Use online tools to ensure that introverts can share their ideas

I'm a huge proponent of interactive presentations and I encourage presenters and meeting leaders to include as many people as possible in discussions. However, to ensure that we are hearing all of the best ideas, we need to do more.  

Most meetings and group discussions are heavily biased towards extroverts - despite the fact that a third to half of the population are introverts. Introverts are often uncomfortable fighting to have their ideas heard in a public setting and can end up not contributing at all.

Live polling and feedback are excellent ways of soliciting the perspectives of all participants. In one of my workshops earlier this week I asked the group to complete the Quiet Revolution Introvert Test and then used live polling to display the results. We were all fascinated to discover that there weren't any extroverts in the session!

I use Poll Everywhere, a free online tool that works really well with PowerPoint on both PCs and Macs. The polls and questions can be inserted directly into your slides and customized to match the design of your presentation. Participants can submit anonymous responses using their phones or laptops and the results are displayed and updated in real-time.

In your next presentation or meeting, try using online polling, questions and feedback to ensure that all voices are heard, especially the quiet ones.