10 Ways to Make a Presentation More Fun & Interactive [How-to Guide]

Post by
Gaybrelle Rhodes
10 Ways to Make a Presentation More Fun & Interactive [How-to Guide]

Dreading a blank-eyed audience or classroom staring back at you while you talk? It's our worst nightmare — but there are easy solutions! Keep your team or students from being bored using good interaction.

We've been running events for years and have put together a list of great ways to make your presentations interactive — and keep your group engaged.

1. Do a Live Poll 

Live polls are among the best ways to increase interaction during your presentation. This idea not only engages your audience but also provides a fun way to present information so that people don't look at bulleted points the entire time you're talking. 

Here's a pre-made template you can build on to create your live poll (and don't worry—it's super easy to customize and requires no tech skills or code): 

How to customize the template: 

  1. Access the template by creating a free account here:   
  2. Click the template and press "Copy and Use this Slide Deck."
  3. On slides 1, 2, and 7, personalize the copy and update any images.
  4. Create your own questions and answer options on slides 3-6 (or you can keep the ones already on the slides).
  5. Add more personal touches by using the navigation menu at the top of the template!

How to play:

  1. When you're ready to play, log into your account. Click your game. 
  2. Press "Start Event." It's in the top right corner. 
  3. Showcase your screen to your audience. If your presentation is virtual, share your screen. 
  4. Ask your audience to join the fun by scanning the QR code. The game is free for up to ten people!
  5. Go through each slide and tell everyone to use their mobile devices to submit their answers. 

This template comes with built-in features like avatars, word clouds, ratings, and text answer slides. So, your audience is sure to interact once they start playing! 

2. Use Your Entire Space

Strong, positive body language is critical to connecting with listeners and increasing interaction. Fortunately, there's no better way to show good body language than using your entire space. 

How to use this idea: If you're in a classroom, walk between the rows of desks.

If you're in a conference room, walk around while presenting. And if you're in a huge venue, walk up and down the aisles.

Your audience will feel connected and close to you when you move toward them instead of staying away. And they'll think you're relatable and personable, increasing their desire and comfort to ask questions, raise their hands, and interact. 

3. Create and Trend a Hashtag

Chances are your listeners are checking their phones during your presentation. Even in classrooms, students will sneak a peek at their phones or use their laptops to check social media or text messages. 

Instead of reprimanding listeners for paying attention to your screen and the one on their digital devices, use the battle for their attention in your favor by trending a hashtag. That way, your audience uses their phones to interact with you instead of entertaining distractions.

How to use this idea: 

  1. Before your presentation, decide on a hashtag that aligns with your topic. 
  2. Once your presentation starts, share the hashtag with your audience. 
  3. Tell your audience to share their thoughts and questions on Twitter using the hashtag throughout your presentation.
  4. At certain points in your presentation, pause to check what listeners are saying and asking on Twitter. Use a few minutes to comment on and answer questions. (When your audience sees you engaging with the hashtag throughout your presentation, they'll be more likely to use it.)
  5. Leave a good last impression by checking the hashtag after your presentation ends and responding to comments and questions you didn't address! Your audience will appreciate you for taking the extra step, and this will show those who didn't attend the event that you like to interact with listeners.

4. Gamify Your Content

Incorporating games into your presentation will boost your audience's engagement, excitement, energy, and interaction! The best part? This idea is incredibly easy to implement, and there are tons of ways to gamify your presentation content

How to use this idea:

  • Play the Telephone Game: Whisper something about your presentation topic into someone's ear. Have the individual relay the message to the person sitting next to them and keep this going until the last person gets the message. Ask the last person to tell everyone the final message. Compare the final to the initial statement—if the message is the same, tell everyone to give themselves a round of applause. 
  • Play Word of the Day: Choose a word of the day (it can also be a phrase) and tell your audience what it is. Use the word throughout your presentation. Your audience should acknowledge it by shouting it back whenever they hear it.
  • Play 20 Questions: Have an audience member you trust choose a picture related to your presentation topic. Make sure you can't see the image (if you're in person or presenting virtually, turn your back to the screen). Start asking yes or no questions about the photo. You can only ask 20 questions to get it right. 

5. Play a Quiz 

Another great way to make your presentation interactive is with a quiz! This idea gives listeners a reason to pay attention and sparks fun, friendly competition to see who can answer the most questions correctly.

However, for this interactive presentation idea to work, you must create a fun quiz. Here's a pre-made template with engaging, built-in features that'll get your audience amped:

How to customize the template: 

  1. Create a free account to access the template:   
  2. Click the game and press "Copy and Use this Slide Deck."
  3. On slides 1, 2, and 8, personalize any images and copy.
  4. On slides 3 and 4, create your own questions and answer options.
  5. Duplicate slides to add more questions to your quiz!

How to play:

  1. When it's time to play, log into your account and click your game. 
  2. Look in the top right corner and click "Start Event." 
  3. Showcase your screen to your listeners. 
  4. Tell your audience to scan the QR code to play! 
  5. Go through each slide and quiz your audience. Players can use their mobile devices to submit their answers. 
  6. Give the person who answered the most questions correctly a round of applause. 

The template accommodates up to 250 people, so it's great for large audiences. Also, it comes with polls, ratings, multiple choice, an answer review slide, a leaderboard slide, and more to keep your audience interacting and engaged the whole time!

6. Take Your Audience's Guidance 

Instead of steering your presentation, let your audience take the wheel and decide what topics to cover first. With this interactive presentation idea, listeners will feel like participants instead of recipients, and that differentiation is critical to boosting interaction. 

How to use this idea: 

  1. When creating your presentation, include a slide in the beginning that lists all the topics you'll cover.
  2. At the beginning of your presentation, show your audience the list of topics. 
  3. Say each topic aloud and ask your listeners to raise their hands to vote for the one they want to discuss first. 
  4. Move forward with the topic that has the most votes. 
  5. After covering the first topic, go back to the list and repeat. 

7. Create Discussion Groups

While it's great to ask your audience questions directly, some people interact better in small groups. To ensure more introverted people get a chance to engage, create small discussion groups that make your presentation interactive. 

How to use this idea: 

  1. Divide your listeners into small groups of five. 
  2. Tell everyone what to discuss. The topic should be relevant to your presentation. For example, you could ask the groups to solve a specific problem or discuss how they'd implement a solution you recommended. 
  3. Give the group 10 minutes to chat. 
  4. Once time is up, ask each group to share what they discussed. 

8. Encourage Your Listeners to Move

It's normal for people to get antsy when sitting in a seat all day. But if you encourage your audience to move around and keep the blood flowing, they won't get distracted or constantly eye the nearest exit. So, instead of letting everyone stay in their seats, make time for listeners to get moving. 

How to use this idea: 

  1. Before your presentation, think of 15 yes or no questions that pertain to your topic. 
  2. At the beginning of your presentation, ask five questions. Have people stand if their answer is "yes." People should sit if their answer is "no." 
  3. In the middle of your presentation, ask the next five questions. Again, standing means "yes," and sitting means "no."
  4. Toward the end of your presentation, ask the last five questions. Have listeners stand to answer "yes" and sit to answer "no."

9. Solicit Questions (More Than Once)

It's normal to have a Q&A session at the end of your presentation, but an interactive presentation isn't interactive at the end. It's interactive throughout the entire time you're talking. That means your listeners should be able to ask questions before, during, and after your discussion, and you should encourage them to do so to boost engagement. 

How to use this idea:

  1. At the beginning of your presentation, break the ice by opening the floor for your audience to ask any questions about you. 
  2. After answering people's questions, tell your audience that they can ask questions throughout your presentation—they don't need to wait until the end. 
  3. NOTE: If you want this overall idea to stick, before your presentation, tell a few people you know to help increase engagement by asking questions first or when no one else is doing so. Sometimes, listeners need to see others doing it before they muster the courage to do it as well. 

10. Play Call and Response

One of the most fun and silly ways to increase interaction at your presentation is with call and response. This idea will keep energy levels high, maintain engagement, and ensure your audience stays focused! 

How to use this idea: 

  1. Pick a phrase that relates to your presentation. You can do this before your presentation or with your audience before your discussion starts. 
  2. Agree on the action everyone (including you) must take when you say the phrase. The action could be dancing, clapping, standing, or something random like high knees if you have the space.
  3. Use the phrase throughout your presentation to trigger the action. 

Give Listeners the Interactive Presentation They Want

No matter where you're speaking, today's audience wants an informative presentation that's engaging, interactive, and fun. Gone are the days of creating PowerPoint slides with bullet points and a few images. 

Audiences want you to design a presentation with their preferences in mind, and they prefer content that's intriguing. Failing to give them that means you don't know your audience as well as you think. 

"Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it 'to whom it may concern" - Ken Haemer. Alison Davis,  19 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Create An Amazing Presentation

So, let modern-day listeners know you understand them by giving a presentation that speaks to their desire for interaction and excitement. You want your audience to be on the edge of their seats, facing forward, and tuned in, not slouching with their heads on their hands, ready to fall asleep.

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