Theory & Tips

How to Make an Interactive PowerPoint

Post by
Gaybrelle Rhodes
How to Make an Interactive PowerPoint

PowerPoint slide deck presentations are unavoidable. In fact, they have become so commonplace, more than 35 million PowerPoint presentations are given every day to over 500 million audience members. Whether you're a teacher, manager, or team leader, giving presentations could be one of your primary responsibilities.

But have you ever wondered if this central part of your job has a positive impact on your audience? If not, you might be discouraged to learn your presentations may not be that effective

A 2008 study of PowerPoint usage at the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University found that "students retained 15% less information delivered verbally by the lecturer during PowerPoint presentations." In other words, all the time and effort you spend creating a fancy PowerPoint is at best wasted and at worst counterproductive.
- Geoffrey James, Contributing Editor, It's 2020. Why Are You Still Using PowerPoint?

Another study also found it didn't matter if someone gave a presentation with animated PowerPoint slides or static overheads. There were "no differences in short- or long-term retention of material." 

And these defeats aren't limited to the classroom.

In the workplace, employees usually listen to PowerPoint slide deck presentations while doing something else. A recent poll found that 28% of employees send a text message, 27% check email, and 17% end up falling asleep. Still, that's better than most people who stop listening within 10 minutes

On the bright side, there is a 94% increase in engagement when visuals, icebreakers, and relevant images are added to a PowerPoint presentation.

So then the question becomes: How do you make your PowerPoint slide deck presentation more interactive?

5 Ways to Make Your Slide Deck Presentation Interactive

The time you put into creating a slide deck presentation shouldn't go to waste. By creating opportunities to interact with your audience, you'll increase excitement, focus, and memory retention. However, infusing your presentations with interaction isn't as simple as asking questions here and there. Ideally, you need a tool that'll create fun, unique ways to capture your audience's attention and get guests to participate. 

One tool you can count on is Slides With Friends. It provides interactive slide deck presentations that look similar to PowerPoint, but allow attendees to use their mobile phones to submit responses to pre-made prompts and games. Some of those unique prompts and games include the following. 

1. Incorporate Icebreaker Polls

Polls are a fantastic way to break the ice with your group and get them talking. This interactive strategy is especially great if your audience doesn't know each other well. Maybe it's the first day of school or you're managing a new team in the workplace. In both scenarios, you need to warm up your audience and help everyone feel comfortable, and meeting icebreakers will accomplish those goals. 

One of our favorite elements to include in a meeting icebreaker is a poll page. These low-intensity, casual questions get the group engaged, especially as attendees submit answers and see the live feedback.

Not sure where to start with poll questions? Some of our favorites can be found in the section about poll questions in this article.  

A few ideas are:

  • Who is your role model? 
  • What's one thing you'd take to a desert island?
  • If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

But, as is the case with all SlidesWith slide decks, you can completely customize these questions to best match your groups dynamics.

2. Use Group Word Clouds

Maybe you want to have a fun brainstorming session or understand your audience better. In this case, use live word clouds during your event. With this tool, you'll have a unique interactive slide deck that lets you ask questions and quickly receive feedback from your audience. 

Even better, your attendees will be able to vote for their favorite answers, giving everyone in the room insight into what the majority wants and thinks. This clarity can be especially beneficial if you want to discover which goals your employees want to achieve at a meeting or the challenges your students have with a particular project. 

3. Play Topic-Themed Trivia Games

Another great way to build an interactive slide deck is to include trivia and quizzing. This Slides With Friends feature has a couple of benefits. 

The first one is trivia builds connection. Having your attendees work together to answer trivia questions while learning who knows the same information is an excellent way to build a sense of camaraderie. 

However, if you want to spice things up during your presentation, you can have your audience get competitive. Everyone loves friendly competitions, as they're easy ways to relax, have fun, and laugh. Because you can customize these slides for any information, trivia slide decks are also a perfect way for teacher's to prepare students for quizzes or tests.

4. Let your Audience Share Photos & Stories

Getting to know your audience can be really fun with live photo sharingThis unique activity will give attendees a deeper look into each other's lives without invading anyone's privacy.

All they have to do is submit a photo in response to a prompt or question. Then, images will display randomly on your screen, giving people an opportunity to discuss what they provided. Some popular interactive slide decks you can use include the Get to Know the Group Game and Photo Sharing Game With Friends

5. Play a Scavenger Hunt

If you want an out-of-box idea for an interactive slide deck, consider doing a scavenger hunt. This activity can work whether your presentation is virtual or in-person, and can significantly increase your audience's engagement by getting them out of their seats. 

If your event is in a physical location, have attendees look for nearby items like a coffee stirrer, post-it note, or magnet. Conversely, for virtual presentations, the list of items can be anything from a houseplant, takeout container, or favorite coffee mug. Once your audience members find something, all they have to do is take a picture, submit it, and discuss it if it's displayed randomly on the screen.

Enhance Your Presentation With Interactive Slide Decks 

Interactive slide decks will make your presentations fun and get your audience excited to attend your event. With Slides With Friends, in particular, you'll have the tools to engage your audience and increase their chances of remembering information. 

Of course, you can always use PowerPoint's interactive features like hyperlinking and animation. But if you really want to keep your audience's attention, you need unique interactive slide decks, and Slides With Friends provides precisely that. 

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