Make PowerPoint games the audience plays on their phones

Speaker presenting Poll Everywhere competition

Poll Everywhere is a toolbox of live audience activities that’s perfect for designing interactive PowerPoint games. Create and embed these activities directly into your PowerPoint deck, present them just like any other slide, and see the results live in your presentation.

In this post, I give a quick overview of these activities, plus a few ready-made games you can copy to your Poll Everywhere account. Don’t have a Poll Everywhere account? Get started for free today.

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Download Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint

Before you spin up any interactive PowerPoint games with Poll Everywhere, you’ll need to download Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint. Doing so lets you create and embed any Poll Everywhere activity directly into your slide deck. You present these activities just like any other PowerPoint slide. The audience plays along using their phones and other web-enabled devices.

Download Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint. On macOS, it’s a separate application that runs alongside PowerPoint. On PC, it appears in the PowerPoint menu ribbon. Either way, the basics are the same: sign in to your Poll Everywhere account, then insert any existing activity into your deck or create a new one from scratch. Check out either video below to see this in action:

Presenting Poll Everywhere within PowerPoint

powerpoint screen with updated placeholder images

Remember to install and sign in to Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint on the computer you plan to present from. If you do not have Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint on the computer you are presenting from, or are not signed in, your Poll Everywhere slides will not function correctly.

Related: Create, present a live PowerPoint quiz with animated leaderboard

Competitions is an instant trivia party

With Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint installed, you’re ready to create any of the interactive PowerPoint games in this post. I suggest starting with Competitions. This activity is an all-in-one trivia contest that you get to customize. You create the questions, the audience plays for points, and Poll Everywhere handles the scoring and calculations. All you have to worry about is nailing your best Alex Trebek impression.

Questions in a competition can have one correct response or several. Participants earn points for responding quickly and correctly. An animated leaderboard between questions shows everyone who’s in the lead. The final leaderboard includes a colorful burst of confetti to celebrate the winner.

Check out the video below to see Competitions in action. Then click to copy any of these example Competition to your Poll Everywhere account. Visit your My Polls page to test drive that competition – or any other Poll Everywhere activity you create – to see how it works before your presentation.

Click to copy to your account

Multiple-choice is endlessly versatile

Multiple-choice activities are the backbone of most Poll Everywhere presentations. They’re extremely versatile, appearing in everything from medical classrooms to company icebreakers. Just like with Competitions, you can set one or several correct responses. You can also get creative with how those responses are displayed: either as an animated bar chart or colorful donut chart (shown below).

Images are also an option in any multiple-choice activity. You can use them in place of response options (shown in the ice cream example), or as part of the question itself (shown in the glass example). Animated GIFs — and even emoji — are fair game too. Mix and match all you want to create the perfect game or question for your presentation.

Click to copy to your account

Poll: Who makes the best fries?

Word clouds ebb and flow with each response

Riddles, anagrams, and other word games are a perfect match for the word cloud activity. Poll Everywhere word clouds transform audience responses into a colorful, animated word cloud in real time. The largest words in the word cloud are the most popular responses.

In the image below, I created a word cloud using a riddle about darkness. I recommend that you choose a prompt with a simple, one-word response. You will see responses faster this way, and those responses will be easier to parse at a glance. You can also hide responses to any word cloud while the audience is deciding what to say. This prevents the audience from parroting other responses.

Click to copy to your account

Poll: The more you have, the less you see.

Related: How to create a word cloud with the audience live in PowerPoint

Q&A taps into the wisdom of the crowd

If you’re familiar with Reddit-style upvoting and downvoting, you already know how the Q&A works. This is an open-ended activity, which means the audience can respond with any word, phrase, or emoji they want. Then they see a list of everyone else’s responses. Each one has upvote and downvote arrows that push that response up or down the list. Responses with more upvotes rise to the top.

Since the “scoring” for this activity is upvotes and downvotes done by the audience, I recommend creating games or prompts that tap into their creative side. Challenge everyone to create funny or interesting responses to your Q&A that will garner the most upvotes from the room.

Click to copy to your account

Poll: What is your rock band called?

 

Clickable images are worth a thousand words

Clickable images activities make any image you choose the focal point of that activity. Participants see the image on their devices and can click anywhere on that image to drop a green pin at that location. Covering the image in pins this way creates a sort of heat map of audience responses. You can also mark specific regions of the image as correct, such as in the optical illusion example below.

Click to copy to your account

Poll: Where is the hidden tiger?

Regardless of which game or activity type you choose, you need Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint in order to embed those selections into your PowerPoint deck. Don’t forget to sign in to your Poll Everywhere account on the computer you are presenting these slides from. And if you have an idea for an interactive PowerPoint game that’s not on this list, let us know via @PollEverywhere.