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