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The Complete 2023 Guide to Interactive Presentations (Offline and Online)

The Complete 2023 Guide to Interactive Presentations (Offline and Online)


Lakshmi Puthanveedu 10 Mar 2023 8 min read

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 mentioning 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 your message by making it immediately more relevant to your audience. Remember, authentic engagement comes only when the audience feels like they’re contributing to the presentation.

This guide will go over the basics of interactive presentation, the benefits, and some valuable ideas to make your presentation interactive.

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What is an Interactive Presentation?

Regardless of the topic or how casual or formal the presentation is, keeping your audience engaged is the most critical and challenging part. 

An interactive presentation is a presentation that works two ways. The presenter asks questions during the production, 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.

The Complete 2022 Guide to Interactive Presentations
An interactive poll result on AhaSlides.

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, and 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, 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% 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.

Icebreakers 🧊

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.

A gif of live quiz with results on Ahaslides
An interactive quiz with results on AhaSlides.

💡 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 help here…

What Would You Do?

Isn’t it interesting to know what someone would do in a particular situation or how they would handle it? In this game, you give the audience a scenario and ask 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 is a tremendous interactive Zoom game.

4 Corners

This is a perfect game for anyone with an opinion. It’s a great way to start a conversation on your presentation’s topic before diving into the meat of it.

You announce a statement and see how everyone feels about it. Each participant shows how they think 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 the Monday blues in the classroom? Tell a story! Want an icebreaker 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 exhibition. 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 allows them to think creatively and critically.

Students are playing the Desert Island game using AhaSlides' brainstorm slide to initiate a round of debate

💡 Get an engaged class with 6 more interactive presentation ideas

Interactive Presentation Ideas for Work

Team building activities and casual gatherings took a significant hit with the pandemic. We’re betting that many of us have never met our colleagues or work buddies.

Interactive presentations are the best way to engage your audience and mingle 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 production.

An image of the completed word cloud on AhaSlides.

Poll Express

How do you feel about using visual aids in your presentation? It’s not 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 display the results on the screen for everyone to see.

This is a great, super simple ice breaker activity that can help to revitalize team meetings, especially when some folk are working remotely.

💡 We’ve got more – 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, brainstorming 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 wants to have a fun quiz for your friends and family, this is a great tool you can use, with a ton of fun interactive options.

An interactive live quiz on AhaSlides.


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 cool, interactive display 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. 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 has various interactive features such as memory tests, polls, quizzes and video embedding features.


Canva is an easy-to-use 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.

Practice for a better interactive presentation with AhaSlides


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