Make Your Slides Interactive

Jazz up meeting presentations by using Pear Deck, Slido, & Poll Everywhere

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Here’s what’s in today’s Wonder Tools post 👇

💻 Make your slide decks interactive with Pear Deck or Nearpod

🙋‍♀️ Embed poll questions into your slides with Slido or Poll Everywhere

🍐Pear Deck = interactive slides

Slides are usually passive. I show. You watch. Pear Deck breaks that paradigm.

Instead of just viewing your slides on a shared screen, people follow along with your slides in their own browser. On any slide where you add an interaction, participants can respond to questions, circle things, or mark things up.

Made by teachers for teachers, it works well in class. But it’s also great for any other kind of presentation, particularly in remote meetings.

Get started with Pear Deck 🍐

Pear Deck pairs with Google Slides.

  • First install the free add-on.

  • Then create a new Google Slides presentation. Type slides.new into your Chrome browser for a magic shortcut to a new slide deck.

  • Next, go to the “Add-ons” menu and click Open Pear-Deck add-on. That opens up a sidebar where you can add an activity to any slide.

  • Once you’ve set up some slides, switch to present mode, share a link with participants, and they can follow along on their device.

Share Pear Deck slides 🍐

Pear Deck gives you a link to share with your audience so they can follow along in their own browser. You can guide them through or let people move through your slides on their own. As your slides progress, people will see options you’ve given them to:

  • Drag a marker to indicate a preference, opinion, or estimate

  • Type an idea, answer a question, or fill in a blank

  • Predict, estimate or suggest a number related to a meeting topic

As the presenter, you can view participant responses and optionally display them by sharing your screen.

Try it out 🍐

Here’s an example of an interactive slide deck introducing Pear Deck in 5 slides. The deck will also give you a 60-day free premium trial. Here’s another sample Pear Deck interactive presentation on mindfulness. (Designed by Kaitlin Huwe of Wonderwell Creative).

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Limitations:

  • The pre-made template designs are aimed at elementary school kids, which can be a turnoff for some professionals. You can use your own slide designs, though, so this isn’t a big problem. I’ve used the school-style designs with adults without a problem.

  • Works only with Google Slides, not with Keynote, PowerPoint or other terrific new slide tools. You can work around this by importing a deck into Google Slides.

Pricing: The free version works well for basic questions. To unlock all question types and an advanced dashboard, it’s $150/year.


Sponsored Message

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Make Slides Interactive with Nearpod, Slido and Poll Everywhere

  • Nearpod is an excellent alternative to Pear Deck. It works similarly. You create slides, add interactions, and invite participants to join with a link. Here’s a comparison video. One unique feature of Nearpod: you can integrate questions into videos you’re showing.

  • I love using Slido for quick polls during meetings and classes. You can use it with or without slides. If you’re presenting with Google Slides, install the free Slido add-on. Polls and their results will update live on the slides you’re showing meeting attendees.

    Slido has a bunch of integrations so you can embed live Slido polls into presentations you make with PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or whatever else.

  • Poll Everywhere is another excellent choice with free plug-ins for bringing live poll questions and results into slide decks you design with Google Slides, Keynote, or PowerPoint. People can reply in their browser or via SMS.

    The Keynote integration enables you to show live websites inside your deck. No other tool I’ve seen lets you integrate full sites directly into a Keynote presentation. It’s an efficient way to liven up slides by showing Web content without switching over to a browser.

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Bonus weekend reads

👩🏾‍💻👩‍🎨 More ways to make great slides
📬📧 Speed up your email
📄✍️ Make gorgeous documents with Craft.do

🖥🧹 Clean up your computer
👦💻 Sites and apps to share with kids