November 3rd, 2020

A New Age of Speaker Programs: In-Program Polling


Tyler Cusmina

Senior Market Research Manager, TL Health

In our most recent benchmark survey with oncologists and urologists, they indicated that they were invited to about one speaker program per week or 52 per year.  That’s a lot of programs vying for their time. In addition, keeping your information current and resonating with audiences can be a challenge.  Then there are outside distractions from cell phones, colleagues, personal obligations and work.  Between all these factors, it can be difficult to capture and keep audiences’ attention!

That is why we have come up with multiple engagement strategies that help take your speaker programs to the next level. In this article, we delve into our first engagement strategy, in-program polling, and see what sets our capability apart from the rest.

The Benefits of In-Program Polling

We all know it is difficult to keep audiences’ attention during a speaker program. But what if the communication wasn’t one way? What if audiences could interact with the speaker during the presentation? Enter in-program polling.

In-program polling bridges the gap between audiences and speakers, allowing for a dialogue to unfold. By receiving the audience’s feedback throughout the presentation, the speaker can tailor their presentation to the audience’s specific needs, creating a tailored experience for each audience.

It also allows the audience to provide input on different topics and see how other audience members feel about the same topic.  Polling allows this feedback in complete anonymity. Attendees can be reluctant to express their point of view in public. If given the option to share their opinion anonymously, they may be more willing to participate. 

In addition, in-program polling helps to reinforce key messages. By asking questions around key topics, you are opening up a discussion with the audience and getting them to really think about the material at hand. Spending more time on a particular topic means speakers will be repeating key messages. This additional repetition and discussion help solidify these messages into audiences’ memories.

In-program polling also increases audience engagement because it allows the audience to interact with the speaker and presentation. With in-program polling, audiences go from a passive listener to an active participant.

Finally, these benefits are all amplified when your meetings are virtual.  Virtual presentations bring on a whole new set of issues. For example, the speaker can’t see the audience so it’s impossible to tell if they are paying attention. In addition, the speaker doesn’t have the added benefit of being able to read body language or facial expressions making it difficult for the speaker to tell if they are agreeing or disagreeing with your presentation and opinions.  In-program polling is a great way to help the presenter with these issues.

A New Era of In-Program Polling

Although in-program polling has multiple benefits, not all are created the same. At TL Health, we take in-program polling to the next level.

We are all familiar with the old school way of in-program polling where audiences had to have a handheld device or download an app in order to participate. But who really wants to carry around all those devices or download yet another app to our phones? Enter our in-program polling capability. With no apps or handheld devices, accessing our polls is as easy as sending a text message or scanning a QR code.

In addition, our in-program polling capability is housed within PowerPoint or the web making it simple and seamless for your speaker to use. There is no extensive learning curve or toggling between various screens for speakers. The speaker just moves between the PowerPoint slides as they would in any other presentation.

Our in-program polling capability also helps you control the audience’s attention as it “pushes and pulls” polling questions to them at just the right times. For instance, when you want audience members to engage in a poll, the poll question will be pushed right to their phone allowing them to respond and see their peers’ answers right there on their device. But when you want to redirect their attention back to the presentation and speaker, poll questions are pulled away and hidden from audience members. This really helps to ensure audiences are focusing on the parts of the presentation you want them to.


In-program polling is a great way to deliver memorable and valuable presentations. It helps increase engagement, tailor discussions to audiences’ unique needs and reinforce key messages.

Even though in-program polling has a multitude of benefits, not all are created equal. At TL Health, we have created an offering that is easy for both your speakers and audience. By making our product simple and accessible, we can help you increase engagement rates and deliver impactful presentations.


Tyler Cusmina

Tyler has seven years of pharmaceutical experience working in Market Research and Pharmaceutical Sales. Tyler holds a BA in Marketing from the Temple University Fox School of Business and a Certificate of Proficiency in Quantitative Analysis Field Of Study Data Analysis from the Burke Institute.

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