Pause Screen Sharing while creating Polls in SFB

This is just a quick best practice. I learnt it while conducting a webinar on Thursday using Skype for Business (SFB). During webinars, you have two options, just show a presentation and explain it or demonstrate something on your screen – typically some software product. Screen sharing is used to broadcast your desktop.

Often, I need some live input from the audience. For example, what is their profile? Which product / feature is more important for them? Have they understood the topic or not?

This is done using Polling feature in Skype for Business (Lync, Live Meeting as well). Ideally, you should create the polls before you start the webinar and display them on demand. However, very often, I need to do impromptu polls where there is no time for preparation.

While creating an impromptu poll, you just ask the audience to give you a breather, mute the mic and create the poll. Unfortunately, we always forget to do something else – which is very important. The whole process of you creating the poll is visible to the audience. You as the presenter do not realize this. When you finally show the poll to the audience, they already know what is coming and they may even be ready with their answers. In fact, their responses may have changed because they got a chance to see the options for too long. They could have discussed something with their colleagues or evaluated the pros and cons or done something else which removes the spontaneity from the poll response. In short, it alters the poll outcome.

To cut a long story short, when you are creating a live poll, inform the audience, mute the mic and also pause or stop the Desktop sharing.

How to pause or stop? Depending upon the product you are using one or both of these options are available in the top bar which appears while sharing desktop. Skype for Business has only Stop button. Live Meeting provided a Pause button as well.


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Comments? Suggestions? Wish list?