of the bills with similar topics so the responses to the question might be:

  1. a) all passed
  2. b) only two passed
  3. c) only one passed
  4. d) All failed

How do you prepare for potential polling outcomes?

This is really straightforward. The polling does not change the results of the bill, it is just fun to see if staff can guess correctly.

From a usability standpoint, describe your experience with ParticiPoll?

The fact that ParticiPoll is integrated into PowerPoint makes it easy to use. We’ve used other systems where we had to redo our presentation in another program, which is very cumbersome.

It was also very easy to conduct live polling and very little delay time for the graphs to appear on the screen.

How do you prepare/ensure the maximum participation from your audience members?

We try to make the polling sessions a fun and engaging experience. No one has to participate, it is strictly voluntary.

How have audiences reacted to use of ParticiPoll? (Both the process and ability to connect with their own devices).

I received evaluations on the Legislative Update presentation from staff and several mentioned that it was fun to use ParticiPoll. I am not aware of any connection issues during the presentation.

In your role as head of the Office of the State Auditor, what future opportunities can you identify where polling could be used and that could benefit auditors in similar roles?

I am working on another presentation using polling. This presentation is on Leadership and the polling has to do with self-assessment of leadership styles. Once the polling happens we will talk about tying in the various styles with the leadership concept. This is a great way to engage the audience!

 

Dianne Ray, State Auditor

Audience Polling in Groups – using ParticiPoll at International Workshops with the Warning Project

Ben Duncan, is an expert in risk and emergency communication with extensive experience of international cooperation in this area. Ben shares how he and colleagues in The Warning Project are using ParticiPoll to create an immersive learning experience at workshops, which are conducted globally.

The Warning Project is an independent partnership of leading international consultants and academics committed to helping organizations communicate more effectively during emergencies, and other high-risk events.

 

The Plenary session at a recent Warning Project workshop in Asia. Ben Duncan (far left) facilitates a discussion between the speakers and the audience.

 

What polling technology were you using before?

At previous events we used a technology that required the use of clickers. While great in some ways this technology has a number of drawbacks. Firstly no matter how diligent you are, there always seem to be clickers going missing after events.

It’s a challenge to keep track of this kind of hardware, especially as our workshops run over several days. Secondly we are a network of professionals travelling around the globe facilitating and presenting at workshops every month, it’s not easy to co-ordinate the management of an inventory of clicker devices with one another.

By the summer of 2017 it was becoming logistically impossible. Thirdly, we have varying audience sizes and from a scalability standpoint, managing hardware poses another challenge.

 

Why did you choose ParticiPoll?

Audience polling plays an important part in helping us achieve our goals in workshops, and we therefore decided to change our approach and invest in a technology that would help us overcome the logistical and practical challenges we had with our previous provider.

As our audiences all tend to have smartphones or laptops, we knew that a web-based polling technology that used audiences’ own devices would be the way forward.

The other requirements we had were that the technology had to be a) easy to use b) integrate directly into PowerPoint c) be reliable and stable d) scalable (be able to handle 10-100+ audience members.

We hired a PhD student to conduct a market survey for us. ParticiPoll ticked every box.

 

Can you give us some examples of how you are using ParticiPoll?

Our workshops, which we conduct globally, involve emergency simulation exercises, e.g. disease outbreaks. We use ParticiPoll to drive focused discussions amongst our audience members.

These are skilled experts in the field of emergency response, and when you have a room full of experts its good to get them talking. However, these discussions need to remain focused and ParticiPoll enables us to do this very effectively.

 

A group discussing their scenario prior to voting

 

Explain how you achieve this practically?

We split our audience into groups, provide them with a scenario in a plenary setting, and give them 3-4 options on how they would choose to respond to an emergency situation/disease outbreak. This sets the scene for a group discussion where members can share their views and then collectively decide and vote on an answer.

We then time the groups to come to a decision on their answer which applies the necessary pressure to get the group engaged, focused and coming to a conclusion to vote on.

 

One of the groups getting ready to place their vote on ParticiPoll, using a laptop

 

How does ParticiPoll help you achieve your meeting/workshop goals?

Our audiences can often be a diverse group, with different experiences of different types of emergencies, different sectors (e.g., civil defense or public health) and come from different countries.

So in these situations, having a group work and the opportunity to vote for answers brings about deep and enriching conversations.

Nonetheless, we want their conversations to remain focused, and due to time pressure of requiring a vote, our audience members remain on task. Different approaches and perspectives are shared, which even we learn from. There are strong views on certain subjects.

Personally, I think the peer-to-peer learning it facilitates is one of the biggest advantages that using audience polling brings. It helps make our workshops an immersive learning experience.

 

Group discussion in action

 

How do you select the polling questions to use?

When planning, depending on who the participants are and where our workshops are taking place geographically, we will define topics and questions on areas we want people to discuss.

For example, the topics could include “managing uncertainty” “how to communicate when you have incomplete information” “coordinating communication with your partners” and “working effectively with politicians”.

We then develop scenarios where problems arise in each of these areas. We provide a number of possible solutions and get the audience involved in answering this in groups, using timed discussion to come to a voting conclusion.

 

Co-facilitator Melinda Frost (right) gets feedback from one of the Discussion Groups

 

As your audience is quite international, often participating with English as their second language, how do you accommodate this?

Keep the polling questions very focused and simple. Don’t have long and complex questions. They should be clear, succinct and be visible on the screen (check your font size and don’t crowd your slides with many words).

Before moving ahead with voting, we often gauge the audience have understood the question we are asking them.

 

An Example of a Polling Question used by The Warning Project

 

How do you prepare/ensure the maximum participation from your audience members?

Have a defined voting time that they know about. I use a timer and keep them updated on how much time they have left. Allow discussion time during the voting period, especially if you have a group/pairs.

Cajole them into coming to a conclusion, e.g., when facilitating emergency simulations I nudge my audience by telling them the Minister of Health is on the phone, and needs their answer on the solution they are proposing to the urgent problem we gave them!

 

Audience members live participation and engagement during the workshop, co-facilitator Melinda Frost in background

 

How have audiences reacted to use of ParticiPoll?

Very positively. We actually use ParticiPoll at the start of our workshops as an icebreaker and it also serves the purpose of getting them familiar with using the technology in a fun way.

 

For a speaker such as yourself, often travelling and working in remote locations around the globe, can you share some practical tips on things to consider ensuring polling runs smoothly?

Availability of WiFi in your meeting room is a must, of course. Obviously knowing whether your audience members will have handheld devices, tablets or PCs is another key requirment.

Where there is no WiFi available we plan ahead and use clicker devices. Managing this upfront is important. When using ParticiPoll refer to their Speakers Guide for detailed information to help you prepare. https://www.participoll.com/audience-polling-meetings-conferences-guide-speakers/

 

Ben Duncan (far right) facilitates a discussion between the speakers and the audience

 

As an accomplished public speaker and experienced facilitator, what would you say are the do’s and don’ts of audience polling?

The main aspect of using polling is to get the questions right. Think about using simple questions that have either, multiple choice answers, yes/no and true/false answers.

Don’t make the questions too easy, as the audience will lose interest. Always have the question and answers on one slide.

If you are using scenarios relating to the questions have these as handouts, so the audience have all the information they need to hand in order to participate and place their vote.

ParticiPoll helps Wayne University Medical School drive greater student engagement

Wayne State University School have purchased multiple licenses for ParticiPoll and are now actively using audience polling as part of their medical program to increase engagement with students during their live lectures.

LaTonya Motley, Instructional Technology Designer and a member of the Medical Education Support Group shares some insight on how they have integrated ParticiPoll into faculty teaching and learning at the Medical School.

 

Why did you choose ParticiPoll?

Polling is used widely at our Medical School, and we are looking to make the process as simple and seamless as possible. Some of the technologies we have used in the past have been challenging to use at times, such as the deployment of clickers and other technologies where students have to log in or use some type of hardware.

ParticiPoll has made polling really simple and seamless: the lecturer already has the questions prepared for their lectures, so they just have to insert the Participoll polls into Powerpoint.

We share a link/web address to the poll on the slides and students use their own mobile devices to participate anonymously.

 

A Live Polling Screen at one of the Medical School Lecture Theatres

 

You mention that polling is conducted often on your campus, what are the typical class sizes?

Our class sizes vary, we often have big groups participating with up to 150 students. We also sometimes have smaller groups with as few as 11 people. Electronic polling with ParticiPoll is scalable.

 

Have you had any issues with the technology, with people not being able to poll?

There have been few instances, but it’s often the individual who needs help getting used to the technology, rather than the technology itself. We have had minimal issues with ParticiPoll if I compare that to previous technologies we have used. It is comparatively much more straightforward to use.

 

How many licences do you have and how to do you manage them?

We currently have 10 licences being used across our campus. I usually train new users and they continue to use them as they see fit, I do not get intimately involved in how or where they are using the polling. We have highly skilled and experienced lecturers who understand how to use the tool for their learning purposes.

 

Why did you purchase multiple licences?

We started with one lecturer who had experienced the use of ParticiPoll at a conference and wanted to use it. So we purchased one license and ran a pilot to determine the feasibility of using it with other courses. However, she used it regularly and wanted to keep using the licence after the pilot ended.

As interest grew in using ParticiPoll polling amongst our lecturers, we purchased a number of licences (as you cannot have two people using one licence at the same time).

In some departments we have three people using the same licence. Hence they have to schedule how they use it among themselves.

Each of the licences has been handed to what we term as our “Power Users”. These are the lecturers that use audience polling regularly and are confident and proficient. These have become my “go to” people for advice and guidance with using Participoll.

 

Can you give us some examples of how and where polling is being used?

Polling is being used in multiple ways. For instance, it is used for Case Studies in some medical lectures where the students are given a series of answers to test their diagnosis of a subject, or vote for a treatment.

In psychiatry-related courses we have used polling to interpret how the audience feels about a certain topic or situation.

 

An Example of a Polling Question

 

What do the lecturers gain from the using polling?

Polling can provide interesting feedback for the lecturers. How students respond enables the lecturer to know if the course content is being understood, or to get the opinions amongst students.

I know our lecturers often discuss the outcomes from poll questions within the department.

 

ParticiPoll is an anonymous polling system, how does that apply to learning in an academic setting?

Some students may be uncomfortable answering questions in a large group because they are concerned that they do not have the right answer to the questions being asked. This is not ideal for creating a safe learning environment.

ParticiPoll has allowed us to change this, students now know they are able to answer questions anonymously, hence as I mentioned previously activity levels and engagement levels have gone up.

Students are able to use polling to test themselves and their own learning. When we looked at ParticiPoll as a learning technology this one was of the features that we identified as being a benefit to learning.

We still use other audience response systems when needed because there are situations where we have to record student information in relation to the answers they provide. In those instances, we use Scantrons or clickers to record the data.

 

You are also using the facility to download live comments/questions?

Yes. ParticiPoll allows students to post anonymous comments/questions to the lecturer live during a session. I am quite excited about this feature. This allows the lecturer a number of options to handle the questions.

Using a separate laptop (a recent lecturer used this), they can view and select specific questions to answer live during the lecture.

If a lecturer chooses not to answer questions/comments during the session due to e.g. time constraints, they have the option of downloading these at the end of the lecture, answering them and sharing the answers with the students afterward.

 

LaTonya Motley, Instructional Technology Designer at Wayne University Medical School

 

What advice would you give to other academic institutions that are considering using ParticiPoll?

If you are looking to simplify your polling activities, you should seriously consider ParticiPoll. If you are looking to increase audience engagement, and activity levels during lectures, this will help you achieve that.

If you however you need to collect individual student data for for specific questions in polls, I wouldn’t recommend ParticiPoll because the polls are anonymous.

Also, identify your Power Users. These are the lecturers that use audience polling regularly and are confident and proficient. These become your go to people for practical information. They become the person that champion the technology for you, and are able to provide practical information to other lecturers who are considering using polling.

And you should actively promote polling across the campus to students. Help them understand how polling is e.g. anonymous and how it can help them improve their learning experience.

From a practical technical standpoint ParticiPoll is reliable and can handle large audiences. If your audience will be using Wi-Fi to send the results to the system, then it’s important that you have a good connection especially if you have a large audience size. Be sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection when making your decision to use ParticiPoll.

AUDIENCE POLLING AT CONFERENCES – A Guide for Conference Organisers

Audience polling is a great way to drive effective audience engagement at conferences, and enhances the opportunity for information exchange between a speaker and the audience. Running a poll with an audience for the first time can be a daunting experience, for both you as the conference organiser and your speaker -especially if your audience size is large.

Preparation is essential to implementing a successful audience poll.

This guide will help you understand how to work in partnership your speakers to get the maximum engagement from your audience and avoid common pitfalls, making your conference a memorable event that stands out from the crowd.

Figure 1: Steps To Successful Audience Polling At Conferences

1. Define Presentation Objectives

Organise a briefing with the speaker whose session with involve the use of audience polling. Take the time to understand and be aligned on what the speaker’s objectives are. What are they aiming to achieve? What do they want the audience to do following their session/presentation?

Work together to identify opportunities to use polling to achieve the set objectives within the content/slides.Your objective is to have the speaker finalise their presentation and polling questions prior to the conference.

Hence this meeting should take place several weeks/months before the conference to kick-start the process. If you have a conference moderator or chairperson, involving them in this stage is also beneficial.

2. Create Your Polling Questions

If your speaker is using audience polling for the first time, consider these points when creating the polling questions that will be used:

  • Take into consideration the time allocated for the session and the content being covered. Audience polling should be an enhancement to your presentation, hence do not overload the presentation with polls so it becomes a distraction.
  • Keep the questions simple and relevant.
  • Consider language proficiency if your audience is international.
  • Use simple language. It should be very clear to the audience what they need to do to vote.

3. Technical Considerations

Prior to the conference, check the hardware and software set up available at the venue, and ensure you have met the requirements in Figure 2. If there is a conference APP being used, make the poll accessible via the APP.

ParticiPoll polling operates from a low bandwith website, and is able to cope with up to 2000 concurrent connections. Plan to run a “test poll” at the venue to check everything is working.

Figure 2: Software And Hardware Requirements For Audience Polling With ParticiPoll

4. Brand Your Poll

With ParticiPoll, you can upload your unique conference/organisation logo, and change your voting URL to reflect the event. Login to My Account > Customise at www.ParticiPoll.com to add customisations.

5. Manage Your Audience

The more audience members that participate at your conference, the more likely the message/learning objectives will be met, the more likely the session with be a success and the more memorable the experience will be.

To increase audience participation levels, tell them to bring their mobile devices so that they can take part in the polling session (have this information in the conference programme and communications prior to the event). Make it something they look forward to!

At the conference, have a placeholder slide on the screen notifying the audience that an interactive session will be taking place (Figure 3). Provide them with your branded URL and QR Code. If the audience is accessing the poll through a conference APP – ensure they have downloaded the latest conference APP.

Emphasising the poll is anonymous can also help drive participation. If you have a conference moderator or chairperson, involving them in this stage is also beneficial.

 

Figure 3: A Placeholder Slide To Help Drive Audience Participation

6. Run an Ice-Breaker Poll

To ensure you have the audience ready and online to participate, have the speaker run an icebreaker poll, to familiarize audience with the polling software. This can be based on anything of interest and appropriate to build up the anticipation for an effective session.

From this poll, the speaker can establish how many audience members are participating and nudge them further to drive up the numbers to the maximum.

7. Presentation with Live Polling

With everything in place your speaker can start the session and invite the audience to participate. If your audience is participating in a live polling session for the first time, they naturally are curious to see how it works.

When voting starts and the answers begin recording on the screen, the audience excitement begins as they watch the evolving pattern of responses on the screen. Your audience is now engaged!

8. Share Your Experience

Discuss with your speaker ways in which you can share the outcome of your polling session. Remember your audience can become ambassadors for your conference and the content being shared. Sharing results or their experience of the session on social media for instance can earn your conference important earned media.

Ending the presentation and session with a slide reminding the audience to tweet or post their experiences, and provide relevant hashtags (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Example Slide At The End Of The Session Can Help Drive Earned Media For Your Content/Conference

You can also take photos/videos of your audience polling sessions and share this interactive element of your conference with others. At ParticiPoll we are always excited to hear about your experiences with audience polling, so keep us posted! #ParticiPoll

AUDIENCE POLLING AT MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES – A Guide For Speakers

Audience polling is a great way to drive effective audience engagement at conferences, and enhances the opportunity for information exchange between you, the speaker and your audience. Running a poll with an audience for the first time can be a daunting experience, especially if your audience size is large.

Preparation is essential to implementing a successful audience poll. If you are presenting on behalf of a client or at a conference, work in partnership with your client representative or conference organiser at each step of the process.

This guide will help you get the maximum engagement from your audience and avoid common pitfalls, making your presentation a memorable event that stands out from the crowd.

Figure 1: Steps To Successful Audience Polling

1. Define Presentation Objectives

Define the objectives for your presentation/session. What are you aiming to achieve? What do you want the audience to do following the presentation? Identify opportunities to use polling to achieve the set objectives within the content/slides.

2. Create Polling Questions

Your polling questions should be finalised prior to your conference or meeting. Consider these points when creating polling questions:

  • Consider the time allocated for the session and the content being covered.
  • Audience polling should be an enhancement to your presentation, hence do not overload the presentation with polls so it becomes a distraction.
  • Keep the questions simple and relevant.
  • Use images, videos and graphics where applicable.
  • If you are testing knowledge, follow each polling question slide with additional slide(s) highlighting the content that supports the answer for each question. Hence if the content needs to be revisited you can use these slides or skip over them accordingly.
  • Consider language proficiency if your audience is international.
  • Use simple language. It should be very clear to the audience what they need to do to vote.

3. Technical Considerations

Prior to the conference, check the hardware and software set up available at the venue, and ensure you have met the requirements in Figure 2. ParticiPoll polling operates from a low bandwith website, and is able to cope with up to 2000 concurrent connections. On the day, run a “test poll” at the venue to check everything is working.

Figure 2: Software And Hardware Requirements For Audience Polling With ParticiPoll

4. Brand Your Poll

With ParticiPoll, you can upload your organisation logo, and change your voting URL to reflect the event. Login to My Account > Customise at www.ParticiPoll.com to add your customisations.

5. Manage Your Audience

The more audience members that participate, the more likely the message/learning objectives will be met, the more likely the session with be a success and the more memorable the experience will be. To increase audience participation, tell them to bring their mobile devices (charged and ready) so that they can take part in the polling session (have this information in your communications prior to the event). Make it something they look forward to!

At the event, have a placeholder slide on the screen notifying the audience that an interactive session will be taking place (Figure 3). Provide them with your branded URL and QR Code. Emphasising the poll is anonymous can also help drive participation.

 

Figure 3: A Placeholder Slide To Help Drive Audience Participation

6. Run An Ice-Breaker Poll

To ensure you have the audience ready and online to participate, run an icebreaker poll, to familiarize your audience with the polling software. This can be based on anything of interest and appropriate to build up the anticipation for an effective session. From this poll, you can establish how many audience members are participating and nudge them further to drive up the numbers to the maximum.

7. Presentation With Live Polling

With everything in place you should now be ready to start the session and invite your audience to participate. Remind your audience they are working together with you, and they co-own the session with you. If your audience is participating in a live polling session for the first time, they naturally are curious to see how it works.

When voting starts and the answers begin recording on the screen, the audience excitement begins as they watch the evolving pattern of responses on the screen. Your audience is now engaged!

8. Share Your Experience

You may wish to share the outcome of your polling session. If you are presenting at a conference or on behalf of a client, consult with the conference organisers, or client representative to discuss this. Remember your audience can become ambassadors for the content you are sharing, and are a vehicle for sharing the message further.

Sharing results or their experience of the session on social media for instance can ensure your message can live long after your presentation is over and gain you important earned media. Ending the presentation and session with a slide reminding the audience to tweet or post their experiences, and provide relevant hashtags (Figure 4).

 

Figure 4: Example Slide At The End Of The Session Can Help Drive Earned Media For Your Content/Subject

Arrange for photos/videos to be taken of your audience polling sessions and share this interactive element with others. At ParticiPoll we are always excited to hear about your experiences with audience polling, so keep us posted! #ParticiPoll

Audience Polling Provider, ParticiPoll Announces Major Technology Updates To Target Events With Larger Audience Sizes

Leicester, UK – May 22nd – 2017 – ParticiPoll announce major technology updates to scale with their growing customer base and larger audience sizes.

ParticiPoll’s existing customer base are major pharmaceutical organisations, conference organisers across industries and major academic institutions. “The conference sector is an important target market for ParticiPoll and we are increasing customer confidence by providing a robust platform to serve big audiences, ensuring success at large events” said Ben Ravilious, co founder of ParticiPoll.

ParticiPoll Was Used At The Recent Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) Conference 2017, in Paris

“Audience polls present a particular technical challenge because of the ‘bursty’ nature of the traffic,” said ParticiPoll’s CTO Ian Scotland. “Having a conference audience of say 2000 delegates all voting simultaneously requires the volume capacity characteristics of a much larger website whilst being able to collect and return results to presenters faster than a typical web page load time. We’ve utilized a combination of Amazon AWS’s DynamoDB database server plus a load-balancing system to allow us to quickly provision new resources as demand increases. With our new setup, we can handle current demand and also easily scale our provision in the future.”

The Newly Launched ParticiPoll Website

Alongside this technology update, ParticiPoll, have launched a new website to help support their customers even better. “Our new website offers our customers useful resources to run successful polls,” said ParticiPoll founder Ben Ravilious. “Being responsible for running large audience polls can be a daunting experience, these new capabilities and resources will enable our customers to build better audience engagement and achieve their goals.”

About ParticiPoll:

ParticiPoll is an audience polling add-in for PowerPoint that uses audience members’ mobile devices for anonymous voting, displaying results live in presentations. The system helps speakers deliver impressive interactive presentations and discover what their audiences really think. ParticiPoll was founded in 2014 as a joint venture between Leicester-based startup studio Ultimateweb Ltd and actuarial science lecturer Dr Steve Hales.

For more information please contact:

Ben Ravilious                      ben@participoll.com         +44(0)1162988895

www.ParticiPoll.com

Using Audience Polling to Drive Engagement in Junior Doctor Training at University College London Hospitals

The Intensive Care Medicine Training course at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) are using ParticiPoll to drive participant engagement. The one-day introductory course in the fundamentals of Critical Care is attended by Junior Doctors about to start out in an ICU post. This course (part of a series of charity courses) supports patients, staff and medical research at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The course is facilitated by experienced Registrars. It provides a safe learning environment using practical simulations. Students gain hands on experience preparing them for the “real life” experiences that face them in ICU.

Jennifer Robins, one of the course organisers describes how ParticiPoll is helping them achieve their course objectives.

How are you currently using ParticiPoll? 

As our course is mainly practical based, our participants form small groups. They gain hands on experience e.g. how to use a ventilator, airway management, management of acute kidney injury. This prepares them to be able to manage and undertake these procedures in ICU the first time they face them.

Practical sessions enable participants to gain hands on training experience of key procedures, such as airway management.

At the end of the course, our participants come together participate in a tutorial plenary session to test knowledge and understanding. It is here where we gauge and assess the learning objectives have been met. Originally, we structured this as a question and answer session to try and objectively measure whether people had improved their understanding of the content. The questions were challenging for our audience as they had only a basic level of experience and understanding. In order to help participation we introduced it in a presentation format and then last July we incorporated ParticiPoll.

The anonymity of polling enables learners to safely participate without risking embarrassment. This session has dramatically improved as a result, making it more engaging.

How does ParticiPoll help your course attendees as it relates to engagement and learning?

Using ParticiPoll has helped us highlight both well-understood topics and those that are problematic for learners. The practical part of our course consists of small group teaching where learners get the opportunity to learn and practice skills. ParticiPoll lends itself to a larger group such as the plenary session in that it allows the learners to have an individual voice. Our participants get quite competitive!

The practical sessions are run in small groups for participants to ask questions and learn from experienced registrars.

The plenary learning format can lead to a lack of concentration if the content isn’t sufficiently stimulating or too difficult. Polling allows us to skim over well-understood topics and go into more detail on the questions that 25% of people get wrong – normally these people get left behind. So essentially it democratizes learning and allows full engagement. It allows the lecture to evolve into in a learning activity. Because of the engagement, it fights the end of day slump.

The plenary sessions bring participants together and using interactive powerpoint with ParticiPoll they are able to test their knowledge in a safe environment.

How do the audience respond to using ParticiPoll?

Initially I think people were dubious about whether it was going to work but then people saw that it was recording the answers submitted. It keeps learners eyes focused on the presentation and the evolving pattern of how they are performing as a group.

Use of interactive powerpoint in plenary sessions helps keep learners engaged.

Have you had any challenges using ParticiPoll?

From a usability standpoint it’s straightforward and simple. This is important for people like me who are not very tech-savvy. We score consistently high in the feedback we receive for our courses. We continually aim to innovate and improve the course. ParticiPoll allows us to detect when there has been a drop off in response to content. This helps us refocus and make our future courses even sharper.

How do you structure your questions?

We keep it simple, one stem with 4 possible answers.

What happens when you ask a question and it is clear from the answers that the audience has not grasped some information?

We have structured our presentation to include 3 slides after each polling question highlighting the knowledge supporting the correct answers. For instance, if we notice a massive spread of answers from the results, it is clear that specific content has not been understood. We then transition to the following 3 slides and ensure the content is revisited. Where the answers are clearly correct, we can then skip the 3 content slides, as we know the audience has understood.

What advice would you give to someone who is keen to try audience polling?

It really helps you to understand how involved your audience is. Your audience gain a stake in the performance and this allows them to perform (in a safe environment). This can also help you as the presenter, to feel less alone.

ParticiPoll is very easy to set up regardless of your tech-ability. Their tech support are very helpful and want you to get the most out of the software. It requires no hardware except the participants’ own phones so you don’t need to store anything or count back in expensive handsets. Once you have the software you can use it for any presentation (as long as they don’t occur in tandem).

We are now exploring further opportunities to use polling on our courses.

ParticiPoll partner with Kenes Group for audience polling at ATTD 2017

Kenes Group, one of the world’s leading conference organisers, with 50+ years experience organising global events, has chosen ParticiPoll for their audience polling. ParticiPoll’s anonymous audience polling is particularly popular with medical and life science practitioners, so we were delighted when Kenes the only global professional congress organizer dedicated to medical and scientific events chose to partner with us.

Ziv Izarov, Technology Project Manager of Kenes shared his experience of using ParticiPoll at the 10th International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) in Paris.

ATTD-2017-Paris-Day-1-Simon-Callaghan-Photography-178

ATTD 2017 Scientific Congress in Paris

How do you go about engaging an audience of 3000+ physicians at a medical congress such as ATTD?
Over the 50+ years experience we have in conference management, there is a transition taking place, and most likely due to new technology and the rise in use of social media: from having attendees at a conference to having active participants. Instead of passively sitting at an event, our audiences now expect active engagement.
Using the latest technology we aim to deliver highly personalised and interactive experiences at our congresses. For instance, our ATTD conference App provides each participant with his or her own personalised experience of the congress. This also allows us to manage the conference in real time taking into consideration and acting on audience feedback and preferences. This year we have added Polling as an additional communication tool into the App to give participants an immediate say, and give them a means to communicate with the speakers and interact with the content.

How do you collaborate with the speakers for such an event, especially as it relates to Audience Polling?
To ensure effective participation during audience polling sessions, we work with our speakers individually, and take an active role in understanding the goals and objectives of each session. This is key. From this we collaborate to establish the best way to weave in interactive polling where it is likely to drive key learning’s or key takeaways. We specialize in scientific congresses, and this is a field that it is continuously evolving, with new treatments/guidelines/technology every year, hence to distill the essential information and for the content to be memorable and impactful, interactive audience polling is an excellent tool. Audience engagement ensures we keep these important discussions’ going on long after the meeting has ended.

Can you give us some examples of the types of questions the speakers used at ATTD for the sessions?
In one of the congress sessions, the speaker introduced a technology to treat diabetes, she wanted to see if she could convince the crowd that this technology could improve treatment. She conducted a poll at the start of her presentation and repeated the same question with a second poll at the end of the presentation. This example illustrates how the audience reacted to the content.
In addition, at ATTD we used the ParticiPoll comments system in more than 8 sessions, which enabled the audience to send questions to the speaker using the conference APP. At the end of the presentation, the speaker was able to select questions from this list, which contributed to an interactive and relevant discussion.

 

What made you chose ParticiPoll and how was your experience using it at ATTD?
One of our goals at Kenes is to be at the forefront of technology to improve our congress experiences, and we are familiar and have experience with audience polling software on the market. ParticiPoll stood out for us, as it is incredibly simple to use. ParticiPoll allows us to drop polls straight into Powerpoint presentations. It also uses audience members’ web connected devices and hence there is no need for extra hardware. ParticiPoll also customize the voting address (URL) according to the client brand or event. The anonymity of the polling results is another definite advantage, particularly as the industry we serve, life sciences, involves an exchange of sensitive information, discussion and makes reference to patient care.

Talk us through how the audience accessed the poll at the congress?
We worked with ParticiPoll to integrate the polling software into our conference App that made the process seamless. ParticiPoll were excellent partners in testing the polling prior to the sessions to ensure we had the capability to run smooth polling sessions.

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ATTD 2017, audience used their own smartphones to participate in the polling sessions

For speakers and other conference organisers who may be interested in using ParticiPoll for their audiences, what are some of the important factors to consider when managing a poll at such an event?
A few important considerations should be made. Firstly, working in partnership with your speakers to establish the objectives of a session/presentation. Understand how and where to use polling questions. Ensure you are aligned with the speaker on how and when the poll is introduced, and how to refer them to their mobile device to participate. At Kenes we have a dedicated team of technicians present on site to ensure we have the necessary wireless infrastructure and sufficient Internet bandwidth to support several thousand participants accessing their device at the same time.

 

Professor Stephanie Ariel (King's College London) facilitating an audience poll using ParticiPoll

ATTD 2017: Facilitating an audience poll using ParticiPoll

What was the audience feedback of using ParticiPoll?
We find that engaging our audiences maximizes learning and sharing with others, because they have directly participated in the learning process. As many of the audience members are physicians and specialists in their subjects, they are more likely to then share the content with their faculty/peers when they return to their respective country. This way we find our audiences become strong ambassadors – which is powerful in having them share the information further. I would hope they would consider using the polling facility as they do this, to give their audiences the same experience, and hopefully further drive home the key takeaways from the congress. In addition, the speaker’s reaction to the voting and comment system was great, they all loved how easy and simple it is to use, and how smooth it worked on site.

As you are always thinking ahead, in what other conference/event settings can you envisage ParticiPoll being used?
One of the additional features of ParticiPoll is the audience can share comments with the presenters in real-time. The presenter can then isolate an individual comment for display on the screen to continue a lively and engaging dialogue with the audience.

‘Photographs by Simon Callaghan Photography

Premium & Free PowerPoint Templates

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best sources of free and premium PowerPoint templates to save you having to search. If you know of any others that we should list then do contact us.

Microsoft Office – Quality: ★★★★, Choice: ★, Cost: Free
19 relatively smart free templates directly from Microsoft.

Presentation Magazine – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
Substantial source of free templates – mixed quality but something for everyone.

FPPT – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
2000+ templates across a wide variety of categories.

Slide Carnival – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★, Cost: Free
70+ free templates that can work in both Google Slides and PowerPoint.

Envato – Quality: ★★★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: $
200+ premium quality templates accessible through a monthly subscription fee.

Improve Presentation – Quality: ★★★★★, Choice: ★★, Cost: $
40 premium quality templates available to purchase “from designers behind over 100 TED talks.”

Creative Market – Quality: ★★★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: $
Large number of premium quality templates available to purchase – PowerPoint templates not specifically tagged so slightly harder to search.

Templateswise.com – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★, Cost: Free
160+ free templates, some more modern than others.

PPTTemplate.net – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
400+ free templates

Best PowerPoint Templates – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
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Free PPT Files – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
400+ free templates categorised. Some good, some a bit out of date.

Slide Team – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: $
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Articulate – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★, Cost: Free
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Slide Hunter – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: Free
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Slide Model – Quality: ★★★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: $
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Leawo – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★, Cost: Free
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Smile Templates – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: Free & $
800+ free and 88,000 premium templates. Some designs a bit out of date.

How To Create A PowerPoint Template

Creating your own PowerPoint template isn’t hard to do and can give your presentations more impact and consistency. Here’s our guide (based on Office 2016)…

The Basics

Saving a PowerPoint file as a template is really easy.

  1. Open the file you want to save as a template
  2. Click on the File menu
  3. Click on ‘Save As’
  4. Select the destination folder you’d like to save the template in
  5. When the Save As dialogue box opens, give your template a suitable name then set the “Save as type” select box to “PowerPoint Template” and click the ‘Save’ button

save-powerpoint-template

 

Designing Your PowerPoint Template

Saving is the easy bit, but designing the layout and appearance requires a little more thought.

Differing first and subsequent pages

You could just save a single “one size fits all” slide as a template but most templates (including the default blank one in PowerPoint) have an opening title slide layout that is different from the rest. This is something you can incorporate in your own custom templates.

Most presentations start with a title slide that carries your name, logo, presentation title, contact details etc. Subsequent template slides are usually more empty to leave plenty of space for your main presentation content. You might also want to have a final slide that is different again perhaps including your contact information, for example.

You can set-up these different layouts within a template so that you can re-use them every time you want to create a new presentation using that template.

Editing the Slide Master

The overall style of your template and the different slide layouts within it are all controlled within the Slide Master. To edit the Slide Master, click on the View menu in PowerPoint and select Slide Master. In left hand side of the main PowerPoint window you will see the Slide Master itself with the other layouts listed below:-

slide-master

The Slide Master itself isn’t a displayable page template, its more of a ‘style sheet’ that controls the appearance of all the available layouts within the file. Try editing the font of part of the Slide Master and you will see this change ripple through all of the layouts. If however you edit the characteristics of one of the layouts, your changes will only affect that layout and any slides you create from it.

The example above is the Slide Master view for the default blank PowerPoint template. You will probably recognise the first layout as being the standard title slide you get when you create a new default blank presentation in PowerPoint.

Creating good layouts

There’s no perfect set of layouts that you should create – it very much depends on your needs, your organisation’s branding and your creativity.

Whilst you might want to have a fairly full opening slide (logo, title, name, etc), its generally best to keep the layout for rest of the main content slides fairly empty so that you can concentrate on succint content rather than bells and whistles.

Think carefully before repeating your name or logo on every layout – is it really necessary?

Remember when you’re saving a template, you’re creating something relatively generic that can be re-used for many future presentations. Its best therefore to stick to generic content features when editing layouts. For example, you shouldn’t type out your presentation title at the top of a layout otherwise that text will appear in all subsequent presentations that use that template.

The default blank template is often a good place to start as it comes with eleven useful layouts that you can customise straight out of the box. However, you might need something new that’s highly specific to your industry like a periodic table or a chart of term dates, for example. You have complete freedom to create appropriate new layouts for yourself so go for it!

Using your template and layouts

When you ‘open’ a PowerPoint template file, it creates a normal new PowerPoint presentation file based on that template (rather than opening the template file itself.)

choose-layouts

When you’re editing your presentation, you apply one of your template layouts to a slide by right clicking on the slide, selecting Layout and then clicking on one of the available templates. You should see all of the layouts you made when you edited the Slide Master layouts.

One more step away from Death By PowerPoint – enjoy!