So you’re thinking about making your upcoming presentation interactive? Here are 5 top tips for making it work.

So you’re thinking about making your upcoming presentation interactive? And why not? Participation has been proven to aid learning. It works for children in schools, or when they are interacting with the exhibits at museums, and it still works when we get older. Interaction often makes activities more memorable, plus it engages every brain in the room to contribute to the debate.

And perhaps you’re going to use interactive presentation software to help facilitate this? Great. But how do you get the most out of it? Here are 5 of our best ideas to get you started…

Interactive Presentations Tip #1: Start with a light-hearted poll

It’s a great ice-breaker to get people warmed up. Plus, if you are using a presentation app, getting people familiar with it early in the session helps set them up for the rest of the day. Audience polls help create a ‘team spirit’ amongst the crowd, and also help them reveal some interesting things about themselves that can get them all talking in the first coffee break.

We find that a fun poll about a recent reality TV series, news item or current sporting event (especially with an international audience) is effective for most groups – especially if you know your crowd. For internal events, ‘in-jokes’ about well-known quirks of the company are usually a good way to bring everyone onside.

Interactive Presentations Tip #2: Seed some questions

With some audiences, event managers have no worries about whether they’ll ask any questions after the presentation – in fact you might be more worried about whether you’ll get them to ever shut up! However, other groups can be less keen to speak up.

Using interactive presentation software significantly increases the number of questions you get – but sometimes it still needs a gentle nudge to get things started. Have a friend of colleague post a couple of questions early on, and you’ll soon see a flood of activity from extroverts and introverts alike.

Interactive Presentations Tip #3: Use multiple screens

We’ve designed Glisser to work from a single laptop, so an individual presenter can deliver an interactive presentation alone, with simple quick keys to bring up polls, live questions and a Twitter wall on top of the slides. However, if you’ve a more complex screen set-up at your event, why not use it?

It works really well to have presentation content on one screen, with a live Q&A or Twitter feed open continuously on another screen, so people can see both at the same time. Presenters can still wait to the end to address questions, but in the meantime audiences will be democratically selecting which they want to be prioritised.

Interactive Presentations Tip #4: Gamify your presentation

Gamification has moved from being a buzzword to a concept that is far more widely appreciated, if perhaps not fully understood. We’ve been gamifying events for years, with quizzes, sponsor booth competitions or prize draws – it’s just that with the rise of tech, the ‘games’ we’re now familiar with are now video games – and so the language has become about ‘completing levels’ and ‘winning badges’.

Interactive presentation software allows you to introduce this into your session and really start to engage audiences. Perhaps reward people who are paying attention by creating a poll quiz at the end of the session, or inviting them to share their expertise by posing a tough question at the start that they can answer in the audience Q&A feed.

Interactive Presentations Tip #5: Incentivise interactions and feedback

Lots of people love interacting just for the fun of it, or to get their voices heard, but EVERYONE loves to win something. By combining interactive presentation technology, interesting content, gamified audience participation, and prizes you’re on to a winner.

And don’t just reward for interaction during the presentation. The other great thing about presenter technology is that you can incorporate your presentation feedback as well – and reward people for providing that. This might be a prize draw, or even their first drink at the bar for providing you with valuable data about your session, the event, the venue – whatever… You’ll get far more responses this way than by sending a survey round a few days later when people are back doing their day job.

Mike Piddock is the Founder and CEO of Glisser: simple-to-use interactive presentation technology for presenters and event managers alike.


  1. This is an interesting article. Tech or no tech encouraging your audiences to get involved in the event is
    actually good for them. When audiences start to feel part of an event, they can get a real sense of engagement – leaving with great memories and a strong impression of the event organizers. So, how are you going to involve your
    audience? What are they going to take part in, learn, decide, experience or solve? Yes technology is a great way of doing just this but if you don’t have the cash a great presenter can do this too. Chris Powell,

  2. Great points, over the years I have always been interested in a high level of audience interactivity. It also requires of course the organisation, the senior management team to listen and feedback on the actions they are taking. Buzzmaster seems a good tool for getting great interactivity

  3. Thanks for the positive comments. Absolutely agree that technology is just part of the equation and that a great facilitator and/or presenter is crucial. I think the poor quality of presentations is the elephant in the room at many corporate events, and even a basic level of interaction has a tremendous impact.

  4. Very interesting point Chris: a good presenter will be able to engage an audience and know when to involve them. I have been in the audience when technology has been used during a presentation; it has been distracting for the audience and made them disengaged from the content of the presentation by the speaker. I asked the speakers what their experience was like afterwards, and they said it was extremely off putting and a somewhat difficult situation to deal with. It is a case of finding a happy medium; incorporating technology into a talk – possibly as a warm up and for questions. In the end, a good presenter should be valued and supported rather than being in a situation where other things distract their message.

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