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June 24, 2020
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July 9, 2020

You’ve decided you want to poll the audience to get their opinion, select among a limited number of options, or to gauge their level of interest during your virtual panel discussion.

Yes, you can use the polling function in whatever platform you are using (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, MS Teams, etc.) or an external polling app, but why not spice it up with various ways of getting feedback in the virtual world!?

If you can “see” everyone (webcams on!), then ask for a:

  • Show of Hands. Ask those who agree with your question to literally raise their hands (both hands work better than one!)
  • Scavenger Hunt.  Ask participants to find three objects in their office: One that is red, one that is yellow, and one that is green.  Ask them to hold up the appropriate color-coded item that signifies their response. These are ideal for multiple-choice and true-false questions or those with a range of responses (agree/neutral/disagree; high/medium/low). Try using green for “agree,” yellow for “neutral or have some concerns,” and red for “disagree.”

If you can’t “see” everyone, try these options:

  • Round-Robin.  Ask each person to state his or her position – but only if you have a small number of people in the audience!
  • Thumbs-Up. Have those who agree with the point you just made show you a “thumbs-up” emoticon.
  • Show of Hands. Ask those who agree with your question to raise their hands with the participant “raise hand” function.
  • Continuum. Have each participant “annotate” a slide that shows a range of opinions.  For example, one side is “no experience” and the other side is the polar opposite “tons of experience.” Or think of your own clever scale (“vested” to “don’t care”).

Get creative when it comes to polling your audience during a panel discussion!


Related Articles:

How to Moderate a Virtual Panel Discussion

How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion Tip #185 with Jeffrey Hayzlett: Finishing Panel Discussions

For more resources on moderating panel discussions, visit the Knowledge Vault. To have Kristin moderate your next panel, visit the Powerful Panels official website.

Photo by Christina @

Kristin Arnold



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Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.
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