How To Make Presentations Interactive: Our Top 10 Tips
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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.
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.