The ability to add polls (finally! Just saying..) to Microsoft Teams meetings became possible recently when the feature to add applications to Teams meetings was released to general availability. Among the first applications to add to meetings were Forms and Polly. Let’s take a look how you can add polls to meetings in a step-by-step walkthrough.
1. Create a meeting and add a poll app to it
The easiest way to get started with this is to create a new meeting where you can test it. It is good to note that using polls the best way requires the Teams Desktop Client with Modern Meeting Experience. So use the Desktop Teams and make sure you have set the Modern Meeting Experience on.
When you are in the meeting details you notice there the + icon next to Whiteboard in the menu. That means you can add new applications. Let’s click it.
From there you can see the list of apps that are optimized for meetings. These are the apps that will work in the meeting. Let’s add Forms (Polls).
You need a couple of clicks to get it added to the meeting.
Then click Save.
Now we have added an application to our meeting – in this case Forms. Let’s start adding polls.
Adding a poll before the meeting is started
Let’s hit that + Create New Poll
The next view allows you to define the poll
- Add your question and answers. Add more options if needed. You can only create polls with these – not full Forms forms.
- Define if you accept multiple answers. Note: if people answer via a chat they can keep on changing their selection.
- Define options: sharing results or making responses anonymous
- Finally save the poll. And it will be ready to be shown in the meeting.
Once the poll has been saved and meeting hasn’t been started yet you can keep on adding new polls to make use of them easier in the live meeting. You can also edit polls or delete the ones you don’t like after all.
Who can add polls / apps to meetings?
Both the meeting organizer and presenters can add applications and polls to meeting. Looking at Amy “demo person” here she has been defined as a presenter so she can edit polls and add apps
I can see (as the meeting organizer) who created these polls and I can edit them as well.
And this applies to presenter too – she can edit the poll organizer created.
We have now two polls in the meeting. Let’s join the meeting and see how these look there.
Activating poll in a meeting
When I join the meeting I can see Forms-icon on top. This opens the menu to control polls. It is also visible to presenters.
When the icon is clicked the polls app opens just like a list of attendees or chat would open: on the side.
In that I can Launch the poll (=show it to meeting participants), edit it or delete it. I can also create new polls while in the meeting.
Let’s launch the poll!
Everyone in the meeting gets now the option to answer to the poll. Those using Teams Desktop client with Modern Meeting Experience get the poll displayed right on top of Teams meeting, where they need to either answer the poll or they can close it right away using the top-right X in the poll.
This is a great way to receive these polls – if they end up in the chat (like for web Teams users) these can get unnoticed.
Once I answer the poll I can see what I answered and I hit Done and close the poll window.
Looking at the Polls-app view I can see the poll is live and I have an option to View results.
And this alone shows how great these apps in meetings are!
- Interactive and content can update while in the meeting
- Different view to organizer / presenter and to regular attendee (they don’t see the app)
- In the case of polls: you can use these to add new polls while in the meeting!
Adding a new poll while in a meeting
You can just hit + Create new and you can add new poll just like before
Forms has also a auto-fill option available if it recognizes your question’s pattern and can suggest adding a few options with a click of a Add all button.
Meeting attendee using Teams web
The view is not as great as for Desktop Client users since the poll ends up in the chat.
However it is easy to change the vote while in the chat. This is available also to Desktop Client users if they open the chat window.
There seems to be also a bug in the meetings for attendees: they can add apps to the meeting (at least in the same organization) but they can’t create new polls even when they add a another poll application.
Opening the meeting view from the calendars allows also to see the votes or vote for polls.
Closing the poll
Organizers and presenters can close open polls when the voting ends.
They can also choose to export results directly from the meeting.
Hit Export results
I can see the XLSX-file in the Downloads-folder of the computer.
The Excel results file contains Forms-familiar contents
In case the poll was closed too early it can be reopened
Ending the meeting and checking results
Once the meeting ends organizers and presenters can open the meeting view and navigate to polls tab to see the results.
This page provides a great summary of poll results. You can also export results from here to file. I still have options to Reopen or Delete polls even when meeting is closed – which is a very Teams-way to do things.
Tip: you can also access polls via Forms
If you navigate to Forms.office.com you can find the polls you created in there.
What is great that these are really Forms forms – with one note that these are read only to prevent any editing.
And this allows me to use the analysis part to snip off graphics quickly about the results.
It is also possible to share the link to people who could not attend the meeting
If you look at the form … menu you see you can add a another language to these polls. Don’t. It doesn’t work inside the poll and in my tests another Teams client could not open the meeting. So do not do any changes.
Looking the Forms app using the other presenter’s account reveals the poll she created. so these polls end up in the creators Forms – not meeting organizers.
Adding a presenter from other organization
When you have a presenter from other organization they can also add new polls, edit existing ones, launch them.. in short: they have same permissions to apps and polls just like anyone from your own organization except when it comes to exporting the results.
While this doesn’t matter to many use cases (poll results are only used to create interactivity and feedback in meetings) it is a good thing to keep in mind.
Read the Microsoft Tech Community article about polls in meetings.
What about channel meetings?
In the Tech Community article it was revealed that Channel meetings don’t have Polls/apps support yet and there is no info yet when they will become available. However you can use them in a limited way
- If you use Teams channel view and reply to the meeting chat: you still add polls to a channel meeting via Forms message extension:
- Go to the channel or (using web Teams!) open the meeting chat. Note: Teams Desktop Client with Modern Meeting Experience does not have this option in the chat – while Teams web client has.
- Check out apps alongside with message format, emojis, gifs etc. Forms should be there – and if it is missing just add Forms first as a app to the team.
- You can answer to these polls via channel conversation or via meeting chat. You can use Teams Desktop Client with Modern Meeting Experience to answer these.
- These polls only highlight the polls into chat area – they don’t pop up in bubbles like those in the scheduled meetings.
This is a limited experience but you can use polls in channel meetings.
- Polls can not be closed
- Polls can not be edited
- You don’t get a view of responses in meeting details
You can find the responses via forms.office.com for those polls you created.
How about adding a Polly?
Polly is a third party software that has been with Teams since early dates to provide polling options. So it is not a surprise that it is also available as a meeting polling app.
You can add Polly via + menu in the meeting and choosing to add Polly.
And then you are ready to go.
Sidenote: you can’t remove applications from meetings.. That is why earlier Polls and Polls(1) are also visible.
Polly has several ready templates you can use to collect information from your meeting attendees. You can also create a new poll from the scratch.
Unlike Forms Polls you can also collect answers from participants and not just ask to pick one predefined answer.
Using a template “First 30 days on the job” shows how multipurpose a Polly can be in a Teams meeting. This would assume a group meeting that happens during the onboarding and all new employees can answer these questions in the meeting.
Let’s see how it looks in the meeting:
We can open the Polly app just like we opened the Forms Polls app earlier.
Since this poll has multiple parts Polly displays it in pages to make the answering easy:
And once you progress through all other steps you have option to answer a open-ended free text question
Once you have submitted it you need to close Polly using the top-right X in the Polly app.
After the meeting has ended the results can be viewed:
In the bottom-right corner are controls that can be used also to export results. However for me the export didn’t do anything.
Polly has option to set questions private so their results are only seen by the sender (who answers the polly) and the polly poll creator.
Read more from Polly’s site: https://www.polly.ai/help/microsoft-teams/response-limitations-explained