How to create a good poll? We can give you an insight!

Posted on 2013/10/30

Two weeks ago we wrote some basic tips about increasing audience's engagement. This time we decided to continue this topic by giving some insight creating good and engaging questions.

Are you interested in audience opinion? Are you finding that not all your prepared surveys are working and engaging your audience?

During the course of making and using the IQ Polls, we learnt that polls will not engage an audience if the poll is prepared in an incorrect way. It's not enough just to create a poll and hope that everyone will become involved in it. It is very important to design a good questionnaire in order to achieve your goals and interest your target audience.

Before you create a poll, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you want to find out by talking to your audience? 
  • What is it that you would find interesting to hear? 

And, at the same time, you need to consider:

  • Is it interesting to the audience too? 

Do not ask questions simply in order just to ask them, since people are not ready to take any actions if they will not see any purpose to the questions. The best way to prepare a poll is by asking yourself:

  • How will the audience’s opinion change in this situation? 
  • Can the audience find out how things will change?

There are many things which are important in order to make a good poll. So we have prepared 5 do's and don’ts, which you need to be aware before creating a new poll:

5 don’ts

- do not use different equivalents: if you are asking about time spent on  something, use hours or minutes, try to not mix them, and also try to give the same number of positive and negative answers. A good example would be: How did you like this conference? Didn't like it at all, liked it very much, have no opinion. A bad example would be: Liked it very much, liked it, didn't like it at all.

- do not write leading questions. First find out simpler information and then take steps towards leading questions. A bad example is: Which day of the week do you prefer to hold meetings on? This is bad because you don't know whether your audience is able to take this type of decision. Be aware that leading questions demand specific responses.

- try to avoid doubles: e.g. double negatives - it can confuse your audience in trying to understand the meaning of the question; e.g. double objects - do not ask about two things in one row, maybe the answer is different for both.

- do not make lists of choices too long.

- do not give a poll to the audience at the end of a speech. Timing is very important and you need to understand that, after listening for a long period of time, people dream about having a break, or you have already lost their attention. The best time for a poll is at the beginning or in the middle of your presentation or speech.

5 do's

- test your poll, ask your colleagues to read the questions and give you feedback, try to imagine you are in the audience as a listener. How you would assess the value of this question? Ask yourself, find the best way of asking and then prepare a poll.

- give an introduction, even you have a simple question for your audience - introduce how they can vote and provide a small cover memo.

- make it easy for people to answer and people will answer much more frequently.

- always add "prefer not to answer" or "other" options for people to use.

- try to keep questions short while ensuring that you  capture all the information which you, and do not use difficult words or long sentences.

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