Audience Response Specific Tips and Tricks
ProLingo ARS will instantly enhance any presentation, but there are still some basic principles to keep in mind when creating your slideshow.
- Start with an icebreaker. It may be the oldest trick in the book, but ask a silly or off-topic question so participants are familiar with the ResponseCard® keypads and how the system works. Provide clear instructions on how to respond.
- Ask useful questions. Make sure that you use audience response in alignment with your objectives. Asking questions that don't apply to the topic at hand won't help analysis of data or effectiveness of the presentation.
- Remember to inform the audience whether answers are being tracked or remain anonymous at the beginning of your presentation. Tracked responses will score individuals for assessment purposes, but anonymous polling may elicit more honest answers and feedback.
- Keep it simple. Keep regular slide and interactive slide content short. Don't overload the presentation with questions and don't overload a question with answer choices.
- Personalize your presentation. Don't lump all your questions together - break up material with questions throughout the presentation so that participants don't lose focus.
- Be creative. Ask more than "yes" or "no" questions. Try multiple choice, multiple response, priority ranking, matching and "true" or "false".
- Ask opinion-oriented questions. Often the most surprising results come from these questions and a dialogue can be created when attendees find out they are not alone in their views.
- Run a competition. Not only is it a fun way to get the audience involved, it often builds teamwork and energizes the room for upcoming polling questions. When using a participant list, add a "fastest responder" slide to see who responds correctly first.
- Assign point values to questions. Instead of making every question right or wrong, assign points and pass out awards to attendees with the most points.
- Include an Answer Now, Countdown Timer and Correct Answer Indicator into interactive slides. These cues will give audience members specific instructions for responding during presentations.
- Use collected feedback. Whether you're accumulating opinions or gathering demographic information, be sure to use the data for more than taking attendance. Guide the direction of the current session, apply responses to your next event or use demographic information for marketing materials - the possibilities are endless.
- Keypads are not a gift. While ResponseCards make great stocking stuffers, make sure to tell the audience all keypads must be returned. Remind attendees to leave the keypads on the seat or create a drop off box available by the exit.
- Remember to rehearse. Do a run-through of your presentation in the location you will be speaking in so that no unexpected errors occur.
- Start with the basics. Before introducing audience response into your presentation, create a slideshow that is truly dynamic. Don't clutter slides with too much data or imagery. Keep it simple, structured and significant. Make sure that your point is clear and supported by reasoning. Don't plan on rattling off statistics to make your argument - get to the heart of the matter with fewer slides.
- Do your research. While audience response systems are an innovative way to increase interaction and engagement, ask someone who has used them before. Perhaps you will discover some practical techniques or reduce some of your concerns.
- Plan ahead. Keep in mind the goal of your presentation and model content and questions in order to meet your desired objectives in the given amount of time. To assess and compare understanding throughout the presentation, ask the same questions at the beginning and end of your presentations. However, if you do not know what to expect during your session, ProLingo ARS allows you to insert interactive slides on-the-fly in case other topics and questions arise.
- Practice. If you've never used a response system before, or even if you have, practice your presentation. While ProLingo ARS is the industry's leading response system due to its ease of use, operate your response system at least once so you become familiar with it and feel secure using it during your actual presentation. Run through the content so that you will be able to fully address questions or concerns from participants.
- Introduce your audience to the response system. Although response systems are becoming common place, your participants may not know how the system works. Walk your audience through the process and explain the benefits of using a response system for both presenters and participants. Make your audience feel comfortable responding.
- Be aware of participant attention span. Know your audience - most participants find it difficult to sit through a 60 minute lecture without becoming distracted. In fact, expect your participants to start zoning out around the seven minute mark. In order to keep your audience engaged, break up your content. Using ProLingo ARS, you can easily insert question slides throughout your presentation. Including short bursts of questions mixed in with other, more traditional material will help keep your students or participants engaged and focused.
- Involve your audience. Participants want to be part of the experience - not just passive observers. The success of such shows as American Idol® and Dancing with the Stars where millions of viewers vote for their favorite contestant have confirmed the popularity of audience polling. Make your next class or seminar an interactive experience. Ask, insightful engaging questions that could lead to further discussion or spark impromptu conversations. Or run a fun individual or team competition that would test knowledge learned from the presentation.
- Gather data. While ProLingo ARS provides an interactive presentation, it also functions as a valuable data collection tool. Traditionally presenters ask for a show of hands, which may or may not inspire honest feedback. Gather anonymous data and run reports to pull out demographic or personal information. Ask review questions to affirm that the class can move on or needs to re-examine the session. The possibilities are endless.
I am writing today to compliment the exceptional customer service shown by your team members. Our organization recently hosted a group of high profile religious leaders from North, Central and south America for which English to Spanish translation was a necessity. My entire staff and I were impressed by the quality of ProLingo's equipment, pricing and most importantly their employees. I am looking forward to working with ProLingo again in the future and will gladly recommend your services to others.
- S. Caprani, Episcopal Church of Central Florida