6 Tips: How to start your presentation?

6 Tips: How to start your presentation?

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. And like it or not, this is especially true for presenting. The first minute makes attendees decide whether or not they’ll stay with you. Luckily you can be pretty much in charge… Here are 6 tips:

A powerful kick-off of your presentation – 3 don’ts:

  • Don’t 1: “Can you hear me?”. Never ask if the audience can hear you. Instead, come in on time and test the microphone and audio in advance. People are excited to hear your story, make it sparkle from the first second!
  • Don’t 2: Introduce yourself. Often speakers are introduced by a moderator. Next to that, attendees can also read your bio in the event program. Use your time cleverly and skip an extensive introduction. However, make sure to check with the moderator how you’ll be announced. Add your name to the PowerPoint slides, so that attendees can easily google you.
  • Don’t 3: Jump straight to the point. Recall your last sip of wine? Before you can enjoy your glass of wine, you need that first moment to reflect on the taste. From there the drinking becomes more enjoyable. The same goes for speakers. The first few seconds, attendees have to get used to you. Much of what you’re saying won’t be registered. Save important info for later!

A powerful kick-off of your presentation – 3 do’s:

  • Do 1: Share a personal story. What happened last weekend? Which picture can you show? Which music makes you tick? Share something personal and use it as a stepping stone to your subject. The more personal, the more people are interested.
  • Do 2: Refer to a trending topic. Is there anything going on in the news that has a relation to your subject? Make clever use of FOMO: people’s fear of missing out. “In this morning’s news I read that …” is a powerful opening line causing everyone to be all ears.
  • Do 3: Ask a question. People like to think along and share experiences. Therefore, ask them a question via Sendsteps. It is also an effective opening exercise, because attendees can also get to know each other when discussing the question together. Ask for some plenary responses. Either live, or present the digital results on the presentation screen. Use the answers as an interesting bridge to your upcoming story.

From here we wish you good luck with your smashing presentation!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


Event ingredient: a debate?!

Event ingredient: a debate?!

Many event professionals will tell you that “interaction” is an important ingredient for an event. A debate is one of the strongest examples of interaction. Yet, it’s often not part of an event program.

A debate can be easily organized, either with appointed speakers [e.g. subject experts] and even with the audience itself. A debate is very suitable in the context of an industry conference or for an employee meeting. It is often centered around themes that are close to people their work and hearts.

In his Dutch book “Durf te Kiezen”, meaning “dare to make choices”, author Gijs Weenink claims that a debate can be much more powerful to an organisation, than hiring a consultant: it’s quicker, it engages everyone and it’s all about arguments rather than about individuals. A debate is a good thermometer for the culture of an organisation or an industry.

How to setup a debate? | The following ingredients are important for a great debate:

  • Strong statements. A statement needs to be short, positively formulated, not open to multiple interpretation, controversial and needs to carry a suggestion for improvement.
    Some examples:
  • We need more leadership
  • We need to say “no” more often to our clients
  • Everyone is allowed to decide their own working hours
  • Attendees. Attendees can represent their own opinion or can be challenged to defend a point of view that isn’t theirs. The last case can be seen as an exercise or challenge. Are you able to see things from a different perspective? A debate can be small or big in audience size. Yet, the larger, the more complex to operate.
  • Time management. A debate only needs 10 to 15 minutes per statement. It requires attendees to be short and clear in their arguments. The facilitator makes sure that attendees don’t repeat their arguments, that quiet attendees are engaged as well and that all attendees get equal time to bring across their point of view.
  • Space and seating. During the debate attendees can be given the option to change camps. So, if arguments from the other party convince you, then you can move and change to the other side.
  • Independent facilitator. An independent facilitator is able to lead the debate in a neutral way. He or she is also able to ask better clarifying questions, which can help to bring the debate to a higher lever. The facilitator is also responsible for the time keeping.
  • An audience A debate can have an audience. A valuable element can be to first let the audience vote on the statement and to show it either before the debate starts or after. With the results the debaters can be helped to start their debate or they can be confronted with the outcome at the end of a debate.

    Alternatively there can also be a “before” and an “after” vote to see how the opinion has changed through the debate. To make it even more dynamic, you can let the audience respond live throughout the debate. Debaters are then challenged to give their utmost to influence the audience. Via Sendsteps the audience can vote [anonymously] through their smartphone.

  • Follow up A debate can be fun [with even a jury appointing the best debater!], but it is often a very constructive managerial instrument. A summary of the debate can help to discuss issues in tomorrow’s board room meeting! Or changes can be even made on the spot, straight after the debate…

So which topic is trending within your organisation?

Imagine how it can spice up your event on one hand and on the other hand will lead to concrete insights and actions too!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


10 tips: Employee events with an inconvenient message

10 tips: Employee events with an inconvenient message

How to deal with an employee event that is less fun? Not because of the venue or the speaker line-up, but because of an inconvenient message that has to be shared: budget cuts, poor performances or even job losses. How as an organization to prepare a storyline for such a delicate, yet important and strategic, event?

 

Here are 10 tips for those who have to bring an inconvenient message:

  • 1. Tell what it does to you. Express your sincere concern. Obvious maybe to yourself, but by putting it out in words, it helps to build rapport with your audience. Also: tell people what they don’t need to be afraid of. This way you take away possible obstacles that prevents your team from further listening.
  • 2. Underline the sense of urgency. Explain what will happen if you continue without any intervention. People need to understand the negative scenario of not stepping up.
  • 3. Check-in with your audience. Keep a constant connection with your audience. It’s easy to become too rational when you do all the explaining. Ask every now and then: “how are you?” and encourage short interaction moments.
  • 4. Get straight to the point. Don’t take too long to make your point. People are tensed and will lose you when your story becomes too extensive. Make your point loud and clear. Support every point with slides that give a compact summary.
  • 5. Round off personally. As personal and empathetic as you’ve started your presentation, make sure to round it off in a similar way. Use an inspiring poem or text: as long as it works and still is matching your management style.
  • 6. Ask for a first reaction. Use Sendsteps to answer the question “How do you feel now” and let attendees respond anonymously by selecting an answer option. The results on the presentation screen might be conclude negative sentiment, but at least it is clear, people feel heard and it’s easier to address than live reaction.
  • 7. Space for live comments. Answering live comments might be challenging, but is important to make people feel heard. Allow digital input for those employees who find it difficult to raise questions out loud. When your board compromises more members, then also invite fellow board members on stage to participate in the audience Q&A.
  • 8. Follow up with unanswered questions. Not all questions can be answered. Tell people in advance. However, also communicate 1] when and 2] how the audience can expect feedback of those questions that can’t be answered now.
  • 9. Stay for drinks. For those who like to approach you more informal, it is helpful to stay during the drinks afterwards. Being present [as a leader], is an important sign on itself already. Leave your inner circle of colleagues for what it is and mingle with as many of your team members as possible: from juniors to seniors!
  • 10. Practise and prepare. Such an important meeting requires a joint effort. You might be the messenger, but there’s a team to support you: an event professional to take care of an appropriate setting, a Head of Communications to guard the tone of voice, fellow board members to support and a moderator who takes care of time management, proper introductions and a streamlined Q&A session. Your prep mostly comes down to practise, practise and practise!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


From networking nerves to networking vibes!

From networking nerves to networking vibes!

Have you ever experienced the nerves when you go to a business event where you don’t know anyone?

85% of all the people find it challenging to network, for example: walking up to strangers, starting a chat and discuss business. This is a pity, because it prevents you from attracting new clients and business opportunities.

The Superconnector Show

Judith Smits is a Dutch entrepreneur, speaker and author. She started her career being part of the 85%. She once found networking a must, rather than something to enjoy. However, over time she developed herself as a real connector. She now helps individuals and organizations to become better at networking too. Her gained knowledge and experiences come together in “The Superconnector Show”. In it, she uses Sendsteps to give the audience more trust and fun in networking. Watch the video to get an impression of the show!

Share! Also when it is uncomfortable.

The very first open question that is raised through Sendsteps is:

“What do you find difficult about networking?”

“When you touch upon more personal themes, the use of Sendsteps is essential”, says Judith. Everyone can send their one-word response using their smartphone. The anonymous input appears live on screen. The most frequent used words will appear the biggest on screen, in a Word Cloud. As a result, attendees can share their insecurities but without the need to be addressed individually.

“What counts is the input on the screen and less the individual behind the response”. Based on the input you can start a dialogue, whereby the audience slowly opens up. “At a given moment you notice attendees experiencing the click with the theme”. People dare to share, they feel more empowered and in the end they simply have fun!

Interactive experience by using Sendsteps

The Superconnector Show has many opportunities where the audience can expand their own network [e.g. on-the-spot pitching experiences]. The icing on the cake in the show is the network quiz. The audience can respond tot he quiz questions through Sendsteps and the winner leaves with the Superconnector Award.

The Superconnector Show for your next event?

The Superconnector Show is a great kick-off for many type of events. The shows range from 30 minutes to 3 hours. By using Sendsteps, the audience gets out of their comfort zone, they connect easily with others and they’re having fun again in networking!

More info? Visit www.denetwerkshow.nl

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


 

Survey Questions

Survey Questions

It’s not an easy task. Organizing an event and catering to everyone’s interests and needs. Through social media and through many offline events, most people already have seen and heard a lot. When organizing an event it is easy to put standards high, but at times it can be a challenge to execute to that level.

Yet, why organize an event alone? Your target audience consist out of different profiles: customers, employees, citizens or other types of stakeholders. What makes them tick? Once you’ve identified your event theme, it makes it much easier to involve your audience. Not on the event day itself, but already weeks ahead. Making them part of your event preparations. Engage them and get inspired!

Your audience | Before your event starts

Of course you’d like to surprise your attendees and as such not give away too much ahead of the event. Yet, there are some ingredients that are easier to explore together with your audience. Of which in doing so, will result in a stronger event proposition:

  • The theme of your event: The more in-depth you’d like to approach a theme, the easier you make it yourself by finding out what people already know about it [e.g. climate control in office spaces during an event about sustainability]. Or to figure out what their personal opinion is on matters [e.g. integrity in the banking sector during an event about business ethics].Important In advance the findings can be shared with the speakers of the event. It will give them insight in what people already know. As such they can cut in Powerpoint slides or adjust their storyline in the days ahead of the event. On the event itself it is then often a strong kick-off to hear a speaker briefly telling about what he already knows about an audience. Once informed, the speakers and their stories to share, are to a large extend aligned with the audience’s expectations.
  • The speakers of your event: Not only can you consult your audience about their opinions and knowledge level. You can also find out which speaker they’d like to hear. Either as an open question, or steered with suggestions. Let the audience maybe not decide on all speakers, but say half of them. As such you can also promote your event with your potential audience as being a “tailor-made” event!
How far would you like to go? Obviously every detail can be discussed in advance. From venue to lunch. Yet the big ingredients might be worth exploring the most. Once you get a sense of those ingredients, from there often other practicalities become clearer by themselves.

How to consult your audience?

With the survey feature of Sendsteps you can easily setup an online survey. On a webpage you can formulate different type of multiple choice- and open questions. In any amount and in any order you’d like. In either a basic branding, or in your company’s design.

Once done, you can send it out to all your [potential] attendees. Throughout the survey period you can keep track of the responses in an online dashboard. You can easily generate reports to then send to your speakers or share with your team and as such brief everybody who is involved.

Your audience | After the event

We all know the online surveys after an event took place. We’re often already busy again with other activities. Catching up emails for instance after a busy conference day. Therefore it is wise to evaluate your event on the spot. By asking your audience just a few questions before they leave the venue. Keep it short and simple:

  • On a scale from 1 [poor] to 10 [excellent], how would you rate today’s event?
  • How likely do you consider to attend next year’s edition?
  • Can you share with us at least one point for improvement?

The above questions can be pretty much applied to any event. The outcome is truly helpful in evaluating the success of the event and of course to improve any next edition!

Interesting Offering unique event experiences can be to a great extend created when involving your most important stakeholders: the audience. Turn them into co-creators. And eventually into your best ambassadors. What would you like to know from them?

Please let us know if you need any assistance with the setup and execution of your Sendsteps Survey! We’re there to give you some inspiration and to help you with getting your survey out!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


Fun office games for employees

Fun office games for employees

Albert Einstein might have summarized it in the best way: “Play is the highest form of research”. Office games create an informal atmosphere which helps to create trust at the workplace, boost morale and foster engagement among your staff. The more trust is present in a team, the more innovation will take root.

However, in our daily operation we often forget to play. More than ever we need to think differently as our reality is changing with a rapid speed. Time to bring in crazy ideas and to challenge our perspective on many topics.

So, how now to incorporate some play and fun challenges into your work?

This blog will give you and your coworkers concrete ideas to spice up your office fridays: from a quick 1-minute competition, word games to play from behind your desk to an indoor activity for all employees. Some games have a serious character, some of them are pure play. Pick one of them and see for yourself what works best in your office setting.

Can you already feel the innovation boiling?

Fun Games

Happier people work harder. So let’s get started!

Top 10 fun games to play in the office when bored

At Sendsteps we’ve selected a top 10 fun games to play in office. When bored on fridays then your coworkers will always be in for:

  • Guess who: Write down names on cards of famous people. Let employees pick a card randomly. Takes 30-second turns on interviewing the person that has a name. Answers can only contain “yes” or “no”. The one that has most names guessed correctly is the winner. One of the easy word games to play, but with a lot of fun guaranteed!
  • Escape room: Get out of the trusted office environment and challenge your team with visiting an escape room. There’s many types out there as escape rooms become increasingly more popular.
  • Pingpong: Prevent an after lunch dip and play a game of pingpong. The pingpong table will become a nice spot to socialize and over time a metaphor for fun in the office.
  • Circle of Questions: Formulate a list of unexpected questions. Let every attendee pick one question to address to their neighbour. Like: “What’s the best memory of your grandmother”, or “What do you find the world’s most beautiful place”?
  • Truth and lies: Let everyone come up with a truth and two lies. The rest of the group has to decide which of the three situations told is the truth.
  • Post-It Note Adventure: Hide an object indoors and let post-its throughout the office give clues on where to search next for the hidden object. And of course: make sure to think of fun prizes!
  • Tidy the place: As silly as it may sound, but cleaning and tidying together will create a crisp work environment and is an easy socializing activity.
  • Volunteer for a day: Some companies provide one day a year off to together work on a voluntary project. Do good for society and in the meantime bond with your work peers!
  • A movie, a story: What is your favorite movie and what does it say about you? Pick an online video trailer, show it and briefly share your thoughts with the movie.
  • Personality tests: There are hundreds of personality tests out on the web. From light to serious. Pick a test that fits best and discuss the outcomes with your team.

Interactive team building fun games for meetings

Want to break the routine in your weekly office meetings? Let coworkers conduct a 5 minute interview with each other about their last week’s project [on itself already a valuable team building exercise in still a corporate vibe.]:

When done, let everyone give a 1-minute pitch with 1] a summary of the story of the other 2] a compliment to the other and 3] a suggestion to improve. A simple, yet more serious intervention. Want to stick to more fun games to play? Simple and indoor? Then you might want to check again our previous blog on 5-minute team building activities and other interactive fun games!

Quick & small fun games, 1 minute games

Games in office don’t always need to take long. There’s many small fun activities that only take 1 minute of your time. Imagine when you can have a laugh for a minute in all of your meetings throughout the week!

One of these quick fun office games is to appoint someone in office who picks a fun yet inspirational quote that represents the theme of team building. Your team member has to prepare this in advance and the team can take turns per week. Either start or end your meeting with the quote and then boast that the indoors company vibe!

Indoor fun office games

Being in a corporate environment doesn’t mean adults can’t have fun! So time to bring in a classic. Maybe one of the most famous activities in the category group games – the helium stick!

Get yourself a helium stick, or otherwise a thin and light rod. Let the attendees stand up, face each other, stretch their arms and point out the index fingers. Now put the stick on their fingers and instruct them to bring the stick together to the ground. Sounds easy? Just wait and see!

Tip This is one of the simple activities that works great for small groups. Keep it light or add a dimension by evaluating the group process afterwards: what worked well and what could have been done differently?

Fun office competition games

Want to add some little team competition onto the office work floor? Then try this intellectual exercise:

Make two teams. One team defines a well-known phenomenon, person or object. For instance “pyramids”, “Mandela” or “the golden age”. Then define 5 words that relate to this pick. E.g. in the case of Mandela: “Robben Island”, “Apartheid”, “South Africa”, “ANC” and “Nobel Prize”. Now the other team gets to know the topic and has to mention within a set time all of the keywords.

Interesting Not only is it a challenge for the other team, it also forces the first team to dive into “nice-to-know-stuff”. This isn’t only a competitive game, it’s also one of the words games that can teach you a lot!

Fun team office games

Competitive coworkers might not add to the vibe at the office. It’s a different cup of tea when you’re about to play a game with them. At work “listening” is a skill that cannot be practised enough. One of the activities fostering this skill, is back-to-back drawing:

Divide your team in pairs. Let everyone sit back to back. One partner has an illustration, the other partner has pen/pencil and paper to draw. From here the partner with the illustration has to tell the other partner on how to draw the illustration. This requires not only careful explanation, but also clear questioning from the other person who is drawing the picture.

Tip Done with explaining and drawing? Now turn around and face each other again. See how accurate [or not] the drawing has become. And of course compare the result with other pairs. Who of all the artistits seems to have the most accurate drawing? Maybe one your competitive coworkers or maybe one of the least expected colleagues…!

Fun group activity games

Why stay in the office? Leaving the workplace and finding yourself with your coworkers in unexpected non-corporate places, can easily sparkle new energy and ideas! Browse the web for just 10 minutes and see the big offer of great outdoor activities.

Surprise your office staff and go kayaking on a river, build a hut in the forest or plan a horse-whisperer session! Depending on your budget, you can find a lot of fun things to do. Some of the activities have a clear team building element to it. Others are simply good fun!

Tip To make everyone feel involved and engaged, you might want to consider to let employees vote on what activity to choose. It’s not easy to satisfy everyone, but at least you can try to steer it somewhat as such.

Few more Games

There’s many fun games out there [as the previous section shows]. Yet, there are also games with a more serious character. In this last section we’ll deal with a few of these games:

Management games for office

Ever thought of what your staff is really thinking about their work conditions? How do they experience the food in the canteen, are they happy with the setup of their office workplace and do the value either more money or more free time when it comes to it?

These or very different subjects can easily be addressed with an online questionnaire. For instance to be composed through the Sendsteps Audience Response tool. As soon as the results are gathered [let’s say over the course of a week or so], then a non-management member can present the results to the management. Before showing the actual outcomes, you can build in a moment to let the managers discuss amongst each other of what they think the outcome will be. The more serious questions don’t leave much space to call it a game any longer, but you can vary with the depth of questions and see how it best relates to the setting of your discussion. As such its either one of the more serious management games or in the end, a strategic session.

Motivational games for employees

When presenting to your employees you can easily turn a serious presentation into an element of fun. Something to think about and to play at work. Consider a question within your presentation with which your office team can decide on the next subject to discuss. Or test their knowledge about the theme you’re addressing.

One of the other nice word games, is to ask colleagues to come up with words representing their feelings about a certain theme. Words that you can than turn into a word cloud. E.g. “What is your biggest motivation to work at this project?”. Attendees can send in words like “sustainability”, “teamwork”, “profit” or “challenging”

Tip For work ethic purposes you might consider to print the word cloud and to hang it in your hallway, canteen or reception area. A nice memory to a fun game and important subject!

 

Safe Room Amsterdam

Safe Room Amsterdam

11% of Amsterdam-based freelancers feel “seriously lonely”. Think of web designers, copywriters or musicians. Professionals who are passionate in what they do. Far from ‘people shy’, but the nature of their work often involves a high level of solitude.

Some freelancers deal well with that, they even like it, but 11% simply struggles with it. Visiting a Starbucks, doesn’t necessarily do the trick.

Safe Room Amsterdam: the concept

  • Recognition. To what extent do you yourself recognize the challenges around the subject?
  • What can you do about it yourself? In little groups talking through concrete solutions.
  • What can others do about it? Reflections from expert speakers that talk along with the audience.

Next to that, every Safe Room edition always contains a few fixed characteristics:

  • Safe Bubble: A small living room pre-event with 8 attendees to talk through the topic and finetune the content for the actual event.
  • Facilitation: The actual Safe Room event is hosted by two facilitators; a man and a woman.
  • Audience response technology: The event makes use of Sendsteps to participate anonymously. This fosters people to share without having to speak in public.
  • Role of expert speakers: The speakers are seated among the rest of the audience. They’re not invited to give a presentation, but are there to reflect out loud and think along together with like-minded attendees. Expert speakers come from different backgrounds. Through their input, the subject gets a 360 degree perspective.
Important With this formula Safe Room doesn’t only want to cherish dialogue among the attendees, it also stimulates cross-fertilization: attendee experiences plus the knowledge of experts sometimes results in social innovation. New ideas in the city: to make city life a little more fun!

Anonymous replies, lively talks!

During the “recognition” part, Sendsteps was used to ask the audience: “To what extend did you feel lonely last month?”. A [too] direct question to ask a group that has just met and doesn’t know each other. Yet, the fact that attendees can respond anonymous, allows the facilitators to immediately start a dialogue on a substantial level.

There’s no need asking “who responded a,b or c?”, the result on the screen is all that counts. From there you can easily ask clarifying questions like “Who likes to elaborate on this?”. Or, “Who recognizes this?”. The anonymous responses on the screen often work as a trigger to many attendees to share a little from their own experiences. From there, the expert speakers can easily tap into the discussion and the talks become lively and dynamic.

Group talks in a safe setting

With taboos it is easy to lose yourself in negativity. Yet, Safe Room encourages attendees to contribute to a positive forward-thinking climate. Which ideas are there to share? How can you profit from other person’s best practices? During a plenary summary, groups and individuals are briefly interviewed by the facilitators to share outcomes. But only, if people are willing and if they feel safe enough to do so. At all times Safe Room attendees should feel comfortable and safe to join the conversation if they like to.

Live evaluation and concrete results

The first edition of Safe Room Amsterdam was evaluated on the spot. On purpose; to evaluate what went well and what could be further improved. The evaluation was done with help of Sendsteps and the results were shared with the audience. The event scored an 8.3 and received constructive tips for next editions.

For instance, introducing “connectors” helping people that walk into the group, to connect with other attendees. Besides the evaluation of the event, the attendees also agreed to start small initiatives among themselves [a monthly meetup, a talk with co-working spaces to see what can be done together etc.]; in line the with the philosophy of the event!

Sendsteps a proud sponsor

Sendsteps founder and CEO Steven Blom is a big fan of the Safe Room concept:

In the #metoo era, in times of fake news and social media facades it is great to create events and places where people can openly talk about whatever challenge they experience. The Safe Room concept caters well to this need that many people have. And Sendsteps is used in a very constructive way as such. We’re happy to sponsor this new and positive initiative!

Tip For the new edition of Safe Room Amsterdam, with again a new theme, check www.saferoomamsterdam.com

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


How to make a presentation interactive

How to make a presentation interactive: best practice examples, software and ideas of interaction with your audience through activities and games

If you would take a minute. And think of a presentation you’ve recently attended. Is there any presentation that pops up in your mind? You probably recall presentations that involved a creative element. Something that encouraged you and the rest of the audience to engage. Think of activities to do, like; talking with your neighbor, the use of audience response software or even games to play.

There are many ways to make group presentations moments to remember. But how to be more interactive during your presentation? What is (an interactive presentation) going to change, the moment you involve your audience? Although there isn’t a single best way, we’d like to share with you the following ideas:

  • Interactive games for a presentation: Any playful and competitive element already soon creates an atmosphere of connection. Often needed to come to a consensus, to get support for new plans and to create a good team vibe!
  • Activities ideas: Giving the audience a task or assignment ignites a proactive mindset. Helpful to empower attendees and to make an entire group responsible for a challenge.
  • Examples of interactive presentations: Copy what you can use and prevent spending time thinking of presentation formats that already proved their success.
  • Interactive presentation software: There’s tools out there that can easily help you to create audience interaction. Anonymous or not. Polls or open questions. Word clouds or surveys. See what works best for you!

When preparing your presentation, inclusive the interactive elements, you obviously like to tune in on your audience profile. Are the attendees higher educated or not, young or older, introvert or extravert, familiar with your subject or not? Getting yourself a clear picture, will help to find the interactive approach that will work best.

Interactive games for a presentation

  • Quiz. Let the entire audience stand up. Ask attendees to be seated upon answering [by raising hands] questions incorrectly. Proceed with the quiz questions, going from easy and simple to creative and difficult, until the last one person is still standing: he or she is the winner! Alternatively use audience response software, whereby attendees can cast [identified] responses. Through your online dashboard or on the presentation screen, you can see who is the winner.Tip Plan your quiz games strategically. Use it as the kick off to create a more relaxed atmosphere. Or after the lunch to prevent a low energy dip. Or use it to close off with it and end with a positive vibe.
  • Pitch-a-neighbour. Instead of asking your attendees to introduce themselves plenary. Or hear their specific thought on something. Ask them to have an interview with their neighbour. Give examples and ideas on what to question in specific. The neighbour then will process the information in such a way that he/or she is able to give a 1 minute pitch about the other towards the rest of the group. This forces you to listen differently and to really get to know the other. One of the more serious games to play.
    Tip Obviously, to do (in a presentation) such an exercise becomes more challenging the moment your audience is bigger. Still then you can pick a few volunteers to present somebody and as such give the crowd an idea of who’s present today. A truly interactive presentation!

Interactive activities to do in a presentation

  • Send in Scenarios. When giving group presentations, it is always a question what to exactly cover. Every attendee is unique in his/her professional experience and knowledge and therefore it can be a challenge to cater to everyone. Already in an early stage, before preparing your powerpoint, you can ask your attendees a few questions in advance. To measure their knowledge and to hear from them what they expect from your presentation. With online surveys this can be easily executed. This will give you the right input to tailor your story.TipOr when you feel comfortable enough with your topic, you might as well ask the questions on the spot using audience response tooling. Let attendees discuss in pairs whereby this becomes one of the more practical activities during your presentation. After a few minutes the audience will send in their responses and you can decide which topics or ideas to pick and when to elaborate on it.
  • Cross the line. This one of the games that requires a little more venue space. Ideally you have an open space, where attendees can walk around freely, with in the midst a line to cross. This game can be played for fun or with a more substantial approach. As one of the examples, think of a conference about sustainability. Now you can ask attendees questions related to that: “Who has an electric car?”, “Who believes climate change can be still turned around” etc. Either proceed after each question, or interview a few of the attendees.

Examples of interactive presentations

  • Image research. What is (an interactive presentation) doing differently to an audience compared to a 1.0 presentation? With a 2.0 presentation you can easily make things more personal. Often an audience has a few common characteristics e.g. profession, shared professional themes, job level etc.Make use of the Sendsteps Audience Response System (powerpoint software) and ask 5 multiple choice questions about how the group of professionals see themselves. Once a large conference for accountants took place where a professor presented an image study about the professional group. Tip Before presenting the results he would constantly check in with the attendees to hear their ideas on the research topics and findings. It resulted in both serious insights, as well as fun moments upon the attendees recognizing themselves in the stereotypes of accountants.
  • Case consultants. Games can easily be presented in the form of a case study. Each time you explain a next step in your story, you can work with cases. “What would you do next, or in this specific situation?” whereby attendees can then choose from a few answer options. From there you can proceed with explaining why the answer was wrong or discuss the correct answer. Think of explaining the development of a new and innovative product: “what was the first step?”, “What do you think we walked into?”, “How do you believe competition reacted?” etc.

Interactive presentation software

These days a lot of tools, free or paid, are out there to support you with your interactive presentation. The definition of best tool is hard to give, depending on your list of requirements. Check the web and multimedia to find your prefered solution.

The integration with Powerpoint [no need to use additional screens], the protection of data and the endless branding possibilities, makes Sendsteps Audience Response System great software to work with. A glimpse of the many features:

  • Multiple choice and open ended questions. Collect instant responses. Either anonymous or identified on both multiple choice and open questions. With the open content you can let attendees upvote comments: the most rewarded comment can be addressed!
  • Wordclouds. Create wordclouds with your audience. Describe in one word … “How would you describe the team culture”, “What would be a metaphor for the communication style in this group”, “What did you think of today?” etc.
  • Surveys. Either on the sport, before or after your event; at any given moment you can tune in with the opinion from your attendees. Use it to collect valuable data, to improve your event and to brief the speakers.
Contact usDid you read anything that can match with your audience? Are you able to wrap it into the context of your topic? Feel free to contact us at any time and we’re happy to think along with you!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


Upvoting Feature

Upvoting Feature

To most of us presenting on itself is already a challenge. Some get pleasure out of it, but most people are happy when it is over. So why even involve the audience? Doesn’t it only make it more difficult for the presenter to manage the story line?

Obvious thoughts, but experience often shows the contrary. Once you let the audience participate in your story, dynamics will start to work for you, instead of against you;

  • Keep focus: When going back and forth between speaker and audience, then the focus is less on you as speaker. Every now and then this comfortably takes away the pressure. Giving you time to zoom out a little, to decide where to speed up or where to give more attention to. Just make sure you have a script to follow and you won’t lose track.
  • Foster engagement: The audience will feel more involved. They can reflect on what you’ve just said and compare it with their own practice. They can give you and other attendees suggestions or ask you to further explain. When you feel it is time to move on, then remember that you’re in charge at all times!
  • Create excitement: Your story will come to live. Since often as a presenter you’re the expert, you’ll find that hardly none of the audience’s questions will catch you off guard. Trust it. They will actually fuel your story, because you suddenly remember this good example!

When to ‘bring in the audience’?

Clearly there’s a moment for everything during presenting. In most cases a monologue is very useful to kick off with. It gives attendees a clear understanding, they can get used to you as speaker and it gives time to form some first thoughts. Yet, after a few minutes questions will pop into people’s heads…

Interesting By using audience response tool Sendsteps you can let the audience send in comments or questions from the very first moment. This doesn’t mean you have to deal with all of them. Nor deal with them instantly.

By using audience response tool Sendsteps you can let the audience send in comments or questions from the very first moment. This doesn’t mean you have to deal with all of them. Nor deal with them instantly. Your audience can follow all the live comments through the response website on their smartphone. They can give “likes” to questions and comments that appeal most to them. This is called “upvoting”. Either pause in the middle and deal with a few remarks or save them till the very end. The comments ranked highest are there for you to answer.

Normally Q&A sessions are only short. But this is based on the 1.0 approach whereby the presenter asks “Are there any questions?”. Most attendees don’t dare to speak up. However [!], with the use of the tool you’ll find that attendees send in many more comments. Be clever and schedule more Q&A time and don’t be afraid this will cut down your presentation time: consider it as an essential part! A thumb rule? For each 10 minute presentation – 5 minute Q&A!

Criticasters: How to deal with unexpected comments?

Let’s grab the bull by the horns. Many presenters don’t involve the audience as they can be afraid for unexpected questions.

Still, what happens when criticism or negativity remains unaddressed?

  • Prepare scenario’s:  Being an expert in your topic, you know when attendees can sense possible friction. Or when stakes start to conflict. When thinking from the audience’s perspective, you can already prepare on how to tackle certain concerns or critics.
  • Play a joker: No matter if you’re the CEO or a junior professional, when you receive a difficult question it is perfectly ok to “park it”. Acknowledge the concern or question, let the attendee know you don’t have the answer now, and immediately proceed in informing on how you will follow up. E.g. “That’s a very good question. I understand it bothers you. I find it challenging to answer that question right now, but I’ll get back to it in next month’s newsletter”.

Tip This pragmatic approach has resulted often in praise for the speaker. Instead of going around it, you address the concern or at least give a professional follow up to it.

Post-event: How to follow up with unanswered comments?

At the end of the day you’ll have to get your message across. You simply can’t answer all the questions of an audience. With Sendsteps you store the raised questions and by using the upvoting option you can easily filter through the questions with most likes. From here you can decide on how to follow up:

  • Write a blog: In a blog you can address all questions that haven’t been answered during the presentation. Or at least find the common theme and elaborate on that. The blog can be mentioned in a post-event mailing or can be disclosed on an organization’s website.
  • Record a vlog: In a vlog you can do the same as in a blog. Simply record your answers on video and with it give it a personal touch. Video often scores well and it is great content to spice up the traditional post-event mailing!
  • Live backstage: During larger events you can consider a back office where speakers go to after their presentation. An interviewer can then ask those questions that are still unanswered. The backstage interview can be livestreamed on the event website. This allows a remote audience to also attend the event and it generates nice footage for after an event.
  • E-mail attendees: Or simply follow up personally. If you’ve allowed attendees to send in questions identified [a setting in your Sendsteps Dashboard], then you can e-mail them with a personal reaction. Time consuming? Yes, but often with a big impact!

Tip In all cases, make sure to communicate in advance on how you’ll deal with audience feedback. As such, attendees will feel encouraged throughout the event to keep sending in their questions, concerns and remarks. This gives you great insights and it will keep your audience engaged!

Tip: The use of a sidekick.

No matter if you’re using “upvoting” or not, it is helpful to have a professional sidekick onsite, in the audience. Somebody who represents the voice of the audience. The person either selects incoming messages himself, or he uses the ranking of the audience with it. The point is to have someone to put the questions into a perspective, to give a short summary of what has been shared and with it add to a lively presentation and event. This sidekick operates individually and next to a presenter and/or moderator. Someone supporting the process of audience interaction. Entertaining and valuable at the same time.

Important Please note that Sendsteps can help you with finding a professional sidekick for your event.

  • In short, involve the audience. Trust the flow that will come with it. Experience the added value for all stakeholders of an event. Set it up cleverly and let it work, not against you, but for you!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


The 7 Easiest 5-minute Team Building Activities & Exercises for Small Groups

The 7 Easiest 5-minute Team Building Activities & Exercises for Small Groups

Breaking the routine. Many of us like to do things a little different. Just to experience another vibe. To get an extra boost to get the well-known job done again. The meetings within your company can be a good example of such a routine.

That’s why we like to challenge you with a number of quick and easy 5 minute team building activities. Short games and exercises that will put your daily work in a fresh perspective again!

Here’s a short overview of the type of activities and games that will be discussed in this blog article:

  • Team building activities for small groups. How well do you actually know each other? Despite maybe the many years of working together. These activities will tell you more about the other, but will also shed a light on how your team works together.
  • Activities and indoor tb games for work meetings. Discussing more serious content doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot play with the format of your meeting. Add or change just one ingredient and double the output of your work meetings!
  • Problem solving activities. You’ve probably played quite some problem solving games already. But can you still remember them? We’ve listed a few for you

A selection of 5-minute games and team building activities

Browse through the following five minute games and simple team building activities and decide for yourself what would work best for your team and for the phase that your team finds itself in. The following activities can be executed with both fresh new teams or those teams that already work with each other for years. In short, pick your flavor!

Quick and easy team building exercises & activities for small groups

  • Through another pair of eyes. Instead of having everybody introduce themselves, let the neighbouring team member introduce the other. First let everyone introduce themselves in pairs. Then make a quick round in which everyone is introduced to the group by somebody else.Tip Do people already know each other? Then throw in a fun question e.g. Your first memory of the nature? What would you do with a million? Or describe your grandmother. For sure you didn’t know this yet from each other!
  • The helium stick. One of the well-known and quick team building exercises! Make sure to obtain a helium stick, or otherwise a thin and light rod. Then let the attendees stand up, face each other, stretch their arms and point out the index fingers. Now put the stick on their fingers and instruct them to bring the stick together to the ground. Sounds easy? Just wait and see! This is one of the simple activities that works great for small groups.
  • Compliment carrousel. Put one or few team members in the midst of the room. Standing and with closed eyes. Now let the other team members pass by them 1 time and make them whisper a short compliment in their ears. Experience shows that receiving a compliment through a whisper, without knowing whom the compliment is coming from, can have a deep, touching impact. Depending on the impact, you can decide yourself how fast or not you’ll proceed with your regular meeting.

5 minute games for work meetings

  • Pitch the idea of your colleague. In corporate life we’re often used to give our own pitches. From a team building perspective it becomes more interesting if employees pitch each others ideas. Pick any of the more strategic meetings with your staff. Give a 1 time quick and clear instruction, already pre-meeting or at the very start of the meeting, and then let attendees interview each other about their idea for work [e.g. how to improve efficiency, which activities to set up in the coming year etc.]. Tip Use the easy audience response tool Sendsteps to vote for the best pitch and announce the winner!
  • Play a quiz. Maybe one of the more known 5 minute games for meetings, but playing a quiz already soon adds to a good vibe! Prepare yourself [or let others do so for you], an indoor quiz with 5-10 questions. Let everyone pick a space in the room that represents an answer. Every time an answer is false, employees will go and sit on the side. The rest proceeds until there’s only one winner left. Alternatively these fun games can also be easily played through a digital audience response tool.

Problem solving team building activities and scenarios

  • Describe and draw. Now here’s one of the simple but great problem solving activities. Hand a sheet with on it a pyramid, a circle and a rectangle. Ask one of the attendees to sit with their back towards the rest of the group. Now let individual attendees make a drawing based on what they are told to draw. The person describing the drawing cannot indicate the name of the shape and has to find creative other wording to get the message across. You’ll find that in the end everyone comes up with different scenarios. Have a short de-briefing and learn how everyone receives messages differently. What does it tell you about the communication within your team?
  • Paper Tower. Maybe one of the more known 5 minute games for meetings, but playing a quiz already soon adds to a good vibe! Prepare yourself [or let others do so for you], an indoor quiz with 5-10 questions. Let everyone pick a space in the room that represents an answer. Every time an answer is false, employees will go and sit on the side. The rest proceeds until there’s only one winner left. Alternatively these fun games can also be easily played through a digital audience response tool.

Problem solving exercises can be as simple as this. However, there are obviously more profound and thorough exercises out there. Next to that, as simple as the exercise might be, the more complex and constructive the actual analysis of it might be.

For managers, team building exercises are not only a great way to find out more about the team’s strengths and weaknesses, it is also a mean to show and build commitment and leadership with the team!

Important To find more exercises read our full and more comprehensive article about problem solving team building activities! Do you get the hang of it? Good luck and feel the team vibe growing!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!