Recently I was asked to put together a presentation on content I was very unfamiliar with, yet the asker wanted it also to be interactive. After I suppressed my surge of nervousness, I got to work trying to come up with interactivity ideas. The problem I kept running into was that my lack of knowledge of the content would shine through the more I interacted with the crowd — a crowd who was very familiar with the content.
I started asking around the office for ideas, and that’s when I was recommended MentiMeter.com . And this software/website in the free trial version saved the day! Menti allows you to ask the crowd a question and the audience responds through their phones or computers. The results are presented real time on the administrators portal, which you can project to the crowd. What’s especially cool is that you can have the audiences results in a variety of ways. Their submissions can pull up in word cloud form, where the most common responses are given a larger text size, or you could have the audience place their response within a two dimensional matrix, or along the spectrum. Or you can ask a survey question with defined answers, or leave it open ended. There are many other options but these were the only ones I looked into for my use case.
The one drawback I found was that the free version only gives you freedom to use these cool formats for two slides. After that I believe you are forced to ask multiple choice questions on your remaining slides. You can increase your slide count if you invite others to use the service via email, or I supposed if you had multiple email accounts you could set up a few two slide presentations on multiple accounts. But cough, cough I have no idea who would do something like that. Of course there is also a paid version, but not knowing how it would all work out, I didn’t look into the cost or the additional features you get from paying. But based on my last experience, as long as it’s not outrageously expensive I think it’s definitely worth considering.
This presentation software (Menti) enabled me to engage and interact with audience without having to let on that I want that familiar with the content. Instead I simply asked authentic questions I was interested in learning and let the audience loose. With the real time feedback of the audience in an anonymous setting sparkled a ton of conversation. This is especially important if you have a very hierarchical audience where once the highest ranking person speaks everyone else in the room simply tries to support/uplift their leader’s commentary. With Menti that’s an added benefit — the audience doesn’t know who wrote what. And finally, one additional feature I liked was that you could email the deck or individual slides to the audience members so they have quick reference to the topics that were discussed and important on the day. No more need to compile white board or poster paper notes and send them off to the audience. Their responses (i.e., the audience generated) notes are all captured real time.
Overall, I loved the Menti experience and would recommend it to others looking for a cool way to make their presentation interactive. My only word of advice is to pasty around with it for a few days before the presentation…everything is pretty intuitive but some of the response modules can take awhile to think how you want to set them up to incite the most conversation. I had an wesome experience, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others