Microsoft Teams has a growing collection of apps that can be used to enhance your calls and chats. One of these is Polly, which lets you run highly configurable polls within your chats.
To install Polly, click on the triple-dot menu in any chat, search for “polly”, and select result for Polly in the list. It will install the app with a simple login with your Microsoft account.
Running a Poll
When you add a poll, it will pop up over the video for all the attendees, and display in the chat history. Depending on your configuration, the results will update in real time, or be displayed when you close the poll.
There are lots of configuration options in Polly’s authoring view, which can be opened from the parrot-icon, or the three-dot icon below the chat box. The important ones are…
- Whether you want to ask a single question, or multiple questions
- Whether to send the poll immediately, or at a specific time (including recurring polls)
- Whether or not to allow comments
- Whether to share the results, and whether this is real time or after the poll is closed (super key one as you may want to delay showing the results to reduce bias)
- Whether respondents remain anonymous (also super key if the poll is a temperature check, or similar poll where anonymity may achieve more accurate results)
Using Polly in Different Set-Ups
If you are running a user group, or online conference style session, you’ll want a facilitator’s assistance in posting polls at appropriate times. Speaking while configuring a poll is a distraction that will throw you off beat. You usually need this second person anyway to run co-ordination tasks like admitting people from the Teams lobby, managing the chat and being the voice of attendees during Q&A sections, and managing the mute button when someone’s background noise eats the audio.
In less formal meet ups, you can probably tell people about the poll as you author it without getting too snarled up.
Polly is a neat and easy way to interact in Teams Chat and on calls. The authoring screen needs some familiarisation, but when you have used it a couple of times you’ll easily create polls on the fly to enhance your team meetings, user groups, meet ups, and online conferences.