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7 Interactive Presentation Ideas Your Event Audience Will Love

As event planners, we are constantly hunting for new ideas to wow and engage our audience. Most millennials would rather spend money on live experiences than physical goods. But to deliver a truly memorable experience, we need to involve participants and make them part of the story.

Optimizing with better interactive presentation ideas and bringing more diversity to the agenda are some of the most effective ways to keep people engaged and energized throughout the conference.

Try these Interactive Presentation Ideas for Amazing Events:

1. Fireside chats make great interactive presentations for events

A fireside chat is an informal conversation between a moderator and her guest. The term was actually first used to describe a series of 30 evening radio addresses by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944.

Since then, the concept evolved from one-way addresses to two-way debates. It was popularized by tech startup community events, such as Startup Grind, TechFire, or the SaaStr Conference.

To pull off a successful fireside chat, invite an expert who is confident with addressing a whole range of questions and a skilled moderator who can lead an engaging discussion. Since one of the objectives is to involve delegates in the discussion, many fireside chats use audience interaction tools to crowd-source questions from the audience. To learn more, check out our article on how to organize fireside chats.

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2. Tech-powered panel discussions are great interactive presentations for events

Panel discussions usually have a weak reputation among delegates. But with a meaningful use of technology and a few moderation tricks, they can be a whole new story. The key to making your panels truly interactive is to involve your audience early, ideally “within the first five minutes” as Scott Kirsner, a seasoned panel moderator, proposed.

To maximize the effectiveness of the discussion, crowd-source the audience questions with live interaction technology (such as Slido). Next, let people upvote the topics they want to hear discussed. You can even go the extra mile and pre-load a number of questions yourself to kick-off the conversation and lead the way.

From our experience, many delegates then jump on the bandwagon and submit their own questions. If you’re interested in the topic, here are four case studies of some great panels.

3. Unconferences are a clever event presentation idea that’s interactive

Invented by the Silicon Valley techies as an alternative to conventional conferences, unconferences are participant-driven meetings. They truly put the reins into the hands of participants.

You won’t have an agenda for an unconference. The agenda is created by the participants at the beginning of the meeting. It revolves around the overarching theme announced by a facilitator, and it adapts to your specific attendees’ interests that day.

The content is attendee-driven. The facilitator crowd-sources the topics from the audience, consolidates them, and then your attendees form discussion groups.

Unconferences are typically designed with open discussions rather than a presentation by a single speaker. In a nutshell, the intention of the unconference is to tap into the wisdom of the crowd rather than rely on a sage on the stage.

4. Quiz-enhanced presentations are interactive ways to impress event audiences

Live polls are not only great for measuring attendee comprehension of your speakers. It’s also for keeping the audience energized during traditionally longer interactive presentations, like at medical conferences.

MIMS Clinical Update Conference in London came up with a brilliant idea. Instead of letting their presenters—general practitioners—just broadcast their learnings, they used live polls to allow participants to actively engage with the presented information.

The medical experts presented a series of pictures with patient conditions and introduced potential remedies. After this introduction, the experts showed audience members photos of medical cases and asked people to choose the best treatment via live polls. The speakers then analyzed results and provided further advice on how to treat the illnesses.

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5. Pecha Kucha is a fun interactive presentation style for events

Devised in Tokyo in 2003 by local creatives, Pecha Kucha is a simple presentation format where speakers show 20 images, each for 20 seconds, so the whole talk is done in less than 6 minutes.

It requires a bit of practice by the speakers as the slides advance automatically and they need to talk in synchronization with the images. But for the audience, it’s a great opportunity to be exposed to a large number of inspiring ideas in a very short time.

6. Live barometer is another idea for creating an event interactive presentation

Live barometer, also called body voting, is a great way to get people moving and interacting with each other while also gauging their opinion on the topic of your session. A presenter introduces a statement or a challenge. For instance: Women are better leaders than men.

Attendees then move physically to the left or right side of the room based on whether they are for or against the argument. On each side, the distance from the center expresses how much they agree or disagree with the given statement.

A facilitator can then initiate a discussion by encouraging people on both sides to share their views and advice. As the debate progresses, he or she can ask participants if their opinion has changed. They can stay on the same spot, move closer to the center or completely switch sides.

7. Speed networking is a helpful interactive event component

While we allocate ample resources to bringing in inspiring speakers, we frequently overlook the networking part. 75% of the delegates mark networking as one of their main attendance drivers.

If you facilitate them well, speed networking can bring immense value to your conference’s delegates. Primarily, the practice involves multiple people that gather in a single space in order to exchange information. Participants greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during a set period of time.

The sessions start with the ring of a bell that announces the first round. Rounds usually last three to five minutes, but you can easily extend their duration based on your audience. Once the time is up, the facilitator rings a bell to call for the next round of meetings.

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Now You Can Bring the Best Interactive Event Presentation Ideas to Life!

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Which interactive presentation ideas are part of your agenda? Leave a comment on Twitter @socialtables.

Up next, learn more about how to create the best event seating plan, and get ideas for the best event and meeting icebreakers.

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