17 Ways to Create an Interactive Presentation That Stands Out

Written by:
Chloe West

interactive presentation - header wide

When you’re putting together a presentation, you want it to be engaging. Whether you’re presenting it live or embedding it on your website, you want to keep your audience entertained.

The best way to do that is by creating an interactive presentation that holds audience attention and even allows them to participate.

Sitting in a boring presentation where the speaker simply talks at their audience can make eyes glaze over and cause the speaker to lose their listener.

Adding interactivity into your presentation is the best way to spice up your speech, engage your audience and stand out from other presenters. The best part is, it doesn't have to be more work!

With these 17 ways to create an interactive presentation, you’ll be sure to grab your audience’s attention and keep them entertained throughout the entire presentation.

 

1 Start your interactive presentation with an icebreaker.

The first step is creating a rapport with your audience. You can do this by helping them to get to know you a little better, and get to know each other as well.

The way you go about this will depend on the size of your audience. If you’re presenting in a small group setting or workshop, you can easily go around the room and have everyone share a bit about themselves.

However, if you’re speaking with a crowd or at a conference with a larger audience, it would make more sense to simply have your audience introduce themselves to a neighbor or two before you dive in.

You could ask the audience to answer a question out loud or to their neighbor, ask them to prepare a few questions about your topic or a list of things they'd like to learn, or put together a fun icebreaker game.

Here are just a few icebreaker games you can choose from for your next interactive presentation.

 

2 Use video clips in a slide or two.

You don’t have to be the only one talking during your presentation. Embed a video into one of your slides to switch up your audience’s focus.

With Visme, you can easily embed a YouTube or Vimeo video into your slide for your audience to view on their own or for you to feature during your presentation. Here's how you can do that.

Simply go to the Media tab in the left sidebar of your Visme editor and click on Insert Video.

interactive presentation - add video visme editor

Sharing video clips can be a great way to further emphasize your argument by bringing in other opinions or even to just add a break for your audience during longer presentations. You can also share a video of yourself demonstrating how to do something.

If you’re embedding the slideshow on your website, adding a video to a slide or two allows your audience to take a break from reading and jump into a different way of consuming your content.

 

3 Make your interactive presentation non-linear.

Not every slideshow you create needs to simply flow from slide to slide. Get creative with it and see if it makes sense to add in a non-linear flow. So, what exactly is a non-linear presentation?

When you create links between slides so you can click around different areas of your presentation, you’re putting together a non-linear presentation.

You’re not going from slide one to slide two to slide three, and so on. Instead, you’re creating an interactive way for you and your audience to jump around your presentation.

You can create a table of contents page and link it to the slides that start each section. If your presentation is embedded, this allows your audience to navigate in their own preferred order.

It also gives your presentation a different edge from the regular flow, and can keep readers intrigued about what’s coming next.

 

4 Have a Q&A session.

Want to get the audience involved? Ask them questions!

While many presenters always plan to host a Q&A at the end of their presentation for the audience to ask questions, it can go both ways.

You can easily put together a few slides where you’re asking your audience questions throughout your presentation. Before you move onto the next section, ask your listeners what they think first.

Don’t make it intimidating, like a pop quiz. A simple “What do you think about..?” can work wonders.

You can also take several breaks throughout your presentation to give the audience a chance to ask you questions. If you had them write down a few things they want to make sure they learn from you at the beginning of the presentation, this is a great time to ask.

 

5 Create an interactive quiz.

Take it a step further and actually create a quiz in your interactive presentation. This works well for both live and embedded presentations.

In Visme, you can link elements in your slide together so that one element appears when another element is clicked. So ask your audience a question, gather their answers and then click to expose the correct answer.

interactive presentation - quiz visme

If you’re embedding the presentation, make sure you include a button that says something like “Click to see if you’re right!” so that your viewer knows they’re able to interact with the slide.

While you don’t necessarily want to use this as a way to sneakily check if your audience has been paying attention, it can be a fun way to gauge expertise in your audience and understand how much information you should cover.

 

6 Bring props along to your interactive presentation.

Want to really grab your audience’s attention? Bringing props along with you to help you demonstrate and visually tell your story can be a great way to keep people watching and listening.

The first thing to keep in mind when deciding which props to help convey your story is that they need to be relevant. Don’t bring random props that are interesting but are a huge stretch to fit in with your content.

Instead, bring props that intrigue your audience but still make sense with the information you’re sharing.

Here’s a great example of a prop that definitely secured the audience’s full attention. Bill Gates released a swarm of live mosquitos into the audience during his TED Talk on Mosquitos, Malaria and Education.

 

Sanitary? Maybe not. Attention getting? You bet.

 

7 Tell your audience a story.

One undeniable strategy for drawing your audience into your presentation is to tell them a story. Even if your topic covers a lot of data, facts and statistics, your speech doesn’t have to be dry.

There are many different ways to incorporate stories into your presentation effectively.

A good story helps to create an immersive effect, bringing your audience in and making them feel like they’re a part of your presentation. It taps into their emotions, causing them to hang onto your words, making your presentation much more memorable in the long run.

Here's a great example of a presentation filled with data that still hooks the audience in with great storytelling.

 

 

8 Add in an audio narrative.

You don’t have to speak the entire time. In fact, sometimes it can be nice to give yourself a break and pre-record some of your slides. This is also a great strategy to include for embedded presentation.

With Visme’s presentation maker, you are able to upload audio files that play in your slideshow. You can also record your own audio directly inside the Visme editor.

interactive presentation - add audio narrative

Some Visme users even create pre-recorded webinars using the software.

Adding audio into an embedded slideshow can be a great way to create an interactive presentation experience. You can add music or sound effects to slides to make them stand out. Or you can add an audio narrative that talks about your slide content in even more depth than your slide design allows.

 

9 Poll your audience.

Another great way to get your audience involved in your presentation is to poll them. Give them multiple choice options to see which one is the most popular. Ask them to raise hands.

You can even use a polling software and have your audience input their answers via their smartphone and watch the results come in live on your screen.

Have fun with it. Ask your audience their favorite football team, which ice cream flavor they’d choose between vanilla and chocolate and more. This is a great way to do icebreakers, as well as break up your presentation with some mindless fun.

Of course, you can also have polls relevant to your presentation topic. Consider all of the ways you can use a poll in your next interactive presentation.

 

10 Include discussion questions.

Depending on your presentation, consider adding discussion questions in. You can break your audience up into small groups to talk about your questions or simply have them discuss it briefly with their neighbor.

Seminar presentations are the perfect setting for discussion questions, and this can also work well if you’re putting on a presentation to a group of people that are sitting at tables.

All you need to do is put a discussion question up on the board and ask your audience to go around their table with their answers. This creates an interactive environment with very little effort on your part.

 

11 Encourage movement in your audience.

Another way to create an interactive environment is by encouraging movement within your audience.

This can be as simple as taking an intermission during a longer presentation or giving your audience a few minutes to get up and stretch their legs.

Other methods include asking your audience yes or no questions and having them answer by raising their hands or standing up, having your audience move to different seats and introduce themselves to new neighbors, or calling people up on stage to participate.

 

12 Get your audience asking questions.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, having your audience take time at the beginning of your presentation to list out their questions on your topic is a great idea.

Several times throughout your presentation, take a pause to ask for audience questions. Allow your listeners to ask questions about the slides you’ve already covered and the ones that may be coming up.

Getting your audience to ask questions, and letting them know that there will be several opportunities to do so, is a great way to ensure they continue to pay attention, take notes and write down potential questions throughout. Make sure you set some time aside at the end of your presentation for the rest of their questions.

Worried that people won’t speak up? Have a few allies in your audience that start the question asking.

No, this is not sneaky or shady. Sometimes people need a bit of encouragement, and asking a friend that you know will be attending to start off the questions can help.

 

13 Let your audience decide the direction.

Again, your presentation doesn’t have to be linear. You can have a slide setup with your four (or however many you have) main points and ask your audience which one they want to hear first, second and so on.

This makes it fun for the audience because they actually get to participate in the order of your presentation.

While this means you need to be extra prepared for whatever route your presentation may take, it creates a fun, interactive setting that your audience will remember for years to come.

Try a unique presentation structure like this, or one of these seven that your audience is sure to love.

interactive presentation - audience

 

14 Share a hashtag for social interaction.

If you’re speaking at an event that already has a branded hashtag, encourage your audience to tweet about your presentation using that hashtag. If you’re hosting a standalone presentation, come up with your own hashtag for your audience to use.

Your viewers can then share tidbits from your presentation as well as use the hashtag to ask questions for you to monitor and answer throughout.

Not only does this help to get your audience engaged, but it even helps to get their audiences engaged, learning about who you are, and interested in your content and presentation.

 

15 Add music to your interactive presentation slides.

Create a different ambiance by adding background music to your slides. Or get your audience pumped for new and exciting information with a pop song transition.

With Visme, you can easily upload audio files, including music clips, so that you can create an interactive experience for your audience. Your entire presentation doesn’t have to be centered around the sound of your voice. Adding in a music clip is a great way to refocus your audience on your content.

interactive presentation - add audio visme editor

Plus, it can be a nice added touch in an embedded presentation.

 

16 Play with transitions and animations.

There are so many different ways to animate your slides, each more exciting than the next. You can animate different elements in your slides, like in the animated slideshow below.

 

You can also create seamless transitions between your slides by having each one of your elements slide in on its own, like in the presentation example below.

 

You can even add animated graphs and charts to your presentation slides. Animation should be fun, and toying with different ideas can make for great interactivity.

This is actually a big mistake that most people make while creating a presentation. If you're using a software like PowerPoint, you might go overboard with all the different options you have. Use a tool like Visme so you can access handpicked, proven animation and transition styles, like in the examples shown above.

Just remember to be consistent with your animations and transitions. Keep the same look and feel throughout your entire presentation rather than a million different animation types.

 

17 Use data visualization in your interactive presentation.

Last, but certainly not least, use data visualization to showcase your information in an engaging and easy-to-understand format. Data visualization can be anything from a chart or graph that visually represent actual statistics and numbers to an icon or graphic that represents words.

Visualizing your points can be a great way to argue your point, and creating charts, graphs and other figures helps your audience digest your content that much quicker and more easily.

Plus, Visme offers tons of ways to visualize data within your presentation slides.

Choose from one of our many data visualization tools, such as animated charts, graphs and data widgets, to start visualizing your facts and figures in a more interactive format.

 

Get started with your own interactive presentation.

See? Your next presentation doesn’t have to be boring and predictable. By incorporating these interactive presentation ideas, your audience will be engaged and their phones will be put away.

Visme offers tons of interactivity features right within our presentation software. Sign up and create a free account today to start trying them out.

Did you find this article helpful? Which interactive presentation feature is your favorite? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

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About the Author

Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

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