Any one who follows me or has been on one of my presentation training courses will know I am a proponent of interactive presentations. The more your audience participates in your presentation the longer and better they will remember it. As Confucius once said “I hear I forget, I see I remember, I do I understand”
With small audiences gaining that participation is relatively easy but the larger the audience gets the harder it becomes. The other day I came across a new product from a dutch company which will change this forever. It is called Shakespeak and essentially what it allows people to do is interact with your PowerPoint presentation using their mobile phone.
In PowerPoint you can set up either a multiple choice closed question or an open question, then when you arrive at that part of your presentation, everyone can phone in their answers, using SMS, an internet link or Twitter. The responses are then shown on the next slide, as a chart or a list of text.
There is no need for any expensive polling equipment, as everyone has a mobile these days, all you need is a laptop with an internet connection running PowerPoint.
The service is very easy to use and enables you to find out exactly what your audience are thinking there and then. You no longer have to rely on their body language or facial expressions to work out if they are interested in what you are saying, you can ask them. In educational sessions, you can check if they are understanding what you are teaching, by dropping in the occasional question. New product launches could be made more interactive by asking how people might use the new product. Sales presentations could prompt for current problems that need to be addressed. Rather than leaving people feeling uncertain you could prompt them to send in any questions they might have, so that you can answer them there and then.
Answers to open questions can be up to 160 characters long so there is ample space to pose a question or express a sentiment.
So get your thinking caps on about what questions you could be asking your audiences, make you presentations more interactive, more memorable and more effective. You can even try Shakespeak for free, just download it from their website.
By the way, I have no association with this product or the company, I just think it is a great new tool.