BING! New e-mail from your boss. They’d like you to put together a presentation for new hires for next week. “No problem,” you think to yourself and go back to shopping up some peppers for dinner. While you settle into your evening, worries start creeping in. “Everyone is working from home; how can I make this engaging? I don’t want to give one of those presentations where everyone is secretly browsing Twitter on their phones.” Do those worries sound familiar? Let’s take a closer look at how presentation software like Mentimeter helps you create engaging presentations.
What is Presentation Software?
Presentation software, or presentation programs, are digital tools used to accompany presentations. They make use of photographs, text, audio, and video. The one you are most likely to be familiar with is Microsoft PowerPoint. Google Slides and Prezi are other ones available via the comfort of your web browser. They vary significantly in terms of their capabilities.
What’s the Need for Presentation Software?
Can’t you pop all the information into a pdf and tell people what they need to hear in your physical presentation? I hope that if you’re reading this article and have ever been on the receiving end of that type of presentation, you know the answer is a resounding and clear, “No way!”
- Allows you to create a visual representation of ideas
- Mixes texts, images, animations, and links
- Keep slide notes separate for the presenter
An Overview of Mentimeter
Mentimeter prides itself on being straightforward and compelling at the same time.
Some of its key features are:
- the ability to build beautiful and interactive slides in their presentation builder
- learners and participants can engage with the presentation through real-time polls, data, and opinions
- formulate more data about participants through easy exporting of data and trends
Fully Interactive Presentations
Since online presentations are taking more prominent roles in everyone’s learning lives, Mentimeter ensures the human and the social element do not get lost. We all groan when an instructor breaks out the ice breakers, but it does help the learning group feel more like a unit. With 13 different interactive presentation question types, including word clouds and quizzes, Mentimeter gathers feedback and information interactively.
- Content Slides are beautiful, ready-made slides that aren’t as familiar as the entire Microsoft line-up is by now.
- Either use ready-made presentation themes or use your own. This feature is handy when working within strict branding parameters.
- Mentimeter comes pre-loaded with free-stock images and GIF-libraries. Keep Millenials and boomers happy!
Mentimeter and Smart Devices
The key to Mentimeter’s engagement is its ability to use everyone’s smartphone, tablet, etc. Participants get a unique presentation code to enter, and BOOM! Their phone can now submit answers anonymously.
- Mentimote, Mentimeter’s presenter side, makes moderating answers easy.
- In case you’re worried about your presentee’s professionalism, there are multiple profanity filters included. Oh fiddlesticks!
Mentimeter and Data
Data is useful. I’m sorry! It may bore you to tears, but things like quantitative analysis and pivot tables can improve your presentations and help you make informed decisions about how to speak to your learners.
Mentimeter can help by:
- Exporting data quickly into a PDF or Excel file. Even if you don’t know what to do with it, chances are there’s a data nerd in your organization who can help find the story in the numbers.
- Comparing data over time. When you gave this presentation last year, did people re4spond differently? Why have the answers changed? Is there any way you should respond to these changes, or are they merely good to know for future reference?
- Collect feedback on your presentation via a survey. Yes, you can ask people to be kind and not scathing. Feedback on my work always gives me that instant fear response, too. I’ve got your back!
Mentimeter and Translation
How many languages do you speak? If you’ve got two under your belt, you’re doing pretty well, but chances are your company has branches in different countries. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could benefit from using the same branding-aligned presentation you just created? You’re in luck because Mentimeter makes changing the language very simple. Outside of the business world, this also makes it an excellent option for foreign language classes.
Some of the available languages are:
- Plus, new ones are added all the time!
Advantages of Mentimeter
- Fantastic for large groups and workshops. If a regular Zoom call would be a nightmare, Mentimeter is the answer.
- An easy-to-use interactive design.
- Anonymity allows for more truth and more reliable data.
- Can transform long, boring presentations into fun and exciting ones.
- Data visualization becomes easy. Since most people require seeing data to understand it, it allows for greater accessibility for people with different skills and backgrounds.
Disadvantages of Mentimeter
- The free version is quite limited. Like anything in life, unless you pay some money, you will be limited in your choices. Pricing ranges from $8 per month for the basic model to $20 a month for the more advanced pro version. (March 2020)
- The exported PDF’s come with a Mentimeter logo, which isn’t always great when presenting data elsewhere.
- Does not integrate easily with PowerPoint. Should you need to use both, you ask presentees to do a lot of navigating between different windows, which gives them ample opportunity to get lost doing something else.
- It is limited to only being engaging for people who own a smart device. Yes, it is 2021, and most people are privileged enough to own one, but we may be missing out on engaging with the minority who do not.
From personal experience, I have to admit that every presentation I’ve attended that has made use of Mentimeter has been a joy for staying focused. Give your learners the gift of engagement by making use of this type of software!