Tips For a Successful Zoom Virtual Meeting: Chats, Polls & More!

By MBO Partners | September 29, 2020

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Last week, in part 1 of our two-part article on Zoom meetings for independent professionals and small business owners, we shared how to schedule and personalize the settings for your upcoming Zoom meeting.

This week, we’re sharing tips for using key Zoom functions – like chats and polls – that can increase engagement and feedback from your audience.

Tip 1: Chats

The chat function on Zoom can be one of the most helpful tools not only to create engagement with your audience, but it can also help you get vital feedback on what certain individuals are looking for or what they want to know more about.


  • Use the chat function to interact directly with your audience and answer any questions or concerns. Note that you can enable or disable chat functions between participants.

After the Fact:

  • Even if you choose to not interact through chat during your presentation, a pro-tip is to save the chat history and respond to people’s questions or concerns at a later point.

Note: If you do not wish for your participants to have access to the chat box simply go to Profile Settings in the My Meetings Settings section and uncheck the boxes that say Chat and Private chats.

Read on to follow the steps for Saving Your Chats:

  • Saving Chats:

As the admin, you can choose how long chats are stored on the Zoom cloud or on your device. They will be deleted after the designated time passes. Note: The least amount of time chats can be stored is one day and the longest time is ten years.

Choosing a time frame is simple.

  • Sign into Zoom
  • Click Account Management IM Management
  • Click IM Settings
  • Below Local Storage, select how long you want the messages stored on your computer
  • Next to Cloud Storage, toggle the setting to “on” (it will turn blue and show that it is turned on)
  • Select the length of time you want the messages to be saved
  • Click Save

Tip 2: Polls

A great way to interact with your audience is to set up real-time in-meeting polls. Polls can help with engagement, but they can also deliver clear data for you and your audience to view in real time. We recommend having your co-host open the poll to participants and then close it at a specific time so that you can continue to present without worrying about any technical issues.

How to set up a poll function inside Zoom:

1. Enabling the function:

  1. Sign into Zoom
  2. In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings
  3. Navigate to Polling on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled
  4. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification pops up, choose Turn On to allow the function
  5. NOTE: To make this a mandatory settings for users in your account, click the lock icon, and click Lock to confirm the setting

2. Creating Your Poll:

  • Go to the Meetings page and click on your meeting
  • From the meeting management page, scroll to the bottom to find the Poll option. Click Add to create a poll
  • Enter the title and the first question
  • NOTE: Check the box to make the poll anonymous
  • Select whether you want the question to be a single choice (participants can only choose one answer) or multiple choice (participants can choose multiple answers)
  • Type in the answers and click Save
  • To add a new question, click Add a Question
  • Note: You can only create a max of 25 polls for a single meeting

Have your co-host launch and stop polling for easier and more efficient results

3. Launching Your Poll:

  • Start the Zoom meeting that has polling enabled
  • Click Polls in the meeting controls
  • Select the poll to launch
  • Click Launch Poll
  • The participants in the meeting will be prompted to answer the polling questions
  • The host will be able to see the results live
  • To stop the poll, click End Poll
  • To share the results to the participants in the meeting, click Share Results

4. Saving Your Poll:

After your meeting you may want to save your poll because it will it will save the answered poll, the usernames that answered (with their email address), the date a time they submitted their answer, and the answer to the poll itself.

  • Sign into Zoom
    • Navigate to Account Management > Reports
    • In the Usage Reports tab, click Meeting
    • In the drop-down menu below Report Type, select one of these two options:
      • Search by time range: Select a time range. Click Search
      • Search by meeting ID: Enter the meeting ID. Click Search
    • Click Generate in the last column. Use the check boxes to select multiple meetings then click Generate

Make sure everyone knows the role they play for the meetings so there are no surprises the day of the presentation

Tip 3: The Practice Run

Practice makes perfect! If this is your first Zoom meeting, we highly recommend you schedule a practice run with any members of your team who will be playing a role in helping you run the meeting.

Even if you have done a Zoom meeting before but have never recorded chats, launched polls, or had someone else screen share and run the presentation, we highly advise you take the time to do a quick run through one or two days ahead of time. That way you know what to expect when the real meeting commences.

Did you miss Part 1 of our article, featuring meeting set up and the co-host function? You can find it here

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