How to Make a Presentation Interactive: 7 Tactics
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How to Make a Presentation Interactive
If you’re giving a speech or presentation , you want your ideas to make an impact on your audience.
But it’s pretty hard to figure out if you are actually making that impact. Audiences usually don’t give us much live feedback.
What happens if you don’t make a presentation interactive? You run the risk of boring your audience, and wasting their time, which can lead to some hilarious results:
It’s up to us as communicators to create a situation where our audiences can participate.
Bear in mind, truly making your presentation interactive will often require changing the structure of the presentation itself.
If you’re delivering a traditional “lecture” style presentation, then it will be extremely challenging to get interaction from your audience.
Not all of these tactics will be possible in your presentation context or office culture.
Some may be advanced tips, but creating a genuinely different kind of presentation will make all the difference.
Here are 7 Key Tactics to Make Your Presentation More Interactive.
1. Hand out Worksheets, Documents or Other Tangibles
One of the simplest tricks when learning how to make a presentation interactive is to use the power of tangibles .
When you provide physical items that the audience can touch and hold, they get more engaged. Any kind of physical movement is good.
Tangible items make your presentation go beyond the visual and auditory senses, and reach their tactile sense.
Consider giving them items like reports, print-outs of your slide deck, diagrams, maps, 3D representations, mockups, product samples, or models.
2. Incorporate Live Survey/ Q&A Tools
Tools like Mentimeter and Slido are great for creating engagement with audiences in person or remotely.
They are best-suited for large audiences.
You provide a code that the audience can access through their phone, and from there they can answer a poll or provide comments.
As the organizer, you can see all of the responses on your device, or display them at the front of the room in real time.
3. Mention or Call on Individual Audience Members by Name
If you know the people in the audience, or have access to their names, feel free to call on them directly.
When I coach clients and students on how to make a presentation interactive, this is a key strategy I emphasize because it’s so simple but effective.
If it’s a more fluid meeting where you can actually have side conversations or receive input from audience members, then this works perfectly.
However, even in a formal presentation where you are giving a one-way lecture, you can still utilize this tactic–just mention a few people’s names in the audience as you speak:
“Now let me get to the next phase of our product rollout, and Rob, I know this was an area you were especially interested in learning about…”
“Vanessa shared with me some of the updates her team has been working on, so I’d like to highlight those now…”
4. Turn Your Presentation into a Guided Discussion
This is a fairly advanced tactic and will require you to be totally comfortable on stage and capable of managing a room.
For this tactic, instead of making a series of statements, you take on a “teaching” role and pose relevant questions to the audience, and then wait for their answers.
As they respond, you comment and pivot from attendee to attendee, adding your own context and insight along the way.
Over time, the audience learns more and more, and they will remain 100% engaged throughout
The key is to introduce new questions from a place of calm confidence, without looking weak or unprepared, and without coming across as condescending.
You will still give all the substantive information you would otherwise provide in a traditional lecture.
It’s just delivered in a more engaging experience.
When done right, this is an extremely powerful way to make your presentation interactive.
5. Include “Quiz” Questions in Your Slides
You can hide key data or facts behind animations in PowerPoint.
Instead of providing that key info immediately, cover it and ask the audience what they think the number is:
“Who can guess what our revenue was last month?”
“Pop quiz. What do you think is our current CPA?”
After they discuss or give their answers, click to animate and reveal the right answer on the slide. And then move to the next quiz question.
You can have a series of questions, one after the other. Or you can pose one quiz question at the beginning of each section of your speech.
This is a great way to keep people engaged as you go through your presentation.
You can also make the presentation interactive by providing small gifts or prizes to those that get a right answer.
6. (For Virtual Presentations) Encourage Them to Submit Questions or Comments in the Live Chat
Audience members don’t often think of submitting questions or comments unless they are specifically asked to.
Many people don’t want to impose on the presenter, and assume that if questions have not been invited, they are not welcome.
Others are just shy and need coaxing.
Very few audience members will boldly stand up, raise their hand, or insert a question without being asked.
So take it upon yourself as the presenter to encourage them to comment in the live chat.
And don’t just tell them once; tell them multiple times throughout your presentation.
This is especially relevant in webinars or livestreams.
Once one or two people have commented, others will often follow.
7. Create an Immersive Experience
This is the most challenging tactic of all.
But if you or your organization are able to make a presentation interactive by creating an immersive experience, it’s probably the most impactful and most memorable.
Consider walk-in exhibits, or live performances. Sound or music can potentially play a role.
Create a skit or live demonstration with a member of your team. Or bring audience members up to the front of the room and demo with them.
Think about how you can include video or audio clips, gifs, or slide animations into the experience.
There might be many ways to creatively communicate your ideas.
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Home Blog Presentation Ideas 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations
23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations
PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off and not a tool to help empower their message.
Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.
So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation? By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.
The key thing to remember is that your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be its focus.
In this article, we will be going over several tips and tricks on how you can become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.
Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides
Use more images and less text, use high-quality images, keep the focus on you and your presentation, not the powerpoint, your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room, use a consistent presentation design, one topic per slide, avoid information overwhelm by using the “rule of three”.
- Display one bullet at a time
Avoid unnecessary animations
- Only add content that supports your main points
Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter
- Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation
Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness
Change the tone of your voice when presenting, host an expert discussion panel, ask questions, embed videos, use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience.
- He kept his slides uncluttered and always strived for simplicity
- He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better.
- He found made the complex sound simple.
He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.
Summary – how to make your presentation engaging & interactive, fundamental rules to building powerful & engaging presentation slides.
Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.
Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.
YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to compliment your story.
Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it. Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.
Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides bellow.
Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.
While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying. You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.
You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.
Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty point text fonts.
If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.
Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips
The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.
However by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distracting from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.
Each slide should try and represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.
Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “ Rule of Three ,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.
The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point. Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”
Display one sentence at a time
If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience in each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.
Presentation Blunders To Avoid
In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.
It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message. Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.
If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.
Only add engaging content that supports your main points
You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.
“Does this slide help support my main point?”
If the answer is no, then remove it. Remember, less is more.
A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.
First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint. The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.
Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation
At least not before you deliver a killer presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.
It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide. It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech. If you decide to share a copy of your presentation, the best way to do it is by generating a QR code for it and placing it at the end of your presentation. Those who want a copy can simply scan and download it onto their phones.
Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging
The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.
When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black. This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side into your presentation at the right moment.
“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”
Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across. Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable and engaging.
One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.
It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.
How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive
What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant? You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?
Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, arouse interest and curiosity. It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.
So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely taking in the information one way. So ask many them.
Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.
(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018
Remember the point of your presentation is to get a message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation. A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.
CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.
A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.
Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allowing them to participate in part of your presentation.
Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answer to audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.
Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs
He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity.
In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words. Learning from Jobs, you can also make a great presentation too. Focus on the core benefit of your product and incorporate great visuals.
Source: Macworld 2008
SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engaging.
He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better
A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.
He found made the complex sound simple
When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.
(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)
What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.
While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation , it can only achieve if applied correctly.
It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared. This way, you can elevate your content presentation, convey your message effectively and captivate your audience.
This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed. Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone. The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.
While we can’t help you with the practicing of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.
You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.
Have a tip you would like to include? Be sure to mention it in the comments!
Like this article? Please share
Audience, Engaging, Feedback, Interactive, Poll, Rule of Three, Steve Jobs Filed under Presentation Ideas
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2 Responses to “23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations”
Very great advices!
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18 Ways to Make Your Presentation More Interactive
November 10, 2017 - dom barnard.
It can be difficult to hold your audience’s attention for the entire presentation. According to a Prezi study , half of the respondents said they did something other than listen during a co-worker’s presentation, including:
- Sending a text message (28%)
- Checking emails (27%)
- Falling asleep (17%)
An interactive presentation is much more likely to keep your audience’s attention and build rapport with them, and there are a few simple ways to achieve this, from live polling to asking questions throughout.
This article explores several different effective strategies for making the audience feel fully involved in your presentation and keeping your audience’s eyes away from their smartphones.
Why involve your audience?
Listening to a presentation for any length of time can be a difficult process. If you don’t involve the audience, they’ll start to play with their phones, talk to colleagues and generally lose track of what you are saying. Once this happens and you start seeing that the audience would rather be somewhere else, you’ll start feeling anxious and might try to speed up the presentation.
To engage a large audience fully, the presentation needs to be energetic, purposeful and staged, as if it is a direct conversation between both you and your audience. That way, they’ll absorb your ideas and insights and they’ll have learnt something in an enjoyable way.
1. Plan from the audience’s perspective
Before you start writing your presentation , think about these points:
- What are the most interesting parts in my topic?
- How much will the audience know about my topic? What level do I target it at?
- Which members of the audience will most likely be disinterested?
- How can I help them learn and understand my topic?
- What is the size of the audience?
You can do this by researching the event or conference, investigating other speakers at the event and even contacting the organisers to find out more about the demographic.
By asking these questions about your audience and identifying answers, you are starting to think about your audience’s interests and needs. Remember, the aim is to give the impression that your presentation has been planned according to your audience’s specific interests.
2. Use an easy-to-follow structure
When building your presentation, focus on giving it a structure which people can easily follow. Start by introducing the core concepts and goals, then elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.
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3. Get the audience immediately involved
You audience will come to your presentation in a range of different moods. Try using a simple ice-breaker to re-energise them and get them focussed on your presentation.
For example, ask people to stand up and introduce themselves to their neighbours, or have them identify two or three questions they would like to hear addressed during your presentation. By starting with an ice-breaker, you show your audience that your talk will be interactive and require their participation.
4. Ask the audience questions during your presentation
The audience's attention drops to zero after just 10-15 minutes of your presentation. To get their attention back, take a break from your presentation from time to time and interact with your audience. Ask for their questions and answer them during your presentation. This will help clear up any confusion the audience might have.
When planning your presentation, identify opportunities in your material for your audience to ask questions. If you’re not comfortable breaking the flow of your presentation, mention that you’ll be taking questions at the end so the audience can prepare some questions.
Asking rhetorical questions as you move through your presentation involves your audience by stimulating their own thought processes. This technique also helps move between sections of your presentation as it establishes a clear transition from one point to another.
If you’re comfortable with taking questions throughout your presentation, use a tools such as sli.do , which allows your audience to ask questions anonymously at any time, so even shy people can participate in the discussion.
Example of what can go wrong with audience interaction
Watch how the presenter tries but initially fails to get the audience to interact with the presentation. Notice how he encourages them to get involved and eventually they do join in.
5. Use storytelling to make it more memorable
Since our early ancestors, stories have always been a huge part of human culture and civilisation. Storytelling is the most universal way to captivate your audience's attention, no matter where they are from or what they do for a living.
Stories are much more engaging and memorable than lists of facts and figures, but you wouldn’t think so looking at the majority of presentations (particularly academic ones).
People automatically tune in when you start telling your story because they want to know what happens next. A popular storytelling technique is when you present the status quo and then reveal an improved path to that end goal.
Think of your presentation as one arching narrative. As we mentioned earlier, give it the proper structure with a clear beginning, middle and end. Introduce conflict and provide a powerful resolution that reinforces your key messages.
6. Use non-linear presentation software
Instead of flipping through slide after slide, you can show the relationships between your ideas and give your audience the “big picture” view of your topic. Try letting your audience drive the presentation by laying out all of your main points, and then let them choose which topics they want to go to. Your audience will get a truly custom presentation based on their interests, which they will appreciate and more easily remember.
Prezi, shown above, is a popular non-linear presentation tool.
7. Add in a short video
Billions of hours of YouTube are consumed each month and advertisers have identified videos as having a high retention rate for users. However very few presentations ever use videos to engage with their audience.
Find a short video clip that reinforces your story or explains a concept better than words can. You can either embed the video directly into your presentation software or include a link to an external website. Just make sure you test your method on the day of the presentation and have a backup on a USB just in case you need it.
8. Invite people onto the stage
If you’re preparing a particularly long presentation, consider having other people to come on stage and talk for a bit. This will help you narrate the story and make the whole presentation more interactive.
Steve Jobs never pulled off the entire presentation by himself; he always invited several speakers, including designers, partners, and other executives, to help him introduce their latest product. Of course, this technique should always be arranged with your colleagues in advance.
9. Poll the audience
Polls are similar to quizzes in that they engage the audience during the presentation. Polls encourage participants to think not only about your questions but also about their answers. Moreover, live polls help create mental breaks, so your audience can regain attention and stay focused throughout your presentation.
By including everyone in answering the question, you also create a group experience that leaves the audience feeling like they all have been part your presentation.
10. Use (appropriate) humour
Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world feature plenty of humour. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humour and language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying.
A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humour is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.
Another example is when Morgan Spurlock offers individuals the opportunity to buy the rights to name his TED talk—which he refers to again at the end, where he reveals the title. He peppers the entire presentation with humorous commentary that nonetheless supports his point.
Create relevant jokes or find a way to bring out the humour in your subject, and your audience will be much more engaged and more likely to remember your words.
11. Practice your delivery, again and again
Practicing is the most important part of delivering an interactive presentation. You’ll need to practice where to use live quizzes, when to accept questions, which points to emphasise with body language and many more. There are several options for practicing:
Practice Presentation Skills
Improve your public speaking and presentation skills by practicing them in realistic environments, with automated feedback on performance.
- In front of a mirror – great for seeing and improving your body language, however it can be distracting to what you are saying.
- To friends or colleagues – a useful way to get feedback on your presentation, try and action the feedback straight away to improve on it. You can also give the person some key areas to focus their feedback on if you believe you are weaker in those areas.
- Virtual reality – practice in realistic public speaking environments , whether it be in a virtual conference room or boardroom. Receive feedback on your speech with voice analysis technology.
With all three of these, you’ll want to work on your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly.
A list of the best presentation skills courses you can practice with:
- Presentation Skills Training Courses
12. Try and relate to the audience
Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you.
After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.
13. Strong body language (position, posture and gesture)
Non-verbal communication plays a large part in how we construct meaning, so it makes sense to consider how to use it in your presentation. You can make things more interesting for your audience by using your body language to enhance what you’re saying.
Body language goes beyond reinforcing your messaging – it’s useful from a biological standpoint. As discussed in her body language TED talk , Amy Cuddy’s research found that using ‘assertive’ body language released testosterone and reduced cortisol in both men and women, thereby increasing confidence and decreasing stress.
An effective presenter pays close attention to the physical relationship with her/his audience. If you stand hidden behind an overhead projector or stand too far away from your audience, they will not develop a bond with you and this will limit the effectiveness of your presentation.
Your posture will also dictate levels of audience involvement. If you’re too relaxed and sit slumped in a chair to deliver your talk, the audience might drift away. Find a comfortable but purposeful position in relation to your audience and adopt an upright sitting or standing posture that allows for movement and gesture.
Audiences respond well to the physical energy and enthusiasm being conveyed by a presenter, and thus the use of clear and controlled gestures will greatly enhance your presentation. Gestures that are open and reach out to your audience serve to extend your presentation to them and thus help them feel more involved.
Examples of good body language:
- Use hand gestures when delivering key points
- Use calm, deliberate movements when highlighting certain information
- Keep arms and legs uncrossed
14. Maintain eye contact with all sections of the audience
Making eye contact is one of the most powerful techniques for involving your audience. If used well, eye contact can serve to make your address much more personal and thus more effective. If eye contact is avoided, the presenter can appear to be nervous and unconvincing.
It is important to share eye contact with all members of a small audience or all sections of a large audience. Avoid making eye contact with just the people you know, taking particular care not to deliver your entire presentation to the person who’s assessing your work. Remember that you will need to involve the whole audience if you are to make an effective presentation.
If you are nervous, eye contact can be very difficult to establish and maintain. Remember that some eye contact is better than none and that you should try to build your confidence over time.
15. Use live quizzes to better understand your audience
Live quizzes are a great way to understanding your audience better get them engaging with the material.
For example, if you’re giving a presentation on autonomous vehicles, you could ask questions such as:
- When do you think autonomous vehicles will become mainstream?
- Are you concerned by safety issues?
- If someone is injured or killed by the car, who is to blame?
These will surely create some interesting results which you, as the presenter, can talk about and discuss.
16. Use physical props if possible
You don’t need to be giving a product demo to use props during your presentation. Props are a great way to help the audience visually picture what you are talking about. While talking through your presentation, you can refer to the prop at certain points to highlight your point or make it clear to the audience.
Kenny Nguyen does this will in his TEDx talk on 'The Art of Saying No'. He refers to the "sword of yes" and "shield of no." Naturally he picks up a sword and shield from the table to help demonstrate his points.
Another great example is when Jill Bolte Taylor brings a real human brain on stage during her TED talk to explain to what happened to her when she had a stroke. She touched the audience with this demonstration and left the audience in complete awe.
17. Extend your usual vocal range
Your tone of voice, your volume, and other vocal aspects affect how people listen and hear your message.
Julian Treasure’s TED talk on 'How to speak so that people want to listen' is all about this, and at the end offers several tips 'in our toolbox' for how to master the use of voice, from changing your speaking pace to speaking in a different pitch.
Get feedback from a friend or colleague to see what works best for you.
18. Use language and literary techniques
Your use of language has a huge influence on the way you engage your audience. It’s important to use language your audience understands and is familiar with.
Avoid using language that is too formal or informal, too technical or too simplistic depending upon the nature of your talk and the knowledge base of your audience. Pitching your presentation at the right level can be a challenge but it is very effective for making the audience feel involved.
There are various literary techniques you can use, such as the Power or Three, to give greater impact to your message.
Involving your audience is essential to making an impact. Your presentation should pull them in, get their attention and stimulate their thoughts and understanding. This can be done in a number of ways.
The way that you plan your presentation will be critical in terms of using language and ideas that your audience will understand. You must also ensure that there is sufficient time for questions and discussion. The way that you deliver your presentation should create a bond with your audience.
Your use of eye contact, body language, spoken words and energy should communicate effectively and enthusiastically with all areas of the room, thus ensuring that the audience receives positive messages about you and your material.
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8 ways to make your presentation more interactive
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Chelsi Nakano April 29, 2016
In a recent survey we conducted with the help of Harris Poll, almost half of the respondents admitted to doing something other than listening during a co-worker’s presentation—popular answers included sending a text message (28 percent), checking email (27 percent), and falling asleep (17 percent). To say the least, it can be difficult to hold an audience’s attention, let alone get your message across when presenting.
One of the best ways to get your audience to stay focused is to make them feel like they’re a part of your story. There are a few simple things you can do to get your audience to participate in your presentation, by making it more interactive—here’s how.
1. Break the ice. Each of your audience members comes to your presentation in a completely different mood. A simple ice-breaker can put everyone on the same level and energize them for your presentation. Get your audience to do a simple exercise to reset their minds and refocus on your talk. For example, ask people to stand up and introduce themselves to their neighbors, or have them identify two or three questions they would like to hear addressed during your presentation. By starting with an ice-breaker, you show your audience that your talk will be interactive and require their participation.
2. Tell stories. Stories are food of the brain when it comes to the presentations, according to professional public speaking coach Nathan Gold . Storytelling is the most universal way to captivate your audience’s attention, no matter where they are from or what they do for a living. People automatically tune in when you start telling your story because they want to know what happens next. You can go further than dropping a few anecdotes into your speech. Use the storytelling technique that Nancy Duarte found after studying hundreds of TED talks : Present the status quo and then reveal the path to a better way. By following this formula, you set up a conflict that needs to be resolved. You’ll have the audience hanging on the edge of their seats, craving to hear the end of your story.
3. Add videos . With over 6 billion hours of video being watched each month on YouTube alone, it’s hard to believe that still so few presenters use them in their presentations. Videos are a great tool when it comes to giving an engaging presentation. Videos can evoke emotions in an audience that could be otherwise quite difficult to elicit. Find the clip that will put your audience in the right mood and that reinforces your story. With the seamless integration of YouTube videos in Prezi, there is no excuse for not using them.
4. Embrace the power of non-linear presenting. The Prezi experts agree that the real power of Prezi lies in the ability to present your non-linear story. Instead of flipping through slide after slide, you can show the relationships between your ideas and give your audience the “big picture” view of your topic. Try letting your audience drive the presentation—lay out all of your main points, and then let them choose which topics they want to zoom into. Your audience will get a truly custom presentation based on their interests, which they will appreciate and more easily remember.
5. Ask questions during your presentation. Presentation expert and best-selling author Carmine Gallo pinpointed that the audience’s attention drops to zero after just 10 minutes of your presentation. That’s right, 10 minutes. To get their attention back, Gallo advises creating soft breaks within your speech. Therefore, take a break from your presentation from time to time and interact with your audience. Ask for their questions and incorporate them already during the presentation. Tools like sli.do allow audience members to ask questions anonymously, so even shy people can participate in the discussion.
6. Poll the audience. Live polls are an incredibly effective tool for instantly engaging with your audience. Unlike rhetorical questions, polls encourage participants to think not only about your questions but also about their answers. Moreover, live polls help create mental breaks, so your audience can regain attention and stay focused throughout your presentation. By including everyone in answering the question, you also create a group experience that leaves the audience feeling like they all have been part your presentation. With sli.do , you can integrate live polls seamlessly into your prezis and engage the participants without the need to switch between screens or applications.
7. Use props. You don’t need to be giving a product demo to use props during your presentation. Props are a great way how to help the audience to wire in another senses to absorb your message. So bring props on the stage and show them during the right point to help the attendees visualize what you are describing verbally. Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor brought a real human brain on stage during her touching TED talk to explain to what happened to her when she had a stroke. She touched the audience with this demonstration and left the audience in complete awe.
8. Share the glory. Don’t steal all the glory for yourself. Share the stage with other presenters or the audience members to help you narrate the story and make the whole presentation more interactive. Steve Jobs never pulled off the entire presentation by himself; he always invited several speakers, including designers, partners, and other executives, to help him introduce their latest product. Do the same. Bring someone from the audience onstage and get them do something relevant and fun. This technique should always be arranged with the volunteer in advance.
Juraj Holub is the Social Media and Content Specialist at Sli.do . Sli.do is an award-winning audience engagement platform for live events that allows everyone in the audience to ask questions and vote on live polls via their mobile devices. Sli.do also allows Prezi users to seamlessly integrate live polls into their presentations.
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Five ways to create engaging virtual presentations.
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James Micklethwait is the VP of Products at Kahoot!
If you've led a virtual presentation lately, you're probably familiar with that special kind of digital discomfort. You reel off information from your slides as usernames stare silently back at you. You pause a few times to ask for questions or ideas, and the same reliable extrovert answers. You start to wonder if anyone else is listening, or if they've wandered off to fold their laundry. What's more, days later, you receive emails from employees with questions that were answered in the presentation. Suspicions confirmed.
With COVID-19 creating the world's largest work-from-home experiment , business leaders and trainers are getting a crash course in the challenges of virtual presentations: low engagement, no way to gauge your audience's understanding, and little to no feedback to help you improve.
Why does this happen?
1. Lectures are boring.
Most presenters stay in "lecture mode" as they learned from their teachers before them, reciting information and hoping it sticks. Most audiences tune out after 10 minutes . However, it could be even sooner in the comfort of one's own home.
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2. The audience has switched to passive mode.
When the audience sees that the presentation will be a standard lecture, which we all recognize as a one-way conversation, the audience assumes their input will not be needed and they turn the engine off, so to speak. By the time the Q&A comes around at the end, it's difficult for people to wake back up and start actively engaging. And if anyone had a question early on, it's likely they have already forgotten.
3. Nerves make us narcissists.
It's natural to be a little nervous about public speaking, even on a videoconference. Unfortunately, these nerves often lead to us focusing more on ourselves and how we're being perceived than on the audience's experience and what they need to be able to learn successfully.
The need for engagement in the presentation process has never been greater, both for your sake and the audience's sake. So, what is the solution?
Build accessible and universal interactivity into the structure of the presentation.
Creating Social Connection — What We're All Missing
These days, most of us are craving human connection like never before. However, even before the COVID-19 lockdowns, the rise of remote work made it more challenging for many people to feel connected to their work team and organizational pipeline. Refashioning presentations into interactive experiences that actively involve all participants creates a sense of social exchange and collaboration. As audience members see their contributions influence the presentation, the experience becomes more personal and relevant to your team.
Deciding What Really Matters, and Making It Stick
When you build effective interactive elements into your presentation, it takes up space. This forces you to prioritize your key points and decide what you really want your audience to take away from the experience. As Carmine Gallo, author of Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great, wrote , "Great writers and speakers are also great editors." Once you've boiled it down to the most important information, you can use your interactive elements to reinforce your audience's learning and make sure it's retained.
Friendly Competition Is Fun!
Interactive elements can engage people in all kinds of ways, but one of the most effective is to appeal to their competitive sides. Let's be real. Most of us would pay a bit more attention if we knew there was a way to "win" the presentation. Adding competitive or game dynamics invites participants to play and have fun, which in turn builds a more positive relationship between employees, leadership and the professional development process.
Using Continuous Feedback
While presenters often ask their audiences for feedback, few people are likely to feel bold enough to come forward with honest critique, and anonymous post-presentation surveys are often passed over because people are busy. Interactivity acts as a continuous stream of feedback — data that you can read, interpret and respond to in real time. As participants answer quiz questions, for example, you can gauge their understanding of the content, reiterate what they didn't understand, and make note to revise your instruction for next time.
Five tips for high impact virtual presentations:
1. Grab their attention early. According to presentation coach Sam Horn, you only have 60 seconds to grab your audience's attention. Start the presentation with an interactive activity (such as a poll or word cloud) so that all participants know right away that this is going to be an active, collaborative experience — not naptime.
2. Add a little friendly competition. For best results, announce to your audience early that there will be a competition (for example, a quiz) at the end of the presentation. Consider awarding a prize to the winner. Even token prizes combined with bragging rights can be an effective motivator.
3. Make it easy and safe for everyone to participate by using interactive elements. One reason many people stay quiet during Q&As or discussions is the fear of being wrong in front of their boss and co-workers. By using interactive activities that involve everyone and anonymizing audience members' contributions, even the most introverted team members can feel safe to participate without worrying about being judged.
4. Prioritize key points and reinforce them. Reassess what information your audience actually needs, and focus on those areas. Intersperse interactivity throughout the presentation to reinforce learning before continuing. Aim to balance the time you spend delivering content with time for interactivity.
5. Listen to feedback. Use audience participation as data to read how well they understand the content, and apply that data to your teaching. If many participants answer a quiz question incorrectly, for example, take time to revisit that content. Later, you can retool your presentation to teach it more effectively.
You've spent years developing expertise and hours building a presentation. It only takes minutes — and a little strategy — to add the interactivity you need to take your presenting to the next level.
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How to create an interactive presentation and keep viewers engaged
For most people, the word “presentation” is synonymous with boredom. Pair it with “business” or “educational” and you make it even worse. Before they even sit down to watch, your audience has flashbacks to that endless chemistry PowerPoint in the 10th grade. Yikes. But here’s the thing: online presentations don’t have to be mind-numbing. Like most trends that started in 1990, they just need a makeover.
According to the experts , the best way to make your presentation more interesting, engaging, and effective is to make it interactive . It’s not even that hard to do. With the right tools, you can make your presentation interactive in just a few minutes.
What is an interactive presentation?
Unlike a static presentation, an interactive presentation includes opportunities for your audience to get involved in real-time. This can mean including video clips for discussion, live polls or quizzes, in-person activities, or incorporating stories to create a more engaging experience.
In a standard presentation, audience members watch something. In an interactive presentation, they do something. And when we learn by doing , we retain material significantly better .
There are tonnes of benefits to making your presentation interactive.
- Boost engagement: interactive elements make your presentation more engaging. When your audience knows they’re going to be a part of the experience, they’re more likely to stay present and focused throughout.
- Connect with your audience: the lecture format is one-sided. The presenter becomes the talking head, and everyone else is free to doze off. Making your presentation interactive transforms the lecture into a conversation, allowing you to connect with the other people in the room.
- Share the workload: interactive presentations make presenting easier. When you toss questions or activities to the crowd, you share the burden of transmitting the information. More work from the audience can mean less work for you.
- Personalised delivery: because they’re informed by participants, each interactive presentation is unique. That means you can tailor your presentation to the people you’re speaking to, personalising the experience to make it that much more meaningful.
The main types of interactive presentation
Before we get into how to build the perfect interactive presentation, you've first got to decide what type of presentation you want to run.
Is it formal? Entertaining? A live webinar or a delayed video uploaded to YouTube?Are you speaking to investors for your non-profit , prospective clients, or just trying to convince your partner to let you splash out some cash on a new TV?
The type of presentation you're running influences everything from your tone to the kind of online tools you might use to build it.
Your interactive elements should be relevant to the type of presentation you’re giving. You might include a Kahoot poll if you teach third-grade history, but you’ll need something a little more professional for a sales pitch.
8 ways to make your presentation interactive with Paperform
Paperform is a form builder first and foremost, but you can also use our tools as an interactive presentation software. Just treat each page of your form as a slide to create a custom presentation your audience will love.
It’s not a replacement for Powerpoint or Prezi, but it’s a great way to bridge some gaps and add interactive elements to your presentation. One of our own, Josh, uses Paperform to help his son Jesse create presentations for school.
Most recently, Jesse and his dad made an incredible presentation on the Amazon, complete with wild jungle GIFs, interactive animal quiz questions, and plenty of surprising jungle facts. We made this quick replica to show you how to use Paperform as an interactive presentation software.
When you host your slides on Paperform, you get access to all the sweet features that make our digital suite of tools so unique, like conditional logic , advanced calculations , heaps of design options, and built-in robust data analytics.
Making an effective presentation shouldn’t be a chore. Let’s walk through eight interactive presentation ideas you can try out today, and how you can implement them with Paperform.
1. Make use of visual elements
There’s nothing worse for your presentation design than endless blocks of text. Nobody wants to be lulled to sleep with a bedtime story about this quarter's financial goals.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re going to say it, you don’t need to write it. The text should be used to remind you of your key points and topics, not to explain them in detail. That’s what you’re there to do. Try to use graphs, charts, or visualisations of data whenever possible.
Paperform it: If you’ve collected your data via a Paperform poll or survey , we’ll make the visuals for you. Just head to our built-in analytics dashboard and download custom graphs created from your form results. And if you create your interactive presentation slides with Paperform, you can also make use of our native integration with Unsplash and Giphy. Just think: all the royalty-free images and GIFs you might want, all without leaving the editor. You can even edit the images with our built-in editor.
Our integration with Adobe creative cloud allows you to import your branding and colour palette automatically, so creating personalised presentations is easy. And once you make one you like, you can share it as a template with the rest of your team so everyone can start from the same square one.
If you’re not using Paperform to host your presentation, you can always find your visuals separately and incorporate them into your slides on Prezi or Powerpoint. Wherever you host your slideshow, aim to have at least one visual for every two slides.
2. Start with icebreakers to set the tone
Icebreakers aren’t just for summer camp and blind dates. You can use them to build rapport, set the tone for what's to follow, and show that you have created a safe space that encourages audience participation. They can even be—dare we say?—fun.
When picking your icebreakers, try to be creative and topical. It’s a great opportunity to introduce audience interaction and gain some information that might be relevant to your presentation.
Let’s say you’re giving a presentation to your colleagues about the success of a recent advertising campaign. You could ask everyone what their favourite commercial is and why. Down the line, you can return to these answers for a brainstorming session about your next ad campaign.
If you're working with a small group (say 5-10 people) you can chat with your audience directly. If you’re working with a larger audience, you can ask folks to chat in pairs or send small groups off in virtual breakout rooms.
Paperform it: With Paperform, you can send out your icebreaker as a quick, interactive poll. Include it within the presentation itself, or make a separate one and add the link to your slideshow software of choice.
However you choose to share it, your respondents can answer your Paperform in a few clicks, and you can view the results in real-time. It’s a constructive way to connect efficiently with your audience when presenting remotely.
3. Find your narrative
A story can be a great hook. Draw people in with an engaging personal anecdote, and return to it throughout the presentation. It’ll keep them engaged from the beginning, and recenter them along the way if they drift off.
Take our ad campaign presentation. You might start off with a short story about how much you loved Frosted Flakes commercials as a kid, and how you went as Tony the Tiger for Halloween one year. You can return to elements of this story throughout (maybe even a photo of the infamous costume).
Why use stories in a business presentation? For the same reason we tell fables to children. Stories to help us learn. When there’s a narrative behind your presentation, your audience will be inherently more connected to it, and more likely to remember what you say.
Paperform it: Incorporating a story can be done in just about any presentation software. But if you want to get really creative with it, you could use Paperform to build your narrative into an escape room .
Just pick your story, create a few puzzles that relate to it, and use our advanced conditional logic to create a lock and key or branching-style escape room. You can present the escape room alongside your presentation, or hide the clues within the presentation itself to keep your participants hanging on every slide.
4. Let your audience decide the presentation order
Most presenters use a slide deck to support their presentations. Whether you use Powerpoint, Prezi, Google Slides, or heaps of cardstock like Andrew Lincoln in Love Actually , slide decks are a great way to keep yourself on track. There are three main ways to progress through a slide deck.
- Standard navigation: this is the presentation you’re probably familiar with. A presenter clicks through their slides in real time, but the order is predetermined.
- A video presentation: a linear presentation where slides automatically play one after the other. This is great for presentations that will be inserted into a website or landing page , and not necessarily accompanied by a live person.
- Flexible navigation: this kind of presentation is influenced by the audience and the presenter. The presenter clicks through slides but can skip around freely and use interactive elements like buttons, clickable images, and direct download links .
Paperform it: Paperform can help with all three. For standard navigation, simply add each “slide” as a new page in your Paperform, and progress through the pages as needed. Your respondents can do this, too.
Just send the link and allow latecomers or no-shows to progress through the presentation on their own time.
You can do the same thing with video presentations. Just add your recordings on individual pages, and include a short quiz after each video. With a little conditional logic, you can block viewers from progressing until they answer the comprehension questions correctly.
And then there’s the funky one: flexible navigation. It’s a great way to keep viewers engaged and on their toes. By using conditional logic, you can allow your audience members to alter the course of the presentation in real-time based on their feedback.
Take the ad campaign presentation, for example. You could ask folks what they would rather go over first: Instagram or YouTube stats. If they go with Instagram, you would click that option and your presentation would navigate you to the appropriate page.
Your audience doesn't need to (and probably shouldn't) decide the order of your entire presentation. But adding just one or two opportunities for viewer choice can make a huge difference in engagement levels.
5. Add polls and quizzes for gathering feedback
Polling audience members shows them that their opinion matters. It's also a fantastic way to get a sense of how the presentation is going, and whether attendees are understanding the topic.
Consider adding a true or false question with a surprising answer, or a quick pop quiz at the end of each section. If you’re presenting in person, you can answer the questions yourself based on feedback from the audience, like voting by applause or raised hands.
If your presentation is virtual, you can have respondents answer the poll on their own devices, either in the presentation itself or via a separate link.
Paperform it: Paperform makes creating polls and quizzes easy. We have over 25 field types to choose from, so you can gather the right type of data every time. You can send out a lightning-fast yes or no poll, or ask your officemates to rank all the Harry Potter movies. We’ve got ranking and rating fields for that express purpose.
All Paperforms are mobile-optimised, so you can be sure your presentation polls and quizzes will look great on any device. And if you’re making a longer quiz but don’t want to overwhelm respondents , you can toggle on guided mode to display one question at a time.
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6. share a hashtag to promote social interaction.
We live in the era of the second-screen experience. The chances are that while you're speaking, folks are simultaneously tweeting, emailing, or operating their entire small business on their phones.
Sure, that means your audience might be distracted. But fighting the current by asking them to turn their phones off is a losing battle. If you can’t beat them, join them.
Try making a branded hashtag to encourage participants to engage with your presentation on social media. It's a combination of word-of-mouth marketing, event promotion and social interaction all rolled into one.
When done well, social hashtags can:
- Encourage people to promote your event on social media
- Give attendees a way to share further discussions online
- Allow you to look at tagged responses to analyse customer opinions
- Draw attention to your presentation
- Keep attendees engaged with the material
Paperform it: Paperform integrates with all your favourite social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. With this connection in place, you can automatically post a tweet when someone submits your form.
You could use this integration to give folks a shout-out when they complete your digital presentation at home. Just include a short Paperform at the end of your presentation, ask for their handle and permission to shout them out online, and have a congratulatory post shared on your platform automatically.
It’s a great way to celebrate your audience members and boost awareness about your online presentation or webinar at the same time.
7. Include multiple Q&A opportunities
Sometimes, the best ideas are the simplest ones. If you want to know how your audience is going, just ask them. Q&A sessions give you the chance to do just that.
The trouble with traditional Q&A sessions is that they come too late into the presentation, and are too short to be meaningful. How often have you sat through an hour-long presentation, only to be asked if you have any questions at the very end?
One-time, end-of-presentation Q&As are not ideal. It’s easy for participants to forget their questions, and it puts pressure on them to make their time count.
There’s a better way: incorporate several, shorter Q&A sessions throughout your presentation. At the end of each section, take some time to answer audience questions and listen to audience input.
When your participants know they’ll be able to ask questions regularly, they’re more likely to stay present with each section. It also takes some of the pressure off and gives more shy participants several chances to consider raising a hand.
Paperform it: If you host your presentation on Paperform, you can create a customised Q&A slide that you can use at the end of each section of your presentation.
Worried about time? Embed the video of a favourite song, and allow participants to ask questions while it plays. You get yourself a built-in timer, and you break up your presentation with some music clips. Win-win.
8. Improve based on participant feedback
You might have your own markers of a successful presentation—whether people laughed, followed you on Twitter, or sent you an email saying how much they loved it. That's all well and good, but it doesn’t give you a lot of tangible data . The best way to measure the success of your presentation is with a post-event survey .
Leave your audience with one final moment of interaction by sending out a feedback form after your presentation. They get to share their thoughts, and you gain actionable insights on how you can improve for your next presentation.
Paperform it: Paperform has over 45 feedback form templates for you to choose from, each made by one of our in-house experts. Of course, you can make your own from scratch, or pick one of our other 650+ ready-made templates just because you like the style.
Whether you’re looking for a quick CSAT rating or lengthy open-text responses, Paperform can help you do it. Our no-code platform is designed to be easy to use, without skimping on all the advanced features you want.
Level up your presentation today
By connecting with your audience through interactive experiences, original content, and thoughtful slide design, you can put an end to boring presentations. Whether you’re working on your next pitch for the sales team or creating an interactive webinar for your website, Paperform can help you do it.
Our software is designed to be versatile, intuitive, and genuinely helpful. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to automate more of the mundane through our 3,000 direct and Zapier integrations, as well as our built-in shortcuts like automatic emails.
Want to give it a go for yourself? Try Paperform today with our 14-day free trial , and discover what you can create.
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How To Make Presentations Interactive: Our Top 10 Tips
Table of contents.
Feeling like your presentations have reached a plateau? Are you looking to incorporate something which brings a spark back into your presentation and ignites the excitement in your audience?
If so, you probably need to make your presentations more interactive. In a recent study on evaluating the effect of interactive digital presentations on students’ performance during technology class , interactive presentations not only made learning more enjoyable but it actually helped students.
With interactive presentations having proven positive results, why wouldn’t you make your next presentation interactive?
Adding interactivity in your slide design will create a more engaging experience for the audience allowing you to share important points easier. Interactivity will help make a longer presentation more enjoyable and will create social interaction amongst a larger audience.
In today’s article, we will share with you different ideas on how to make a presentation interactive that will take into account audience input and get your audience involved.
What is an interactive presentation?
An interactive presentation is the accumulation and usage of various engagement methods combined into a format used to share with an audience in an effort to persuade, act or make the audience feel a certain way.
An interactive presentation takes the idea of a presentation one step further by incorporating elements to get them engaged both mentally and physically. Understanding the basics of presentation psychology , the more senses of your audience that you can target, the more memorable your presentation will be.
This is exactly what an interactive presentation manages to do. By having your presentation be interactive, you are able to target more senses of your audience and as a result make your presentation and the contents of your presentation more memorable.
What makes a presentation interactive?
Now that we know what an interactive presentation is, we need to know what makes a presentation interactive.
To make your presentation interactive, you need to foster an interactive environment. This means an environment in which your audience is engaged. This can be achieved through interactive elements such as videos, games or questions. Essentially anything you add to your presentation which engages the audience more than just having them sit and listen will transform your presentation into an interactive one.
Why your presentation should be interactive
Interactive presentations connect with your audience members more:
Whether it’s a fun icebreaker game or a personal anecdote, interactive presentations make it easier for your audience to connect with you.
If you are trying to influence or persuade your audience, you need to find a way to connect with them. Without the personal connection and your presentation won’t serve your end goal.
Interactive presentations help your audience members remember more:
Similar to visual aids or presentation aids , adding different elements to your presentation encourages people to constantly be engaged with your presentation. The more your audience is actively engaged with your presentation, the more likely they will remember the main points of your presentation. The following tips specifically refers to traditional, in-person presentations, however it is still possible to engage with your audience in a virtual event engagement as well if you are looking for some advice.
10 Ways To Make Your Presentation Interactive
Now that we understand the basics of why your presentation slides should be interactive presentation slides, we’ll go over 10 key points we implement in our own presentation designs and share with you interactive presentation ideas.
1 – Add A Video
One of the first ways you can make your presentation interactive is a method you are probably familiar with and have already incorporated into your own past presentations.
Adding a video is an easy yet impactful way to make your presentation interactive. Videos are interactive and impactful because they take the audience’s attention from the current present somewhere else. It is like a time-traveling machine. Also, it doesn’t take much presentation design skill to insert video elements throughout your presentation.
Videos are also great to use because there is often a lot more time and production value that goes into creating them. You can feature guests who are not currently there in-person and you can even have them address the audience. Think of Cameo for example where celebrities can record short video clips of themselves reading a message of your choosing. If you had a Cameo created for your audience, you can have it embedded in the presentation.
2 – Incorporate A Quiz
If the desired end result of your presentation is to have your audience remember as much of what you presented as possible, then one of the best ways to do so is by incorporating a quiz. We as a society and people tend to best remember things when we know we are required to. We are required to remember things when we know we will be asked to recall them.
So, at the beginning of your presentation you should inform your audience there will be a quiz at the end. Alternatively, you can sprinkle small quizzes throughout your presentation. This will encourage your audience to mentally take notes in order to be able to recall them later on.
But, be careful in using this tactic.
It works great if you have a cooperative audience but it will backfire if you don’t.
Imagine you told your audience to take a quiz and they all answered incorrectly, even when you warned them ahead of time that there would be a quiz. If even then your audience fails to recall key information, it will reflect badly on you because you either did not have an engaging enough presentation or you delivered the information poorly.
3 – Use A Poll
Similar to a quiz, live polls allow you to get your audience’s feedback in real-time.
Depending on the polling software you use, you can create instant data visualization elements like creating charts of how your audience has responded. This works great if you’re asking a question and want to see the audience’s answer.
If you are starting out fresh and don’t have the means to incorporate polling software in your presentation then don’t worry – the old-fashioned method of simply asking your audience to raise their hands is sufficient. Although it is limited to binary questions which can be answered with a yes or a no, it is still effective as an interactive element.
4 – Turn To Social Media & Use A Hashtag
Your presentation won’t always be limited to the live audience you have physically in front of you. At times, you might have a virtual presentation where your audience is tuning in from across the world. In instances like this, turning to social media is a great tool to keep your presentation interactive.
Turning to social media to engage your audience is great as it incorporates several of the tactics on this list into one. Social media can be used like a real-time forum or discussion group where your audience can be active participants in the discussion by asking questions, discussing amongst one another or even contributing to the ideas you are presenting.
If executed properly, you may even use social media and a branded hashtag as a public relations tactic. This will allow you to reach new audiences which is critical if you’re trying to sell things or establish yourself as a thought-leader in a specific industry.
5 – Use Your Entire Venue Space
Body language is a critical presentation skill you need to master in order to create great presentations. One way to almost guarantee you will have a boring presentation and one the audience will surely forget is by staying in one spot the entire presentation.
Instead, you want to maximize the space you are given and walk around.
Walking around will allow you to get up close and personal with your audience entering their space. If you keep the room divided between “the stage” and “the audience”, then you will have a disconnect. Once you enter the audience’s space, you are creating a new area of interaction.
6 – Use Props
Think back to when you were a kid and you were sitting at school assemblies or listening to presentations. I don’t know about you, but personally, the ones that come to mind easily are the ones that had props!
What might be seen as a gimmick, props are great tools to use especially when you are making a presentation interactive.
Props are tools that you as the presenter can use which can tie the audience in. Think of props as a link. If your presentation is using props that your audience can also use, it breaks down the third-wall of presenting by connecting your audience to you. There doesn’t feel like there are these two, completely separate sections between the audience and the presenter. Everything feels unified.
7 – Do A Demonstration
Depending on the presentation you are engaging in, for example a sales presentation, a demonstration is a great way to get the audience involved.
A demonstration allows you to highlight the real-world benefits of a product or a service. Rather than simply explaining what you or your product can do, show it – especially if it gives you an opportunity to engage your audience.
People don’t want to know they are being sold on something. Oftentimes, they want to be entertained. Try and make your demonstration as entertaining as possible while highlighting the benefits of your product or service.
8 – Let Your Presentation Be Directed By The Audience
A unique way your presentation can be interactive is by having your audience decide how the whole presentation will progress. This is a fun way to get the audience engaged because even you as the presenter will be kept on your toes not knowing 100% how the presentation will unfold.
It will encourage people to get emotionally invested in the presentation and give them a sense of risk or reward. It will also give the audience a sense of autonomy. Unlike other presenters who have a pre-cut presentation like a Ted Talk, having the progression of your slide deck be decided in real-time by the audience in an undeniable strategy on how to make your presentation more interactive.
9 – Add Effects Like Music & Transitions
Presentation effects are a great way to keep your audience’s senses engaged. From visual effects to sound effects, all these small and unique elements can help keep your audience engaged.
You can use music clips, audio files, user-generated content and more to have your audience engaged. These elements work extremely well during live events as it turns the presentation into more of a spectacle rather than a “boring” presentation.
10 – Incorporate Your Audience In Your Presentation
What might seem like the most obvious option to make a presentation interactive is one which is not executed often enough. To make your presentation more interactive, you need to incorporate your audience.
Whether you use audience questions, sharing video clips like user-generated content or even having a guest speaker, incorporating your audience is the literal definition of having an interactive presentation.
Our Final Thoughts On How To Make Presentations Interactive
If you are looking for a way to grab your audience’s attention in a digital age where our attention spans are decreasing at alarming rates, making an interactive presentation is your best option.
What might seem daunting can actually be done quite easily if you are open to engaging help of expert presentation designers and consultants . Make a presentation interactive with the help of Presentation Geeks. From adding background music, videos or even self-guided presentations, the experts at Presentation Geeks can do it all.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you’re looking for more great resources on crafting presentations or looking for presentation design support, contact our team at Presentation Geeks to learn more.
Author: Content Team
10 Interactive Presentation Techniques for Engagement in 2023
Ellie Tran • 16 Jan 2023 • 9 min read
All you need is the right tool and the right tact. Check out the ten best interactive presentation techniques below!
These days, you might find your presentation audiences lost somewhere in your words, staring dead-eyed at you in the room or through Zoom. It’s time for a change.
You might have heard that the secret to a good presentation comes from creating great interactive experiences with your audience, but the big question is how ?
- Why interactive presentation techniques?
- #1: Icebreakers to warm up the room
- #2: Tell a story
- #3: Gamify the presentation
- #5: Present with props
- #6: Ask short questions
- #7: Brainstorming session
- #8: Host speed networking
- #9: Use a social media hashtag
- #10: Pre and post-event surveys
- 3 general tips for presenters
Practice more for Better Presentation
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Why Try Interactive Presentation Techniques?
Ever stood in front of a crowd and spent every bit of your nerve presenting something, but all you could see was the audience yawning or looking at their phones?
You’re not alone here…
- One in five people constantly looked at their phones or laptop screens during a presentation. ( Decktopus )
Audiences get bored and lost quickly during one-way presentations, so making it more interactive and engaging is best. Let us walk you through some stats:
- 64% of participants found two-way presentations more appealing than linear ones. ( Duarte )
- 70% of marketers believed that interacting with the audience was essential to making presentations more effective. ( Duarte )
10 Ways to Create a Fun Interactive Presentation
Interactivity is the key to your audience’s heart. Here are 10 interactive presentation methods you can use to get it…
1. Icebreakers to warm up the room
It can be daunting and make you more anxious if you jump into your presentation without a short introduction or warm-up. Things are easier when you break the ice and allow the audience to know more about you and others right from the start.
If you’re hosting a small workshop, meeting or lesson, go around and ask your participants some simple, light-hearted questions to make them feel more comfortable.
That could be about their names, where they come from, what they expect from this event, etc. Or you can try some questions in this list:
- Would you rather be able to teleport or fly?
- What was your dream job when you were five?
- Coffee or tea?
- What’s your favourite holiday?
- 3 things on your bucket list?
🧊 Find more icebreaking questions here !
When there are more people, get them all to join the icebreaker to build a sense of connection through an interactive platform like AhaSlides.
Save time with ready-made icebreakers
Gather live responses from your audience for free. Check the icebreaker activities in the AhaSlides templates library !
Word Cloud Icebreakers
Monthly Team Meeting
Icebreakers for Class
2. Tell a story
People love hearing a good story, and they tend to immerse themselves more when it’s relatable. Great stories can help boost their focus and understanding of the points you’re trying to get across.
Finding compelling stories that engage the audience and relate to the content can be challenging. As many people have different backgrounds, it’s not easy to find common ground and come up with something mesmerising to tell.
To find things in common between you, your content and your audience and craft a story from that, try asking these questions:
- What are they like?
- Why are they here?
- How can you solve their problems?
💡 Check out this audience needs a map for more questions.
3. Gamify the presentation
Nothing rocks the room (or Zoom) and keeps the audience bouncing better than some games. Fun games, especially those that get participants moving or laughing, can do wonders for your presentation.
With the help of many online tools to host live quizzes, games or spin a wheel, it’s a piece of cake to make interactive games directly within a presentation.
Need some inspiration? Try out these interactive games in your next face-to-face or virtual event:
🎉 Pop quiz – Liven up your presentation with fun polling or multiple-choice questions. Let the whole crowd join and answer by using an online quiz platform; there are many for you to choose from (AhaSlides, Quizziz, Kahoot, etc.).
🎉 Charades – Get participants up and use their body language to describe a provided word or phrase. You can divide the audience into teams to make it more competitive and heat up the atmosphere.
🎉 Would you rather? – Many participants prefer sitting on their chairs while enjoying games, so juice up your presentation with an easy-peasy one like Would you rather? . Give them two options, like would you rather live in a forest or a cave? , then ask them to vote for their favourite option and explain why they did.
💡 We’ve got heaps more games for an interactive presentation , along with games for virtual team meetings , games for adults and games for students !
Most of the time, presenters host an ‘ask me anything’ session at the end of their presentations to collect questions and then address them. Q&A time ensures everyone is on the same page after getting a bucketload of information to digest, while also giving you a chance to talk and interact directly with your audience.
To not miss a beat, we recommend using an online Q&A tool to collect and display questions so you can answer one-by-one. This kind of tool helps you manage all questions flocking in and allows people to ask anonymously (which is a relief for many people, I’m sure).
5. Present with props
This old trick brings more power to your presentation than you might think. Props can grab the audience’s attention faster than when you only speak or show 2D images and they’re great visual aids to help people understand what you’re talking about. That’s a presenter’s dream, right?
Bring some props that link to your message and help you communicate visually with the audience. Don’t pick something random that’s irrelevant to your topic, no matter how ‘cool’ it is.
Here’s an example of how to use props the right way…
6. Ask short questions
Asking questions is the fastest way to check in on your audience and make sure they’re paying attention. Still, asking in the wrong way can result in an awkward silence instead of a sea of hands in the air.
Live polling and word clouds are safer choices in this case: they let people answer anonymously using just their phones, which is pretty much a guarantee that you’ll get more answers from your audience.
Prepare some intriguing questions that can spark creativity or debate then choose to show everyone’s answers however you want – in a live poll, word cloud or open-ended format.
7. Brainstorming session
You’ve done enough work for this presentation, so why not turn the table a little bit and see your participants put in some effort?
A brainstorming session digs deeper into the topic and reveals the audience’s different perspectives. You can gain more insights into how they perceive your content and even be surprised by their brilliant ideas.
If you want everyone to discuss directly, instruct them to brainstorm in groups and share their combined ideas with everyone.
Try a live brainstorming tool to let everyone have their say and vote on their favourites amongst the crowd 👇
8. Host speed networking
One of the main drivers that bring your participants to come and hear you present is networking. Joining social events like yours means that they have more chances to meet new people, socialise, and maybe add new meaningful connections on LinkedIn.
Host a short networking session, ideally during a break or after you finish your presentation. All participants can freely mingle, talk to each other and dig deeper into any topic they’re keen on. This is one of the best interactive presentation ideas for large groups of participants.
If you do it online or hybrid, breakout rooms in Zoom and other meeting apps make it very easy. You can automatically divide your audience into different groups, or you can add a topic to each room’s name and let them join based on their preferences. Having a moderator in each group is also a good idea to help people feel comfortable at first.
There are also some tips for hosting a networking session in real life :
- Prepare a tea break – Food heals the soul. Participants can talk while enjoying the food and hold something when not knowing what to do with their hands.
- Use colour-labelled cards – Let each person choose a card with a colour representing a popular hobby and tell them to wear it during the networking session. People sharing things in common can find and make friends with others. Note that you need to decide the colours and hobbies before the event.
- Give a suggestion – Many people want to but shy away from talking to a stranger at an event. Write suggestions on pieces of paper, such as ‘say a compliment to a person in pink’, ask the participants to choose randomly and encourage them to do so.
9. Use a social media hashtag
Make your event go viral and keep people interacting virtually before, during or after the event. When you have a hashtag to accompany your event, all participants can join related conversations and not miss any info.
This is a great way to promote your event. Not only can your audience engage with your message, but so can other people on the net by interacting with posts using hashtags. The more, the merrier, so get the hashtag trending and let more people know about the fascinating things you’re up to.
Here’s how to do it:
- Choose a (fabulous) hashtag containing your event’s name.
- Use that hashtag in each post to let people know you have one.
- Encourage audience members to use that hashtag when sharing photos, opinions, feedback, etc., on their social accounts.
10. Pre and post-event surveys
Surveys are smart strategies to connect with the audience when you’re not with them. These surveys help you understand them better and measure your success.
In this tech era, sending surveys via emails and social media is convenient. There are some common questions you can put in the surveys and customise them based on the purpose of your event.
- Common questions – Ask about their names, age, hobbies, preferences, areas of interest and more .
- Tech-specific questions – It’s helpful to know about their internet connection and tech devices to set up activities in an online event. Find out more here .
- Feedback questions – Collecting audience feedback is vital. Ask about their opinions on the presentation, what they liked and didn’t, what they want to know more about and other relevant questions .
3 General Tips for Presenters
Presenting is so much more than what you say or write on the slides. Well-prepared content is great, but not really enough. Practice these amazing hidden languages to show your charisma and nail the presentation.
1. Eye contact
A quick gaze in the eyes helps you engage with the audience and further impress them. It’s key for grabbing their attention; you’re talking to them after all, not to your presenting screen. Remember to cover every part of the room and not stare at only one or two; that’s pretty weird and awkward…, right?
2. Body language
This is another non-verbal communication you can make to build a deeper connection with your audience. A good, open posture with appropriate hand gestures can give you a confident and persuasive vibe. The more they trust you, the more they focus on your presentation.
3. Tone of voice
Your tone of voice matters. Your voice, manner, and language affect the audience’s mood and how people perceive what you’re saying. For example, you shouldn’t make it too casual and playful during a conference or don’t speak too seriously and bombard the participants with technical terms when presenting in a workshop.
Sometimes, in more informal speeches, add a bit of humour if you can ; it’s relaxing to you and your listeners (don’t try too hard, though 😅).
A lifelong learner, a traveller and content creator eager to explore the best of both worlds: the real and virtual one full of interactive activities with AhaSlides.
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How to make virtual meetings more interactive and engaging
Last updated on: mai 9, 2022
We have good news and bad news for managers.
The bad news is that, according to research , an unbelievable number of people ( 91% ) admit that they daydream during virtual meetings.
That’s not all — brace yourself: 39% of those surveyed have dozed off during virtual meetings.
It’s time for good news — this doesn’t have to be the case .
We have a solution to this problem, and we bring it to you in the form of tips.
In this blog post, first, we’ll consider why your coworkers are not engaged during your virtual meetings.
Then, we’ll give you some tips on how to make virtual meetings more interactive and engaging . We’ll even divide our tips into categories:
- What to do before a virtual meeting,
- What to do during a virtual meeting, and
- What to do after a virtual meeting.
So, sit back, relax, and master the art of hosting engaging virtual meetings.
Table des matières
Why people are not engaged during your virtual meetings
So, you think your virtual meetings are not as engaging as they should be to make your coworkers want to interact with you and other colleagues?
We can help.
Let’s start from the beginning.
First, we’ll establish why your meetings are not engaging and tackle the causes of this problem head-on.
Here we go!
You don’t have a clear agenda for the meeting
You think you can wing it in your meetings?
Meeting agendas are a thing of the past?
I’d hate to disappoint you, but, if you want your meetings to be more interactive and engaging, you can’t improvise.
Unfortunately, fun backgrounds and goofy memes are not enough — you need a plan.
If you don’t have an agenda, you’re risking being the only one talking, without rhyme or reason.
This is a sure-fire way to bore your coworkers and send them to the Land of Nod.
You schedule unnecessary meetings
Yes, “Zoom fatigue” is real and, if you can, you should avoid excessive video meetings.
Stanford researchers, led by communication Professor Jeremy Bailenson, stress that “just because you can use video doesn’t mean you have to”.
So, how do you gauge if a meeting is necessary or not?
Before you schedule another meeting, simply ask yourself the following questions:
- Can a simple announcement replace this meeting?
- Can we discuss these matters asynchronously ?
- Is a mere phone call enough?
If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes” , the meeting is unnecessary.
Scheduling too many meetings almost inevitably leads to your coworkers getting bored or annoyed with the sheer number of meetings.
If you overwhelm your colleagues this way, they probably won’t actively listen to you during the meetings. This is where that daydreaming we mentioned earlier comes in.
You invite people who don’t need to be there
OK, so you have a clear agenda and don’t schedule back-to-back meetings, but your colleagues are still bored at your meetings.
What are you doing wrong?
Maybe the problem is you invited people who don’t necessarily need to attend the meeting in question.
If they are not essential for the discussion, you can just let them know there will be a meeting and let them choose whether they want to participate.
You don’t think the meeting through visually
If you checked all the above-mentioned points and you still catch a glimpse of an occasional yawn from your colleagues, maybe the problem is that your meetings aren’t particularly visually engaging.
Virtual meetings are more demanding than in-person ones, in terms of preparation.
Let’s take presentations as an example.
If you hold a presentation in an in-office meeting, you don’t have to go above and beyond to make your slides rich in details and understandable.
On the other hand, holding a virtual presentation requires a bit more from you in advance.
So, you should do your part and go the extra mile if needed to make your presentation more engaging to the attendees.
If you don’t make an effort to make your presentation visually appealing, your colleagues’ eyes may start to wander after a few minutes.
Now that we’ve seen why your colleagues might find your virtual meetings boring, it’s time to show you the ways to make them more interactive and engaging.
Tips for making virtual meetings more interactive and engaging
Gone are the days of monotonous meetings in which a boss delivers a speech, and all the attendees make notes in silence. At the end of the meeting, a few minutes would be left for asking questions and that would be it.
Whether virtual or in-office, meetings are now more interactive and engaging.
Or at least they should be.
But, what if they’re not?
As usual, we have got your back.
We’ve prepared several tips for you, divided into three categories:
- What to do after a virtual meeting.
So, let’s make our way through to an amazing virtual meeting.
1. Tips for what to do before a virtual meeting
Thorough preparations might be the most important step toward a more engaging virtual meeting.
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you get your colleagues to participate in virtual meetings.
Build a great online meeting tool stack
If you want to build a shelf, you need two-by-fours, nails, and a hammer. Simply putting pieces of wood onto one another is not enough — you need tools.
Similarly, to organize a virtual meeting, you also need tools, albeit of a different kind — communication tools .
That is why the first step toward planning an online meeting is choosing communication tools that suit your team’s needs.
For instance, Pumble offers you voice and video conferencing options and allows you to share your screen.
Prepare a shared space in virtual surroundings
In-office meetings involve sharing a space with the meeting attendees.
On the other hand, holding virtual meetings doesn’t mean you don’t share a space with your coworkers. The difference is that this shared space is virtual.
Furthermore, shared space in virtual surroundings implies that you might share your screen , information , files, and links with your coworkers.
The best thing you can do before a meeting is to prepare all the files and documents you need to share, so you don’t waste any time searching for them when the meeting starts.
💡 Pumble Pro Tip
If you struggle with sharing information with your remote team, we have an article that will solve your problems. Check out our blog post on sharing information effectively in a remote setting:
- How to share information effectively in a remote setting
Plan the agenda with engagement in mind and share it with participants
If you don’t want to lose your focus (and your colleagues’ attention) in aimless chatter, make sure you decide beforehand on the virtual meeting objectives.
Plan the agenda and structure the topics within the time you set aside for the meeting.
Furthermore, to avoid passive participation of your colleagues, share the agenda ahead of the meeting
This way, your coworkers will have time to prepare for the meeting and give you their full attention when the time comes.
One of the experts we contacted while doing the research for this blog post was James Evans , Director and Lead Public Speaking Coach at Vensa Coaching.
He also recognized the problem of passive attendance:
“Unfortunately, people sometimes see attendance in a virtual meeting as something quite passive. They may treat the meeting like having the TV/radio on in the background whilst they deal with their emails. We want to make sure they’re giving the meeting their full attention and constantly participating.”
If you plan your virtual meeting agenda with engagement in mind, you’ll improve the chances your colleagues will interact with you and actively listen to you.
Invite the right people
Always make sure you have an item on your agenda for every attendee. That is the best way to check if everyone you invited needs to be in the meeting.
If you’re not sure, check with your coworkers if they’re interested in participating, like in the example from Pumble below.
In the example above, Derek Smith is preparing for the webinar and checking with Georgina Marley if she’s interested in joining the preparatory virtual meeting for the upcoming webinar.
Since she won’t be attending the webinar, she suggests that he invites their colleagues who would love to attend, Joshua and Oliver.
This way, Derek makes sure that only the right people join in — he won’t include Georgina in the preparatory meeting for the webinar, and she won’t be bored or disengaged.
Define the rules (give each participant a time slot)
After you invite the right people to your virtual meeting, the next thing you need to do is define the rules of the meeting.
Define how much time each participant is allowed to take up and share the information with your team.
This way, you’re preventing anyone from dominating the meeting.
Aside from that, you’re giving each participant an equal opportunity to voice their opinions, thereby minimizing the possibility they will get bored.
Have a plan B
No matter how prepared you are, there’s always the possibility that something will go wrong.
Maybe your key participant is ill and cannot attend the meeting.
Or, a report you’ve been waiting for hasn’t arrived before the meeting started.
Whatever happens, make sure you’re prepared for the worst-case scenario.
The solution is simple — have a plan B.
For example, if your keynote speaker is ill, ask them politely to send you their presentation, so you can deliver their presentation to other attendees.
That way, you’ll always land on your feet, whatever unforeseen circumstances come up your way.
Now, we can safely say that you’re well-prepared for your virtual meeting. You did your best to ensure no one is disengaged and bored.
It’s time to make your virtual meeting memorable.
It’s an easy feat with the tips we bring to you in the following paragraphs.
2. Tips for what to do during a virtual meeting
So, you did your homework and prepared for the virtual meeting. You’re sure nothing can go wrong.
Are you really?
Let’s make double sure your coworkers won’t be yawning during your virtual meeting.
Here are some tips for you!
Dedicate time to checking in
The meeting has started.
No matter how long you and your colleagues have known one another, there’s always that awkwardness at the beginning of a virtual meeting.
So, what can you do to make the tension go away?
Start by checking in with your coworkers.
Although you’re not physically in the same space, make them feel present.
Dedicate some time to chewing the fat. Ask your colleagues about their day up to that point and connect with them.
Small talk is sometimes underrated — its impact is much greater than you think.
Namely, according to a study by Rutgers and the University of Exeter Business School, chit-chat at work has an uplifting effect on employees .
Small talk is especially important in a remote setting, where casual bonding by the water cooler is not possible.
Now that you know exchanging pleasantries has its benefits at the workplace, maybe you need help deciding on the right amount of casual communication at work. If that’s the case, read our article on balancing work communication and chit-chat:
- How to balance work communication and chit-chat in remote work
Use meeting icebreakers and games
If small talk doesn’t come naturally to you, we might just have a solution for your problem.
Why not take a more structured approach to chit-chat?
Yes, we’re talking about icebreakers and games.
Set aside some time at the beginning of the meeting for tuning in and having fun with some games.
Some ice-breaker questions you could ask are:
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you were an animal, what would you be?
- If you could have dinner with anyone in history, dead or alive, who would it be?
These kinds of questions help your colleagues loosen up.
They also set the tone for the meeting and make the overall experience more fun.
Instead of yawns, there’ll probably be a few laughs.
If team bonding is your thing, but you lack ideas for virtual activities, read our article on virtual team bonding activities:
- 19 Best virtual team bonding activities for remote teams
Keep to the meeting agenda
Think of the meeting as a symphony your orchestra (your colleagues) is performing.
As the conductor, you must keep everything under control, direct the musicians, and make sure they follow the right tempo.
Similarly, as a meeting leader, you need to keep to the meeting agenda. At the end of the day, that’s why you planned it — to give your meetings some structure.
We reached out to Rebecca Churchill , Small Business Legislative Advocate at National Small Business Association, who shared her opinion with us:
“Those who lead the meeting need to keep to an agenda and make sure it is bringing value and having decisions made and actionables assigned. Virtual environments require managers to do a lot more work — in terms of engagement and one-on-one connecting.”
So, take the baton in your hands, and conduct your orchestra toward the goal, by following your agenda.
Delegate tasks and responsibilities
This is a somewhat overlooked step toward a more interactive and engaging virtual meeting.
Since you’re not alone in a meeting, you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
Namely, you can delegate tasks and assign roles to your coworkers.
Ideally, every meeting should have:
- The leader — a person who develops agenda and assigns other meeting roles
- The recorder — a person responsible for taking notes
- The timekeeper — a person whose job is to manage time limits
- The participant(s) — all the other attendees whose responsibility is to understand the agenda and the purpose of the meeting, as well as to contribute to the discussion
When all the meeting attendees are somehow involved in the process, they are more motivated to make a contribution and ensure that the meeting is successful.
Be mindful of remote meeting etiquette
The eye of the camera sees everything, and microphones are getting ever more sensitive to every little noise.
That’s why it’s important to tidy up your workspace and avoid snacking or chewing gum while in the meeting.
It’s common courtesy to mute your microphone if you’re not speaking so that you don’t distract your teammates with the noises coming from your surroundings.
The fact that you’re not in the same physical space as your coworkers doesn’t mean you should forget about the meeting etiquette or body language.
That’s why Erica Dhawan, the author of Digital Body Language , gave us 5 principles of digital communication that we should be aware of:
- Brevity creates confusion — Don’t rush just for the sake of being brief.
- “Communicate your mind” mindset — People can’t read our minds, especially when we’re behind the screen. So, speak freely about what’s on your mind.
- Hold your horses — Take your time to process information, then share your thoughts.
- Assume the best intent — If in doubt whether someone is being rude, always assume they have the best intentions. Maybe they are just a bit clumsy in the digital world.
- Find your voice — Are you an extrovert or introvert? Is there a generation gap among your coworkers? Be mindful of all the differences and speak your mind according to your values and voice.
Your colleagues come from different generations, and you’re not sure how to communicate with them? Check out our article on improving communication across generations at work:
- How to improve communication across generations at work
Add gamification elements
The best way to introduce some fun into your virtual meeting is to add some gamification elements.
Surprise your coworkers and incorporate short fun activities now and then.
According to research , gamification can enhance your coworkers’ virtual meeting experience and provide you with long-term engagement from them.
We’ve contacted Megan Bendtzen , Consultant, Speaker, and Fun Specialist at TheDoctorofFun.com.
She strongly agrees with the gamification method:
“Incorporate games! Gamification increases engagement! Turn your talking points into questions, insert fun trivia or turn attendees into contestants and run the meeting game-show style.”
There’s no better way to engage your audience than to enable them to participate in a fun activity.
Feature visual and interactive elements
Do you think visual elements are overrated?
What if I told you that visuals increase engagement by as much as 94% ?
According to Techsmith’s research , more than 64% of Millennials understand information faster when it’s communicated visually.
And, if we remember that the number of Millennials now exceeds the number of Boomers in the workforce, this information becomes even more relevant.
So, when hosting a virtual meeting, always add interactive and engaging visual elements.
Don’t refrain from incorporating a video into your virtual meeting to keep your coworkers engaged.
Another useful trick is to use live polls during your virtual meetings because they’re a fun way to gauge people’s reactions and thoughts on any matter.
Increase engagement with a theme
Why not take it up a notch and come up with a theme for the virtual meeting?
You can start with something simple, such as wearing the company logo.
If you feel especially creative, you can host a virtual meeting with a fun “Sci-Fi vibe” or “Wear your favorite band T-shirt” theme.
A little goes a long way. Why not try it?
In the example above, we see an announcement that Katie Stark, a team manager, makes to her team for an upcoming virtual meeting.
Surely, they won’t hawaii any trouble with breaking the ice.
Keep it short and to the point
What’s the sweet spot when it comes to the duration of virtual meetings?
Some research suggests that 83% of office employees cannot stay focused in meetings for over 45 minutes.
So, your meetings should be short and to the point .
If you follow our advice on what to do before a virtual meeting, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping your meetings shorter than 45 minutes.
This way, the attendees can stay fully focused and engaged.
Now that we have prepared you for virtual meetings, it’s time to give you some tips on what to do after the meeting.
3. Tips for what to do after the meeting
So, you’ve finished your virtual meeting. Your coworkers were interested in what was being said, and they even participated in the discussion.
Your work here is done, right?
To keep your colleagues engaged and inspired, you need to do your part after a virtual meeting as well.
That’s why we bring you a few more tips to help you wrap up the virtual meeting experience.
Quickly send out the meeting notes
Don’t be afraid to overcommunicate to increase the effectiveness of the meeting.
As soon as your virtual meeting ends, make sure you send your coworkers the meeting notes, reminding them of the main points you discussed.
Check with your colleagues whether the plan you discussed is clear and answer any follow-up questions they might have forgotten to ask during the meeting.
You can also record and transcribe virtual meetings.
Then, you can send the recording or transcript to your colleagues who couldn’t attend the meeting, to keep everyone in the loop.
In the example above, Rose Waters, VP of Sales, reminds those who were in the meeting and informs those who weren’t of the main points discussed.
Follow up on the commitments made
After you delegate tasks to your coworkers, don’t forget to follow up — check if everyone’s doing their part.
Be persistent because no matter how talented and hard-working your coworkers are, sometimes, they don’t follow through for various reasons.
Maybe they’re overwhelmed with other tasks, so they simply forget to do what they agreed to do.
So, if you want a task to be done, make sure you regularly check in with your coworkers.
But beware — you don’t want your check-ins to turn into micromanaging .
Still, follow-ups are a necessary part of heading a project, as we can see in the example below.
In the virtual meeting, manager Katie tasked Rose with writing a report on a new client.
Now, she is checking in with Rose to see if she has any trouble with the report.
Wrapping up: Virtual meetings don’t have to be boring
Virtual meetings should not be associated with yawning and counting seconds to the end of the meeting.
The key to making virtual meetings more interactive and engaging is in your hands.
It consists of the tips we’ve given you, and they involve advice on what to do before , during, and after a virtual meeting.
If you follow these tips, we’re almost certain your coworkers will eagerly await each chance to participate in the virtual meetings you’re hosting.
Jelena Fisic is a writer and researcher, constantly reading and broadening her knowledge about communication and collaboration. As a communication aficionado and a long-time remote worker, she is eager to share her experiences and gathered knowledge, and give you some tips for improving team communication and collaboration skills while working from home.
How to start a presentation (+ useful phrases)
Presentation types and styles explained
18 Ways to make presentations more interactive and engaging
Self-advocacy at work: 7 tips to help you become a better self-advocate
How not to be nervous for a presentation
How to prepare for a presentation: Your 9-step guide to a successful presentation
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12 Ideas for More Interactive Presentations
12 Ideas for More Interactive Presentations from 24Slides
If you think about it, providing an engaging presentation is a win-win situation. Not only will your audience less likely doze off, tinker with their phones or daydream but as a presenter, you can also be relieved of anxiety facing a crowd that’s more enthusiastic and dynamic.
But this engagement has to start with you.
Before you do, critical elements include knowing your audience and topic beforehand.
Ask yourself these questions: What are the most interesting or intriguing points in my topic? Which members of the audience will most likely be disinterested and how do I get them involved? What’s your audience size? You can do this by conducting a survey or poll beforehand.
Also set expectations at the start that their participation or questions will be needed at some point during the presentation. This will most likely make them pay attention.
Key to delivering a highly interactive presentation is an element of surprise with flair of creativity . Here are 12 ways to go about this:
Adding visual and audio effects
- Add self-shot videos/ You tube videos, short podcasts or audio recording to your presentation. Use with caution though as it’s important that these won’t detract you from your message but rather, further convey your point. Also, make sure they are of superior quality.
- Use alternate tools that incorporate powerful transitions, animations and music. There are many other interactive tools you can use like Powtoon or Flash or cloud-based online presentation tools like Prezi or Haiku Deck to transform static presentation into dynamic, awesome ones that tell a story. Which brings us to the next idea…
- Share a story . Whether you’re using advanced tools or simply yourself, storytelling is something that has always resonated with every audience.
- Use pictures and professional diagrams. Images and visual data capture a thousand words. By getting to incorporate more of these in your slides as opposed to text, your message will have more impact. Click here to see some examples of presentations we’ve designed.
- Use non-offensive humor. It’s a good ice breaker and can also be used to set expectations in introducing a dull topic.
- Be generous with your gestures. Non-verbal communication is certainly more engaging . If you have remote attendees, turn on your webcam.
Involving your audience
- Prepare quizzes or contests based on your topic. An example would be to ask your audience to guess the answer or fill in the blanks in your slides. You can even take it a step further by giving away small tokens as prizes.
- Ask your audience to introduce themselves or for a show of hands by asking opening questions. If possible, get your audience moving as much as they can like standing up or clapping.
- Ask your audience to share their experience about the topic. Of course, you’d want to be tactful and not put them on the spot. So make sure it’s a topic they can easily relate to and share. Alternatively, you can encourage them to write down their questions at the start.
- Have someone from the audience read what’s on your slide before you elaborate on it.
- Divide your audience into small groups to discuss the topic among themselves. Then they can share this with the rest of the audience afterwards.
- Perform an actual demo or application and have a random audience participate in it. This will also make your presentation look more natural and less planned.
Using PowerPoint Templates to lift engagement
- Browse and download hundreds of free powerpoint templates and pick on suitable for your presentation.
- Edit the template to suit your brand preferences or styles, making sure to clearly communicate your message.
- Insert your information into the graphs, tables or diagrams. Keep it simple and don’t add too much text to the presentation.
- Save the presentation template so you can use it again in the future.
This list is by no means comprehensive. But as long as you keep in mind that the slides are there just as an aid and your audience should be the primary focus, then engaging them will a lot be easier and rewarding.
Need help in spicing up a dull presentation? Let our team help you!
Which ones have you tried or found most appealing? Let us know through your comments below.
Like what you see? See how we can make your slides more interactive for you .
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- Google Slides
How to Make Interactive (Drag and Drop) Google Slides Presentations
It's common to send a Google Slides presentation to a list of recipients. After all, it might not be possible to gather everyone in a room to review the slides. When you send your slides, engage your audience by learning how to make interactive Google Slides.
In 2021, it pays to know how to make an interactive Google slide deck. These help you connect with your audience and engage with them on a personal level.
Avoid creating flat and "read-only" slides. Learn how to make Google Slides interactive. That helps your user feel engaged and play an active role in moving the slide along.
We'll teach you ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">how to make interactive Google Slides with templates. Learn ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">how to make Google Slides interactive easily when you lean on designs from others and pair it with the techniques you're going to see.
How to Make Interactive Google Slides Presentations Quickly
As you think of how to make Google Slides interactive, it helps to first see the power of premium templates. These save you precious time and effort by automating the creative process. Instead of building slide designs from scratch, you’re simply dropping in your own content.
As you consider ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">how to create drag and drop in Google Slides , why not adopt that same approach in your design process? It pays off by giving you professional styling with minimal effort.
Elements is an unmatched value because of its powerful offer: unlimited downloads. For a flat rate, you can download as many templates and other creative assets as you want. This gives you unlimited opportunities to make a great impression.
Now, let’s learn ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">how to make interactive Google Slides using a premium template from Envato Elements. In the first step of our tutorial, we'll download a top template that makes it easy to follow the steps to create interactive slides.
Plus, Elements includes resources like fonts and stock photos. These creative designs are the perfect companions to your designs. When you imagine how to create drag and drop in Google Slides, you should think of Envato Elements first.
In this tutorial, we’ll be using a premium template from Envato Elements. But Elements isn’t the only place to turn when you wonder how to make interactive Google Slides.
Envato also offers the GraphicRiver marketplace. On GraphicRiver, you can buy amazing ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">interactive Google slide deck templates individually. This is a great way to benefit from professional designs while keeping costs lower.
No matter which marketplace you choose, a template is the quickest way to see how to make an interactive Google Slide. Start with a design, add the tweaks we show below, and you're on your way!
How to Make Interactive Google Slides
Follow the steps below to make interactive slides.
1. Why Make Interactive Google Slides?
Before you learn how to make Google Slides interactive presentations, you should know why. The answer is simple: engagement. No audience wants to be talked at . They want to be talked with . In other words, interaction is the key to success when you present.
Interactive Google Slides also help with retention. Let’s face it: if you read a fact or statement, you’re likely to forget it. But if you interact and share in the conversation, you’re much more likely to carry the information with you.
Again, the best approach is to choose a ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">premium Envato Elements template and then edit it to fit your needs. In this tutorial, we’ll use the amazing ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Wohnhaus - Clean Business Presentation from Envato Elements.
Wohnhaus includes over 30 unique slides with an array of themes. It’s a top choice for interactive Google Slides presentations, thanks to modern style. Every design element is fully customizable.
2. How to Create Drag and Drop in Google Slides
One of the most basic, yet best interactive Google Slides features is drag-and-drop. These are interactive activities where audiences can move content around your slide! To build a drag-and-drop interactive activity, let’s navigate to slide 4 in the deck.
As you can see, this has a series of icons with labels immediately below them. This is a good candidate for a drag-and-drop game because you can use it as a matching activity. In other words, users can drag the labels to match them with images!
First, you’ll want to add custom text. The text boxes you’re seeing are placeholders. Click into any of them and select the text inside. Then, type in your own words. You can repeat these steps throughout the slide deck, adding your own text.
Here, it might be a good option to give the title a description. You could name it Drag to Match , for example. Then, click once on any of the four descriptor text boxes to select it. Hovering your cursor over an edge, click and hold to drag it to the top of the slide. Repeat the same steps for the other three text boxes.
Audiences can repeat that step, moving the text down to match the images. It’s an easy and fun interactive Google Slides activity.
3. How to Add Interactive Buttons in Google Slides
Interactive buttons help your audiences work with your slide content. They can take many forms, commonly hyperlinks to send users to other websites. Let’s look at how to make an interactive Google slide button.
Buttons often take the form of a shape. These are easy to insert in Google Slides and once you do, you can convert them into links. Begin by finding a shape on a slide. In this example, let’s use the computer icon on slide 7. To start, right-click on the shape and click Ungroup.
Then, click in the circular area to select the shape. Find the Insert menu on the Google Slides menu bar. Click on it, and you’ll see an array of options appear. The one you want is near the bottom: Link . Click once, and Google Slides opens the Hyperlink menu.
Here, you can paste in a URL and click Apply . Or you can link within your slide deck by clicking the options below.
When you’re finished, your shape will link to a website or slide. Clicking on it sends users to the linked destination. This is an excellent interactive feature that you can add to Google Slides easily.
4. How to Add Amazing Interactive Animations
Interactive animations offer two key advantages.
- They help you drive engagement by having audiences click through presentations at their own pace.
- They also help you control the pace of the narrative by displaying interactive content at your own chosen speed.
Consider a slide like 9 in the deck. Each yellow bar contains a different concept that you’ll want to address in more detail in your narrative. By default, all display simultaneously. But as a practical matter, you’ll likely want to introduce these one by one.
Begin by clicking on the first text box in the uppermost yellow bar. Then, go back to the Insert dropdown and choose Animation . You’ll see an Animation sidebar open on the right side of your Google Slides screen.
In the Object Animations section, choose an effect to add to your slide. Common options include Appear, Fade In, and more.
Choose your favorite style, and then you can specify how to trigger the animation. On Click is a great choice, which is why it’s the default option. This lets you (or another user) start the animation by clicking their mouse or a handheld remote when presenting.
To preview your animation effect, click Play at the bottom of the sidebar.
From here, repeat the animation steps for the remaining objects on your slide. This is a great way to make presentations more interactive. Audiences can move through your slides at their own speed. Try it as you think of how to make an interactive Google slide design.
As you can see, premium templates from Envato Elements are the best way to build ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">interactive Google Slides presentations in 2021.
How to Make Google Slides Interactive (With Envato Elements Templates)
Are you a professional designer who knows how to make an interactive Google Slide deck? Chances are, you’re not. And even if you are, why spend the time inventing interactive templates from scratch?
Your best bet is to turn to a pre-built premium template. These are built by creative experts with you in mind. Here are five top ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Google Slides templates for interactive presentations:
1. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Meier - Clean Business Presentation Template
As you think about how to make interactive Google Slides presentations, think of Meier. It’s a sleek modern design with ample interactive features built in.
Begin by choosing from 30 custom slides designed for you. Then, explore the editable graphics that enable quick customizations. In a few clicks, you can build your own interactive features thanks to this template design.
2. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Diagram Collection Google Slides Infographic Template
Wonder how to make an interactive Google slide graphic for your audience? A template like Diagram Collection is a great option. It’s an interactive layout packed with custom infographics. Customize each of these by adding in your own data. Then, your audience can explore over 30 slides, each in beautiful widescreen format.
3. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Bizniz - Vertical Business Presentation
Bizniz is a top choice for anyone wondering how to make Google Slides interactive. It offers a streamlined design process, along with a modern look.
Slides are built around master layouts, which help you make bulk edits fast. Free fonts and resizable graphics feature throughout. This is an excellent option with many interactive features built into the slides.
4. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Ushop Imoet Creative Google Slide
Consider this. You need to know how to make an interactive Google slide deck. You also need absolute creative flexibility. This is your template: with over 150 custom slides, you’re sure to find the perfect design. It features drag-and-drop image placeholders, portfolios, and much more. These interactive features are easy to customize and work well for any topic.
5. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Education Presentation
Wonder how to make interactive Google Slides decks with maximum impact? Try using them in an educational setting. By interacting with students and learners, you can drive engagement. The Education Presentation is your perfect companion. This one has dozens of interactive slides that you can adjust to fit your subject of choice.
More Top Templates for Google Slides
If you've never used a template, this tutorial showed you just how much work they can save. Best of all, templates don't sacrifice customizations. You saw that you can customize them when you know how to create drag and drop in Google Slides options.
Once you've learned how to make interactive Google Slides designs, you can master the art of working with templates. Check out even more articles below with tremendous templates:
Common Google Slides Questions Answered (FAQ)
As you work through learning how to make interactive Google Slides designs, you might have run into a few questions. Google Slides is a powerful app with many features, so it's okay if you still have unanswered questions at this stage of the tutorial.
We've put together a FAQ with some of the common questions that beginners face. With the help of answers to these common questions, you'll learn how to make Google Slides interactive. Here are five frequently asked questions plus resources to help you answer them:
1. Does Google Slides Support Importing PowerPoint Templates?
There's nothing worse than recreating work from scratch. That's all too common when you start with a template from another format, like PowerPoint, and need to make it work in Google Slides.
Here's the good news: Google Slides supports importing PowerPoint templates. Convert your template, then use the techniques you saw while learning how to make an interactive Google Slide:
2. Does Google Slides Support Exporting PowerPoint Files?
You just learned how to import PPTX files into Google Slides with the tip above. But what about when you need to save a finished PPTX file based on a Google Slides design?
Don't worry - Google has thought of practically everything. After you've finished interactive drag-and-drop options in Google Slides, export a PowerPoint file. Learn how in this tutorial:
3. How Do You Add Multimedia to Google Slides Presentations?
As you're learning how to make interactive Google Slides, you might want to spice up your slides. Often, that means adding multimedia like music and sound.
Google Slides supports this feature, too. Learn how to add music and sound effects with the help of this tutorial.
4. Does Google Slides Work Offline?
Here's a common misconception: as a browser-based tool, Google Slides doesn't work if you lose access to the Internet.
Google has truly thought of everything! Don't let learning how to create drag and drop in Google Slides stop when you lose connection. Learn how to use Google Slides offline with this tutorial:
5. How Can You Collaborate With Google Slides?
It takes teamwork to create the best presentations. Adding other collaborators gives you a second set of eyes to review content and makes changes. So, how do you do that in Google Slides?
It's easy to invite others to edit a Google Slides presentation. Use what you learned about how to make an interactive Google Slide while collaborating. Learn how to use collaboration features to work together seamlessly in Google Slides:
Keep Learning More About Google Slides
You've already learned how to make an interactive Google Slide. With only a bit of work, your slides become so much more engaging than flat, static designs. But there's no reason to stop learning now.
Check out these three tutorials with more information on Google Slides. You'll learn more key skills that help you master how to make interactive Google Slides that stand out.
You Just Learned How to Make Google Slides Interactive
It's time to re-think how we create presentations. Instead of the read-only presentations of past, think "interactive" first when creating slides.
With the help of the best templates from Envato Elements, you can master the art of ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">how to make interactive Google Slides . You can also choose a pay-as-you-go download from GraphicRiver to learn ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">how to create drag and drop in Google Slides designs.
Both marketplaces give you a major advantage as you help to transform a boring slide into one that's interactive. Start with a template today and add interactivity. Your audience is sure to thank you.
6 Tips to Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations
Presentations and slide decks are part and parcel of many of today’s jobs. Many of us spend hours upon hours designing slides, writing presentation notes, or reading other people’s slides while trying to focus on what they are saying. PowerPoint has become ubiquitous in office and lecture theatres worldwide and, unfortunately, we are all well aware of just how dull (I’m attempting to be kind here) some PowerPoints can be.
So in the hopes of offering some advice on this topic, we have compiled some easy-to-follow tips to improve your PowerPoint presentation.
Want a PowerPoint alternative? Look no further!
How to improve your powerpoint, add some interactive elements, tailor it to your audience , use a clean design, keep it concise , interact while you are presenting , diversify the content .
PowerPoint is not the most interactive way of presenting information or running a meeting. A common complaint is that people feel left to one side while a presenter stands up in front of the room and eulogizes on a given topic. Interacting with the room is the best way to break down barriers, open the lines of communication, and bring more ideas and opinions to the table.
Thankfully there are ways for us to break down this barrier and make the experience better for both presenter and audience. Plug-ins can be used in conjunction with PowerPoint to engage an audience. Our PP plug-in lets presenters add interactive slides specifically designed to ask audience members for input in the form of questions, quizzes, and Word Clouds.
We dig into this a bit later on, so click here to see how you can make a PowerPoint interactive in a few simple steps.
Think firstly about who you are presenting to when designing your slide deck. What is the group’s demographic, knowledge level, and tech-savviness? Will they be ready and willing to digest a swath of written material? Would they respond best to some multimedia elements? Should you prioritize entertainment over educating?
Yes, you are the presenter and this is your time to shine. Bear in mind that a successful presentation depends on how your audience’s reaction and what they gain from the experience. So, better consider their needs and expectations; this will help you to design the presentation and the actual PowerPoint. Adjust the content accordingly and adapt it for maximum effect.
Speaking of content, the way you present the content on your slides should be another major consideration. The sight of white slides, inscribed with black Arial font will bore many of us to tears. The horror. Likewise, overly designed clip art title slides in some neon color will have us reaching for our sunglasses rather than our reading glasses.
PowerPoint is a tool for presenters, not designers. So keep a nice crisp design or opt for something you can find online that matches the tone of your presentation. Think of how you want people to view you and your presentation - Professional? Interesting? Funny? Once you have come up with that, then you can begin designing - but don’t go overboard!
Your slides don’t need to be crammed full of text like a college exam. I can picture the despair in the eyes of your audience if they glimpse 50 slides on the horizon. You can save time and effort by remembering that you don’t have to type out everything. Keep the most vital elements and the things you want to highlight on your slides. The rest you can print out and read aloud, write on flashcards, or memorize; that’s totally up to you.
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to content. There are both the 5/5/5 rule and the 10/20/30 rule . Both have potential benefits and I’ll give a brief overview of both.
What is the 5/5/5 rule?
When designing your PowerPoint slide deck, you should have, at most, 5 words per line, 5 lines per slide, and 5 text-heavy slides in a row. The aim here is threefold; Keep the wording on each slide concise, only have the essential information on each slide, and don’t overwhelm audience members with too much content.
These rules can be especially helpful if you struggle to cut unnecessary and superfluous information from presentations.
What is the 10/20/30 rule?
A PowerPoint presentation should have no more than 10 slides, take no more than 20 minutes to present, and have text bigger than 30 throughout. The goal is to keep presentations short and to the point, to limit the amount of written or visual content, and to keep a clear and easily legible design.
This rule is great for presenters with a tendency to overload people with info and who tend to ramble on a bit (guilty your Honor). Guy Kawasaki pioneered this idea and it is sure to benefit those looking for ways to boost their PowerPoint skills.
We mentioned the importance of interaction earlier on and while there are many plug-ins and tools you can use to help boost interaction, there are also steps you can take to do the same. Consider adding prompts within your slides designed to bring your audience into the fold of the discussion. Now in this scenario, you will probably be relying on hand raising and people having the courage to speak up, but no matter.
Text, charts, graphs, images, videos; there are countless forms of content that you can include on slides (please avoid clip art). Mixing up the content on the screen will help keep attention and engagement levels high while allowing you to show off everything you know through different mediums. Let a graph do the talking for you, let a video highlight the campaign, or use a series of images to showcase what the designers have in mind.
How to make your PowerPoint Presentation interactive
We mentioned how easy it is with Mentimeter to give your trusty PowerPoint a much-needed injection of interactivity. Well, there are two ways you can go about this. Either you can add some Mentimeter slides to your PowerPoint, or you can do the opposite and import your good old PP slides to Menti. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
How to upload your PowerPoint to Mentimeter
I’m going to be a little lazy and direct you to my colleague Oscar who walks through the actual ins and outs of how you can use Mentimeter in conjunction with PowerPoint.
Creating interactivity with Mentimeter
On the other hand, I will explore some ideas on how you can transform your static PowerPoint presentation into a fun and interactive experience for everyone!
Start with an icebreaker
The easiest way to add interactivity to your slides is to start the presentation with an icebreaker . The purpose of an icebreaker is to get your audience engaged and ready for the presentation ahead.
Word Clouds, Polls, and even a quick quiz can be perfect icebreakers, but you don’t have to sit around all day trying to come up with your own; we’ve designed plenty that are ready to download. I’ve also included one of our most popular here.
Where Are You From?
Open up for discussions.
You will probably find natural breaks during your presentation, for example, when you change focus area. This can be an opportune time to add an interactive slide to test your audience or open up the room for discussion.
Test your audience with a fun quiz
Quizzes can serve multiple purposes; from better understanding what your audience does and does not know, assessing whether the group is retaining information, or just simply adding in a bit of fun to build team spirit.
As before, there’s no need to worry about going and creating a bunch of questions and designing slides, we have some ready-to-use templates for you.
Add a reflection at the end
The end of your presentation is the ideal point to reflect or ask for some feedback. Allowing your audience to ask a question, respond to a poll, or just add comments, will help you better understand how your presentation went and what you can do to improve.
Add a Q&A session
Q&A sessions don’t just let your audience take control of the speaking duties for a few moments but allow you to clear up confusion, clarify points, and go back over details that may have either been overlooked or misunderstood. Q&As also add a layer of transparency and openness to presentations.
Build better presentations
So you have now taken the first steps toward running more efficient, effective, and (most importantly) inclusive meetings by improving your slide deck. But don't stop there! Today's meetings and presentations, whether they take place in university, board rooms, meeting rooms, or at conferences, are far from perfect.
See how Mentimeter can help you connect with your audience, alleviate presenter stress, and make presentations a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved!
Create better presentations now
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June 2, 2020
70% of business professionals believe that presentations are key to succeeding in the workplace—but the same proportion also found slides-based presentations to be boring and ineffective. Microsoft even estimates that poor PowerPoint presentations are wasting as much as $250 million per day!
So how do you make PowerPoint presentations better?
By making them more interactive.
People are likelier to pay attention if they know that they’ll be asked to participate at some point. So the next time you plan a presentation, keep in mind these 7 interactive presentation ideas to keep your audience engaged and actively listening.
(While we’ll be giving some specific guidance on how to execute them in PowerPoint, all of these tips can be used on any platform or in any presentation—whether it’s to a team of four, or an auditorium of hundreds.)
1. Break the ice
Jump-start people’s interests with a fun ice breaker that sets the right mood for your presentation. We’ve compiled a list of 20 ice breaker activities you can conduct on Pigeonhole Live that seamlessly integrate into your PowerPoint slides for fuss-free execution.
If your audience consists of colleagues, we recommend Appreciation Time and Never Have I Ever—they’re great ice breakers for strengthening office relationships and helping people get to know each other better in an exciting, non-cheesy way.
2. Get people moving
Attention span plummets to zero after a mere 10 minutes. If you notice your audience dropping off, try using physical activity as a way to refocus attentions and wake them up, literally.
- Schedule regular stretch breaks—you can even appoint someone in the audience to be the “instructor” to lead the activity.
- Play Where Do You Stand? by asking your audience a question like “How familiar are you with today’s topic?” or “How much do you agree with this statement?” and getting them to move to a side of the room based on their answer.
- Use throwable mics during Q&A sessions or throughout your presentation as a way to keep people on their toes—you can reach for something as simple as a plushie, or invest in something fancier like a custom-printed Catchbox with your company logo.
3. Conduct live polls and surveys
Live polls and surveys are some of the best ways to engage audiences, and there are tons of ways you can use them to make your presentations fun and memorable.
- Run a poll at the beginning to get people thinking and aligned on your topic right from the start. For example, if your topic is on sustainability, poll the audience on how eco-conscious they believe they are on a daily basis.
- Use it just before you reveal a statistic to test what people’s assumptions are (the competitive ones in the audience will love seeing if they’re right, too).
- Conduct surveys to collect ideas and get input. For example, if your presentation is on team performance or sales targets, you can survey your audience on what incentives would best raise their motivation.
Our platform offers flexible formats like multiple-choice polls, open-ended questions, and word clouds with live results, which you can integrate into your PowerPoint slides without interrupting your presentation flow.
4. Say almost nothing in your slides
People can’t read and listen at the same time—this is referred to Cognitive Load Theory, which basically means that multi-tasking overloads the brain’s processing capacity and inhibits its ability to retain information.
In other words, the more you fill your PowerPoint slides with words, charts, and bullet points, the less likely your audience is paying attention to you.
According to Professor Sweller , the founder of Cognitive Load Theory, "PowerPoint can backfire if the information on the screen is the same as that which is verbalised, because the audience's attention will be split." So spend less time on your PowerPoint slides and more time rehearsing your presentation if you want to capture your audience’s attention.
5. Use audio and visual media
Visuals have been found to increase audience engagement by as much as 94% , so be sure to use them strategically—while keeping in mind Cognitive Load Theory.
If you’re presenting key data, try to visualise it instead of leaving it solely in table form, and add animations where appropriate. You can animate your charts directly in PowerPoint using the Animations > Animation Pane tab.
You can also consider adding appropriately humorous memes, GIFs, and videos from YouTube or Vimeo, all of which you can embed in your PowerPoint slides using Insert > Video > Movie Browser or Movie from File .
6. Allow for anonymous questions
Anonymity has been shown to improve response rates and increase truthfulness , so providing your audience with a means for anonymous engagement will encourage them to participate in your presentation.
Our live Q&A feature gives your audience the option to submit questions anonymously and upvote the questions they want answered. This way, questions will get to be addressed by priority and relevance, not on a first-come-first-served basis, and Q&A time will no longer be hogged by the most outspoken people in the group.
7. Inject some gamification
Want people to pay attention to your presentation? Give them a stake in it. 80% of learners say they are more likely to be productive if what they were doing incorporated game-like elements, and over 60% would find leaderboards and increased competition motivating.
Here are some ideas to incorporate gamification into your PowerPoint presentation:
- Conduct a quiz at the end of your presentation that summarises your key takeaways. Consider ranking the winners and giving out mini-prizes at the end to really ramp up attentiveness.
- Throw some misspelled or incorrectly used words in your slides and get people to identify them.
- Insert the company mascot throughout your slides, and every time it appears, everyone has to raise their hands. The last one to do so each time gets a point, and the one with the most points at the end has to dance the Macarena.
Making your PowerPoint presentations more interactive is a sure-fire way to hold attentions, ramp up engagement, and boost retention, so don’t squander the opportunity to inspire your audience—and maybe gain some insight from them in the process.
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We have as many themes for presentations as there are fish in the sea. These are the most popular kinds.
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If you’re presenting your story or your team’s story, do it with an interactive dossier.
Say goodbye to watered-down reports. Innovate by presenting your data boldly.
Help your product or service attract clients. Create an interactive business proposal.
Is entrepreneurship your thing? With an interactive pitch, you can make your project even more enticing.
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A genially succeeds for many reasons. Above all, those who use Genially choose it to create unique presentations that grab their audience’s attention with their interactivity and professional designs.
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Genially’s templates have what many call “magic.” They include predefined interactivity and animation effects so all you need to do is add your content. Customize it all to your liking.
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Step 1: choose an awesome template.
The first step to success is to choose a great template. Think about the theme of your presentation and choose the one you like most. You can also start with a blank canvas or import a PowerPoint and give it new life through Genially.
Step 2: Customize it to your liking
Already have a template? Modify the content as much as you like. Edit colors, images, fonts, and icons, and use the resources that Genially offers you. You can also upload your own resources.
Step 3: Animate and add interactivity
To make it easy for you, Genially templates already have predefined interactivity and animation effects. Edit and add more to your liking, quickly and intuitively.
Step 4: Share it with the world!
Done! Now you can present from Genially. Or, you can share the link via email or social media, insert it on websites, or download your presentation in PDF or HTML format.
Get inspired by our community's presentations
If we’re proud of anything, it’s of having the largest community of interactive content creators in the world. Check out all the interactive presentations. They’ll leave you speechless.
What do I need to create original presentation?
The ingredients of a good presentation are quality design and your own content. With the professionally-designed templates from Genially, you'll leave everyone speechless, and you'll need less time than you think. Interactivity and animation always stand out and amaze.
How can I download my presentation from Genially? Can it be exported to PDF format?
With a premium plan you can download your presentation as an interactive PDF or MP4. To present offline, we recommend you download in HTML format to maintain offline navigation and animation. To upload your presentation to an LMS, download a SCORM package.
Can I use a PowerPoint in Genially? Can I add interactivity and animation to it?
Yessss. With Genially, you can create creative presentations from content you already have in PowerPoint. Plus, it’s easy. Simply import your PPT presentation and you'll have it on your Genially Panel, ready to be refreshed and brought to life.
Can I replace the Genially watermark with my logo?
Yes, this is a premium feature. In the 'My Brand' section you can add your logo and other branding elements, such as your corporate colors, fonts or images. Your brand image will be the protagonist of all your creations!
Alix Huille, Learning Engagement Coach, 360 Learning
At 360Learning we use and recommend Genially for an innovative and effective learning experience.
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How to make a presentation interactive
There are several challenges to overcome in order to make a perfect presentation. The first challenge is to collect and structure the right information and then generate a visually appealing presentation. And once you have reached this point, you still have to go one step further: finding the most appropriate way to capture people's attention.
Even the most original content you have ever created can go unnoticed if you don't take a moment to plan what elements you can add to make your presentation more interactive and dynamic.
You have to ensure that they keep their eyes glued to the screen. As you may know, this is a difficult challenge, as we are barely capable of spending more than 10 minutes paying full attention to a presentation.
Give rhythm to your content. As if it were a symphony, add moments of calm, in which information reigns, and others of contrast, in which you add different techniques and tools to regain lost attention.
Learn with the following tips how to make an interactive presentation. Mix and match the ones that best suit the type of audience you are going to meet!
10 tips for creating an interactive and fun presentation
Here are 10 tips on how you can make a great interactive and fun presentation to better connect with your audience:
1. Break the ice with the introduction
Do you want to get off to a good start? Prepare your introduction in advance! The first sentences you formulate should provoke a surprise effect on your audience.
Roommates Presentation Night
Some effective ideas for capturing interest from the first minute are:
- Give a statistic or historical fact that is shocking.
- Ask an introductory thought-provoking or debate-provoking question.
- Explain a personal anecdote that you can connect with the theme of your content and that resonates with your audience.
If you need a good dose of ideas to get your introduction off to a great start, you can read more tips in our post on tips to start an incredible presentation.
2. Ask debating questions
Avoid at all costs giving a linear presentation, i.e. getting on stage and giving a half-hour or hour-long colloquium. If you do, you will see a few sleepy faces in the audience or someone checking their mobile phone notifications.
In order to fuel interest, generate discussion questions that invite reflection or defend different points of view. Formulas such as "what if?", although they have been used for years, are still very effective in creating expectation.
As well as inviting them to intervene in a loud voice, ask questions with several closed alternatives to encourage them to choose and vote by a show of hands on the different proposals.
Extra tip: At all times, make it clear that you are open to questions.
3. Incorporate visual effects such as animations
Spice up your design! A good dose of animations and transitions will help you to keep people's eyes on the screen because you generate so much curiosity that they are waiting to see what the next slide has to offer.
Interactive Education Pack for Teachers
At Slidesgo, we are firm believers that the visual aspect of a presentation is one of the pillars on which successful presentations are built (otherwise we wouldn't put so much love into our templates!).
Be concise, organize your content well, and if you want to bring it to life, we recommend you also use
our exclusive PowerPoint templates , which include just the right amount of animations to stand out with unique PPT designs.
4. Prepare surveys or quizzes
We all love to play games and taste victory - why not set up a quiz game?
Reward the quickest, the most original, the most realistic answer... Depending on the topic of your content and the age of your audience, you can choose one or the other. What is essential is that they feel challenged and want to make an effort to listen, learn and respond.
Trivial games are also ideal for groups, so divide your audience into small teams to discuss and debate the questions you ask them!
5. Share the stage with others
A great way to make your presentation more interactive is to share the spotlight with another person. Having a second perspective makes the topic more entertaining.
Happy Piano Day!
How can you implement this dynamic? Prepare in advance the intervention of someone who can expand on your content or, directly, set up a session with two speakers to maintain an active conversation.
6. Add videos
A few minutes into the session, incorporate a video that matches the content you are explaining. What types of videos can you use?
- A real example of the content you are presenting.
- An inspirational video in line with the mood you are portraying.
- An audiovisual piece that repeats and therefore reinforces the concept explained.
- One that generates a subsequent reflection or debate to link with what has been explained previously or with what you are going to introduce next.
7. Incorporate props in line with the topic
Are you teaching a history or music class? Perhaps you have an object at hand to help visualize the concepts or connect the dots in your story. Or imagine the huge surprise you would cause by holding in your hands the prototype of your company's new product or displaying the printed poster for your next advertising campaign.
Any element that makes your story more visual serves the dual function of entertaining and informing. Therefore, remember that not any object will work. It must be one that is directly related to the information given.
8. Bring social media into the equation
Hashtag #themostinteractivepresentation! Social networks are your allies. If you are at a conference, you will see how more than one person is dedicated to immortalizing it with photographs that they later upload to their social media accounts.
Take advantage of the power of Twitter or Instagram and create a hashtag that brings together the posts of the day. Or, for example, create small challenges, raffles, and competitions that encourage the audience to take a more active role during the presentation.
Here is a website where you can create a live, fully interactive online competition: https://kahoot.com/
9. Give it a personal touch
Personal stories have the power to connect us with others. If you are able to find a link between the information presented and your day-to-day life or experiences, take advantage of the pull that this resource can generate.
Depending on the situation, opt for a fun tone if you want to lighten the mood, an emotional one if you want to strike a chord or a more serious one if you want to tell a story that changed your life. Play with different emotions and get your story on the right track by learning how to use storytelling in presentations.
10. Use clear visual schemes such as infographics
No shortage of graphs and infographics ! Many concepts are best understood through visual diagrams or numerical graphs. The more intuitive the information you present, the easier it will be for your audience to follow the thread.
By breaking down different ideas into a visual outline or organizing a sequence of events in one line, you allow everyone to quickly internalize what you are explaining by being able to see, in a single slide, a short and to-the-point summary.
From now on, we expect you to fearlessly apply these tricks. With these aces up your sleeve, you will make an impression on your audience.
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Yes! You can quickly create animated presentations by adding transitions that automatically animate the entrance of elements onto your slides, or you can animate elements one by one.
Absolutely. You can add pop-ups, rollovers and hyperlinks and embed videos, maps, surveys, as well as any other third-party content.
Simply generate a private or public URL that can be viewed from any browser. You can also download your presentation as an HTML5 file and present from any browser without internet connection.
Click on the Create button in the left sidebar of your editor to explore 900+ slide layouts. Search for the exact slides you need and drag and drop the desired ones onto the right panel.
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14 ways to make a presentation more interactive Here's a list of 14 ways you can earn greater audience participation during your presentations: 1. Incorporate audience decision-making A traditional presentation usually has a set order of slides or points.
17 Ways to Create an Interactive Presentation That Stands Out 1 Start your interactive presentation with an icebreaker. The first step is creating a rapport with your audience. You can do this by helping them to get to know you a little better and get to know each other as well. The way you go about this will depend on the size of your audience.
How to Make a Presentation Interactive 1. Hand out Worksheets, Documents or Other Tangibles 2. Incorporate Live Survey/ Q&A Tools 3. Mention or Call on Individual Audience Members by Name 4. Turn Your Presentation into a Guided Discussion 5. Include "Quiz" Questions in Your Slides 6.
One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.
Try using a simple ice-breaker to re-energise them and get them focussed on your presentation. For example, ask people to stand up and introduce themselves to their neighbours, or have them identify two or three questions they would like to hear addressed during your presentation.
By starting with an ice-breaker, you show your audience that your talk will be interactive and require their participation. 2. Tell stories. Stories are food of the brain when it comes to the presentations, according to professional public speaking coach Nathan Gold.
Intersperse interactivity throughout the presentation to reinforce learning before continuing. Aim to balance the time you spend delivering content with time for interactivity. 5. Listen to...
By using an online tool such as Mentimeter you allow them to interact, making them feel part of the presentation and the value creation process. This is also valuable for the presenter as you can gain helpful insights and data about the audience, their experience of the presentation, and any takeaways from it such as ways to improve.
Want to create an interactive presentation that gets your audience to engage and interact on another level? We've got 15 great ideas to add interactivity into your next presentation within this...
8 ways to make your presentation interactive with Paperform Paperform is a form builder first and foremost, but you can also use our tools as an interactive presentation software. Just treat each page of your form as a slide to create a custom presentation your audience will love.
HOW TO MAKE AN INTERACTIVE POWERPOINT | EASY steps CHUVIAN Education 11.9K subscribers Subscribe 402K views 2 years ago POWERPOINT TUTORIALS Hey guys. Here's an easy steps by step tutorial on...
You can make the ending interactive as well: Ask your audience to think about what they've just heard, then run a poll asking your audience: "What are you taking away from this presentation?" or, "What one thing resonated with you the most during this presentation?" 15. Run a short feedback survey at the end
To make your presentation more interactive, you need to incorporate your audience. Whether you use audience questions, sharing video clips like user-generated content or even having a guest speaker, incorporating your audience is the literal definition of having an interactive presentation.
Interactive Presentation Techniques - Interactive Presentation Methods. 6. Ask short questions. Asking questions is the fastest way to check in on your audience and make sure they're paying attention. Still, asking in the wrong way can result in an awkward silence instead of a sea of hands in the air.
Plan the agenda with engagement in mind and share it with participants. If you don't want to lose your focus (and your colleagues' attention) in aimless chatter, make sure you decide beforehand on the virtual meeting objectives. Plan the agenda and structure the topics within the time you set aside for the meeting.
This will also make your presentation look more natural and less planned. Using PowerPoint Templates to lift engagement. Browse and download hundreds of free powerpoint templates and pick on suitable for your presentation. Edit the template to suit your brand preferences or styles, making sure to clearly communicate your message.
The one you want is near the bottom: Link. Click once, and Google Slides opens the Hyperlink menu. In the Wohnhaus Clean Business Presentation, shapes like this one on slide 7 can be transformed into interactive buttons. Here, you can paste in a URL and click Apply.
How to improve your PowerPoint Add some interactive elements Tailor it to your audience Use a clean design Keep it concise Interact while you are presenting Diversify the content Add some interactive elements PowerPoint is not the most interactive way of presenting information or running a meeting.
By making them more interactive. People are likelier to pay attention if they know that they'll be asked to participate at some point. So the next time you plan a presentation, keep in mind these 7 interactive presentation ideas to keep your audience engaged and actively listening.
You can make any video meeting a more interesting and immersive experience with Prezi Video. Create an interactive presentation with Prezi Present, then take it to a virtual meeting and bring it with you on screen. You can also use features like name tags and virtual backgrounds to enhance your video feed and make you look even more professional.
With a premium plan you can download your presentation as an interactive PDF or MP4. To present offline, we recommend you download in HTML format to maintain offline navigation and animation. To upload your presentation to an LMS, download a SCORM package.
Here are 10 tips on how you can make a great interactive and fun presentation to better connect with your audience: 1. Break the ice with the introduction. Do you want to get off to a good start? Prepare your introduction in advance! The first sentences you formulate should provoke a surprise effect on your audience.
Co-create a Google Doc. Ahead of the session, create a Google Doc, and invite participants to edit. Post the link to the Google Doc in "Chat" and have participants add to the document in...
EVERYTHING YOU NEED + MORE More Than a Presentation Maker. Visme's online presentation tools allow you to create an interactive online presentation that will blow your audience away. Add interactive elements, animate your slides and create a presentation that will have your viewers talking for days to come.
1. Create a new Microsoft powerpoint presentation using a 40 slides presentation. 2. Presentation to have interactivity using links that will be provided. 3. Subject matter Python Programming 4. Purpose online and class room training More details will be provided on email / call.