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Bet on the Crowd

The polling feature on video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Teams allow you as the facilitator to quickly gauge the thoughts of people in your virtual space.Bet on the crowd turns this function into a quick activity to build energy at the top of your team meetings. The exercise can also be drawn upon to help your team get to know a little more about each other. You may even learn interesting and previously undiscovered things about colleagues you’ve been on video calls with for months!

Tools Required

In the virtual space this exercise uses the polls function in Teams or Zoom. Participants will also need a pen and paper to write down their guesses.


  1. Pose a simple ‘or’ question to your team. Here’s a list of sample options for you to choose from:
  • Talking pets or talking babies?
  • Coffee or tea?
  • Mountains or a beach?
  • Figma or photoshop?
  • Disappointed stakeholder or disappointed colleague?
  • Doing the laundry or doing the dishes?
  • Night out or night in?
  • Air guitar or air drums?
  1. Important: ask people to keep their answers to themselves and to make a note of what they think would win the poll from the people on the call.
  2. Using the polling function on your video call create a quick survey for the chosen question.
  3. Ask people to vote what they would choose and not their answer to what they thought the group would select.
  4. Ask people to share if they guessed correctly. Points can be awarded for correct answers and you can ask multiple questions as a quiz for as many rounds as suits your timebox.


During the polling stage it’s important to emphasise the point that people are voting for what they would choose as opposed to what they think the group will select. This is an important distinction to make and muddling this up can cause confusion.Be sensitive to what may be going on for those in your call and avoid selecting ‘or’ questions that might cause upset or a negative reaction.TakeawaysThis exercise is great for stimulating discussion in your group and encouraging voices to be heard at the beginning of a team mind-mapping session or retrospective. You might be surprised by what captures the imagination of those on your call!A great thing about this exercise is you can ask as many or few questions as you like. The game can work by asking one question or multiples.This exercise can be crafted to fit the specific context of your team. When I did this exercise with a group I work with I was able to ask ‘or’ questions specific to things that had happened to our team recently, user stories we’d been working on, or amusing situations that had happened.What suggestions do you have for ‘or’ statements? Please reach out and let us know your best questions.

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