5 interactive games that add friendly competition to any presentation

“Welcome to Panel Island, one of my favorite sessions of all time. Not because I get to vote nice people off, but because you get to vote nice people off.”
– Mark Fordham, VP of Customer Success at iMeet Central

Four experts. Three rounds. One survivor.

That was the wrinkle Fordham introduced into his company’s recurring panel discussions. Each panelist would answer specific questions related to their field. The audience would then vote on who gave the best responses.

Whoever received the fewest votes was then banished.

The discussions continued until only one panelist – the winner – remained. Poll Everywhere handled the voting. Between talks, the audience selected their favorite speaker using their mobile devices, and the results appeared in real time.

This is just one example of the many ways presenters and educators can create interactive presentation games using Poll Everywhere. Here are five others for your next class or meeting.

5 interactive games to mix up your presentation


game for presentation 2 truth 1 lie

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

Poll type: Q&A
Recommended players: 4 – 8

This classic icebreaker game is a great way to help people get to know each other.

Poll Everywhere Q&As are perfect for Two Truths and a Lie. Q&As let people submit questions and comments, as well as upvote or downvote submissions made by their peers.

You can see the votes for yourself in the example above; they’re the grey and yellow bars next to each submission.

Try it yourself:
1. Go to My Polls, click ‘Create’, and select ‘Q&A’
2. Enter someone’s name as the title and hit ‘Create’
3. Ask the person whose name you entered to respond with two truths and lie
4. Ask the rest of the group to upvote the truths and downvote the lie

 

When you finish one round of Two Truths and a Lie, simply clear the poll responses and change the title to someone else’s name. Then start the process over again.

Important: go to your My Polls page click the Q&A poll you’re using for this game. Next, select ‘Response settings’ on the right and change the number of responses people can submit to three (or unlimited). That way, each person can submit their two truths and one lie.

To prevent people from accidentally adding responses during the voting, enable moderation (available on paid plans).


presentation-games-survey

SURVEY SAYS

Poll type: Word cloud
Recommended players: 20+

This game challenges participants to guess the most popular answer to a question.

In the example above, I asked participants about animals. You can tell by its size that “snake” was the most popular choice. Therefore, everyone who submitted that word scored one point. Play this game long enough and you’ll discover everyone starts thinking in harmony.

Try it yourself:
1. Go to My Polls, click ‘Create’, and ‘Word cloud’
2. Enter your question or prompt and hit ‘Create’
3. Click the eyeball icon to hide the word cloud and collect responses
4. Click the eyeball again to reveal the completed word cloud

 

Important: Hide the word cloud using the eye icon. Otherwise, the most popular choice is immediately obvious, which spoils the game. I also recommend limiting the number of responses to one so that people can’t artificially inflate their own entry.


presentation-games-anagram

ANAGRAMS

Poll type: Word cloud
Recommended players: 20+

Anagrams is the opposite of Survey Says. Instead of being the most popular, you want to be the most unique.

The crux of this game is solving an anagram: a jumble of letters that can be formed into many different words. The winner(s) are those with the least-popular words (such as “realtone” in the example above). Get creative and think of something no one else will guess.

Try it yourself:
1. Go to My Polls, click ‘Create’, and ‘Word cloud’
2. Enter a jumble of letters as the title
3. Click the eyeball icon to hide the word cloud and collect responses
4. Click the eyeball again to reveal the completed word cloud

 

Just like in Survey Says, it’s very important that you hide the word cloud while collecting submissions. Otherwise, it spoils the game.

For added fun, set the number of submissions to unlimited. Doing so rewards players for coming up with multiple unique words (thereby increasing their chances of winning) or by strategically submitting the same word multiple times to inflate its size in the cloud.


presentation-games-tiger

OPTICAL ILLUSIONS

Poll type: Clickable image
Suggested players: 5 – 12

Make a game out of optical illusions using a clickable image poll.

The key is finding an illusion that challenges the viewer in some way, such as in the example above. The audience can click anywhere on the image using their phones or other devices, and the results will appear as green pins.

Try it yourself:
1. Visit My Polls, select ‘Create’ followed by ‘Clickable image’
2. Upload your optical illusion using the ‘Upload image’ button
3. Click ‘Create’ and hide the responses using the eyeball icon
4. Tap that icon again once you have all responses to reveal them

 

Tip: Certain paid Poll Everywhere plans let you designate an area of the image as correct. You can see this in action in the example above. Setting correctness can be helpful for playing Optical Illusions, but is not required.


presentation-games-trivia-alt

TRIVIA MOB

Poll type: Multiple choice
Suggested players: 100

Creating a poll for 100 audience members requires a paid Poll Everywhere plan, but you can scale this game down to work using a free plan as well.

Trivia Mob is essentially a quiz show on a massive scale. If you’ve ever seen the game show 1 vs 100, you’re already familiar with how it works.

One person – perhaps a professor or CEO – is the CONTESTANT, and everyone else (students, employees) is the MOB. Both the contestant and the mob answer trivia questions until either: (1) the contestant answers one question incorrectly, or (2) the contestant earns 100 points.

Points are awarded for each person in the mob who answers a question incorrectly. Check out the example above: let’s assume the contestant got this question right. Since ‘B’ is the correct choice, the contestant would earn 28 points. He earned those points because 28 people in the mob got that question wrong.

How to play:
1. Create a series of trivia questions using multiple choice polls
2. Present the first one and hide the results using the eyeball icon
3. Ask the mob to vote on which choice they think is correct
4. Ask the contestant to state which choice they think is correct
5. Reveal the results, tally the points, and present the next question

 

Important: make sure you receive a vote from each person in the mob before revealing the correct answer. The contestant earns points based on how the mob responds, so you want all of them to participate on each question.

If you want to see how many people responded to a question, hide the responses to your poll. A little box will appear in the bottom right that says ‘Total Results’. This box keeps track of how many people have responded so far.

You can also quickly calculate how many people selected each response by clicking the paintbrush icon on your poll, scrolling down to ‘Response totals’, and choosing ‘Count’. I highlighted total results for you in the image below:

presentation-games-trivia-response

A note on keeping score


There are basically two ways to keep score regardless of which game you’re playing.

Option 1: Manually tally score on your phone or a sheet of paper

This option creates more work for the presenter and slows down the pace of the game a bit, but it’s also easy to do and creates no extra work for the audience.

Option 2: Register all participants with Poll Everywhere

This option requires each person to register an account with Poll Everywhere before playing your game. Poll Everywhere will then automatically track how each person responded on a per-question basis. Basically, it keeps score for you.

For more information, here’s a post on enabling registered participants.


These are some of the interactive presentation games I thought up using Poll Everywhere. But what about you? What sort of games do you like to play with your class or audience. I’d be curious to learn about them, whether they use Poll Everywhere or not.

I encourage you to share your stories in the comments section below, or pop on over to the Poll Everywhere community. They may even get added to this post.

Happy polling!

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