With its rich designs, animations, and transitions, Microsoft PowerPoint makes the tedious task of presenting complicated, long winding data to audiences fun and engaging. However, one big feature that is instantly NOT available is live polling. Polling presents a wonderful opportunity for users to interact with the audience, gauge their thoughts and drive discussions forward. If you’ve never thought of doing a live poll before, a free user friendly PowerPoint add-in called Particpoll is all you need to get started.
The Magic of Live Polling with ParticiPoll
Participoll is fantastic for presenters as it lets them create a polls instantly on existing slides right away with no extra effort whatsoever. Audiences only need an internet connection to participate in the poll and the results are instantly delivered into the presentation for everyone to see. To get started with Participoll you first need to create an account.
Getting Started with Participoll
At the time of signing up, apart from inputting your name, email address and password, you will also be asked to add your unique voting address. The next screen indicates that you are signed up for the free plan but you can choose to go Pro if you want to.
The Free plan allows unlimited live polls and voting while the Pro: Monthly plan costs $9.99/month and the Pro: Annual plan costs $99/year (17% saving) and offers the following features:
- Live polling in PowerPoint
- Unlimited polls & votes
- View live audience comments
- View historical poll charts
- View historical audience comments
- Download historic poll data
- No ads on the polling page
Hit the Get Add-in link to download the add-in and install it on your PC.
Participoll is compatible with both Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and 2013. To install the add in on your program, run the EXE file you downloaded previously.
In the Microsoft Office Customization Installer dialog, click Install.
The next time you open PowerPoint, Participoll will load up. You will see a new tab on the Ribbon titled Participoll with commands to start and stop polling, insert a poll or poll QR code, view live comments, poll history, Help and Settings.
How to Create a Poll in ParticiPoll
1. To create a live poll in Participoll, you first need to create a slide with the correct answers and label them A to F depending on the number of available answers.
2. Select the Participoll and click the Insert Poll button.
3. In the Insert Poll dialog, select the number of answers to be displayed. By default, the number of responses are set to 6. You can select a different option from the drop down and then click Insert Poll. At the bottom of the slide a colorful results bar is displayed.
4. You are now ready to start live polling.
5. On the Participoll tab, click Start Polling. In the Log in screen, input your email address and password and click Start Polling.
You will receive a message confirming that the poll has started and you can start the presentation.
You can instruct your audiences to go to your voting address (this is displayed in the Participoll tab) and cast their votes. As your audience votes, you will be able to see the vote totals cast in the results bar, but not the breakup of the votes.
The free version of the Participoll voting counter displays a prominent ad at the bottom of the screen. Buying a Pro version will remove the ads.
When the voting is complete, navigate to the next slide. This slide must either be blank or be a duplicate of the answer slide. In this example, I am simply keeping it blank.
The results are now displayed in a simple bar graph. You should now click the Stop Polling button.
In my use of the free version of Participoll, I found it to have some good features with room for improvements.
The free version of Participoll lets you conduct unlimited live polls.
The tool is very easy to use.
The results of voting can be seen instantly.
Ending the poll is slightly tricky as one wrong move before closing the poll can clean out the results.
No options for multiple response answers.
Participoll offers an easy way to create a poll and insert them into a PowerPoint presentation, but you need to be really careful when the poll is complete. Failure to close the poll will result in all results getting wiped out. It is therefore best to do a test poll or two before you take it live to your audience. It would also make more sense for the developers to add an End Poll button within the slideshow to make this task more intuitive.
Overall, I found Participoll PowerPoint add-in to be a really cool tool to add interactivity to a presentation.
Breathe a little life into your presentations by using Participoll and tell us how you fared.
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