Sending text messages, falling asleep, or randomly scrolling through social media – are you guilty of doing any of these things while attending a presentation?
Whether you are hosting or participating, most of us go completely blank at the mention of the word ‘presentation’. We’ve even heard people say sleeping during a presentation is the absolute best!
Do we need to associate presentations with sleep and boredom? What can we do to make people excited when it comes to presentations?
Interaction! That’s the key.
Interactive presentations change the way you connect and speak with your audience. They take focus away from you, the speaker, but strengthen the message you’re delivering by making it immediately more relevant to your audience. Remember, true engagement comes only when the audience feels like they’re contributing to the presentation.
This guide will go over the basics of interactive presentations, as well as the benefits and some useful ideas to make your presentation interactive.
What is an Interactive Presentation?
Regardless of the topic or how casual or formal the presentation is, keeping your audience engaged is the most important and challenging part.
An interactive presentation is a presentation that works two ways. The presenter asks questions during the presentation and the audience responds directly to those questions.
Let’s take an example of an interactive poll
The presenter displays a poll question on the screen. The audience can then submit their answers live, through their mobile phones and the results are immediately displayed on the screen, as shown in the image below.
Making an interactive presentation does not have to be complex or stressful. It’s all about letting go of the static, linear presentation format and using some tools and techniques to create a personal, more involved experience for the audience.
With software like AhaSlides, you can easily create interactive presentations with tons of interactive quizzes, polls, live Q&A sessions for your audience.
Why Use an Interactive Presentation?
Presentations are still one of the commonly used methods to pass on information. Still, absolutely no one likes to sit through long, monotonous presentations where the host doesn’t stop talking.
Interactive presentations can help. They…
- Increase audience engagement, allowing them to connect with you and the purpose of the presentation. 64% of people believe that a flexible presentation with two-way interaction is more engaging than a linear presentation.
- Improve retention capacity. 68% of people say that it’s easier to remember the information when the presentation is interactive.
- Help in connecting better with your audience through real-time feedback, voting and Q&As.
- Act as a break from the routine and give participants a chance to have an enjoyable experience.
Interactive Presentation Techniques
Whether you are hosting a virtual or offline presentation, there are many ways you can make it engaging, exciting and two-way for your audience.
Starting a presentation is always one of the most challenging parts. You are nervous; the audience might still be settling, there might be people not familiar with the topic – the list could go on. Get to know your audience, ask them questions about how they are feeling, how their day was, or maybe share a funny story to get them hooked and excited.
Make use of Props 📝
Making a presentation interactive does not mean you have to let go of traditional tricks of engaging the audience. You could bring a lighting stick or a ball to pass around to the audience when they want to ask a question or share something.
Games and Quizzes 🎲
Games and quizzes will always remain the star of the show, no matter how complex the presentation is. You don’t necessarily have to create them related to the topic; these could also be introduced into the presentation as fillers or as a fun activity.
💡 Want more? Get 10 interactive presentation techniques here!
Interactive Presentation Games
Whether you’re hosting something for your colleagues, students or friends, retaining their attention for a while can be a daunting task.
Games can really help here…
What Would You Do?
Isn’t it interesting to know what someone would do when they are in a particular situation or how they would handle it? In this game, you give the audience a scenario and ask them how they would deal with it.
Say, for example, you are having a fun night with your friends and family. You could ask questions like, “what would you do if you could be invisible to the human eye?” and see how they handle the given situation.
If you’ve got remote players, this one is a great interactive Zoom game.
This is a perfect game for anyone with an opinion. It’s a great way to start a conversation on the topic of your presentation before you dive into the meat of it.
You announce a statement and see how everyone feels about it. Each participant shows how they feel by moving to one corner of the room. The corners are labelled ‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’, ‘strongly disagree’, and ‘disagree’.
Once everyone has taken their place in the corners, you could have a debate or discussion between the teams.
🎲 Looking for more? Check out 11 interactive presentation games!
Interactive Presentation Ideas for Students
Students are a tough crowd to satisfy no matter how old they are. Their attention span is generally low, and they might get bored quickly if you don’t engage them with the right interactive presentation ideas.
So how can you make the presentation interactive and engaging for them? Check out some ideas below…
Tell a Story
Stories work like a charm in any situation. Introducing a complex physics topic? You could tell a story about Nicola Tesla or Albert Einstein. Want to beat Monday blues in the classroom? Tell a story! Want an ice breaker activity to start a presentation?
Well, you know… ask the students to tell a story!
There are many ways you could use storytelling in a presentation. You could pitch an outline to the students and ask them to build the rest of the story.
Or, you could tell a story till just before the ending and ask the students how they think the story ended.
You’ve created a stellar presentation. You’ve introduced the topic and are mid-way through the presentation. Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back, take a break and see how your students put some effort into taking the presentation forward?
Brainstorming helps get the students excited about the topic and helps them to think creatively and critically.
💡 Get an engaged class with 6 more interactive presentation ideas
Interactive Presentation Ideas for Work
Team building activities and casual gatherings took a major hit with the pandemic. We’re betting that many of us have never even met our colleagues or work buddies.
Interactive presentations are the best way to get your audience engaged and mingling with each other, taking out the “awkwardness factor”.
Word of the Day
Want to make sure your audience gets the concept or topic of the presentation without making it feel like an interrogation?
Live word clouds are fun and interactive and ensure the main topic is not lost in the presentation. Using a live word cloud generator, you can ask the audience what they think is the main topic for the presentation.
How do you feel about using visual aids in your presentation? It’s not really anything new, right?
But what if you can merge funny pictures with an interactive poll? That’s got to be interesting!
“How do you feel right now?”
This simple question could be turned into an interactive fun activity with the help of images and GIFs describing your mood. Present it to the audience in a poll, and you could have the results displayed on the screen for everyone to see.
This is a great, super simple ice breaker activity that can help to enliven team meetings, especially when some folk are working remotely.
💡 We’ve got more over here – 10 interactive presentation ideas for work.
The 5 Best Interactive Presentation Software
An interactive presentation is so much easier to make with the right tool.
Many interactive presentation websites let your audience respond directly to the content of your presentation and see the results on the big screen. You ask them a question in the form of a poll, word cloud, brainstorm or even a live quiz, and they respond with their phones.
#1 – AhaSlides
AhaSlides is a cloud-based interactive presentation software that lets you host fun, interactive presentations for all your needs, with quizzes, live Q&As, word clouds, brainstorming slides, etc.
The audience can join the presentation from their phones and interact with it live. Whether you are presenting to your students, a businessman who wants to hold team building activities, or someone who simply wants to hold a fun quiz for your friends and family, this is a great tool you can use, with a ton of fun interactive options.
If you are looking for ways to boost your team’s creativity at your workplace, then Prezi is an excellent tool.
It is a bit similar to how a standard linear presentation would be but, more imaginative and creative. With a huge template library and many animated elements, Prezi lets you create a super cool, interactive presentation in no time.
Although the free version does not come with many features, spending a little on the tool is worth it to create content for any occasion.
NearPod is an excellent tool that most educators would get a kick out of. It is specifically designed to cater to educational needs and the free basic version lets you host a presentation for up to 40 students.
Teachers can build lessons, share them with students and monitor their results too. One of the best features of NearPod is the Zoom integration, where you can merge your ongoing Zoom lesson with the interactive presentation.
The tool also comes with various interactive features such as memory tests, polls, quizzes and video embedding features.
Canva is an easy-to-use bit of kit that even a person with no design experience could master in a few minutes.
With the drag and drop feature of Canva, you can create your slides in no time and that too with copyright-free images and a ton of design templates to choose from.
Keynote for Mac
Keynote is one of the most popular bits of presentation software for Mac. It comes pre-installed and can be easily synced to iCloud, making it accessible across all Apple devices. Along with creating engaging presentations, you can also add a little bit of creativity by adding doodles and illustrations to your presentation.
Keynote presentations can also be exported to PowerPoint, allowing flexibility for the presenter.
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