How to create word clouds with your audience live in PowerPoint

Poll Everywhere lets you create dynamic, colorful word clouds together with your audience in PowerPoint.

People may hesitate at first to pull out their phones and submit answers. But that hesitance melts away when those answers start bouncing around the screen.

Poll Everywhere word clouds update in real time with each new submission. Everyone can watch the answers appear live. The ones that receive multiple entries grow larger than the rest, so you get an instant view of the most popular responses.

This usually sparks some friendly competition as people cheer on their favorite responses.

This guide will teach you how to create word clouds entirely within PowerPoint using a free Poll Everywhere account. Instructions for Windows are first, followed by Mac. And if you’re feeling extra creative, I also included some tips for customizing your word cloud at the end.

Let’s get started.

New around here? Welcome to Poll Everywhere


best-asset

Poll Everywhere is how presenters create and embed interactive questions into their presentations.

These include multiple choices questions, clickable images, and (of course) word clouds. Audience members respond online or by texting. The results are shown live in PowerPoint.

If you’ve ever had trouble holding an audience’s attention all the way through your presentation, then you know the problem Poll Everywhere solves. Interactive questions are a great way to re-engage your audience if attention starts to wander. It’s also an easy method for collecting audience feedback.

Here’s how to add a little extra engagement to your next PowerPoint.

Add word clouds to PowerPoint on Windows


Step 1: Add Poll Everywhere to PowerPoint on Windows

  • 1. Download the PollEv Presenter add-in for Windows
  • 2. Open (or restart) PowerPoint
  • 3. Click ‘Poll Everywhere’ in the top menu ribbon
  • 4. Sign in to your Poll Everywhere account

Tip: No account? No problem. Create one for free

 

After you download the Poll Everywhere Presenter add-in for PowerPoint, you can create and embed word clouds (and other question types) into your presentation.

The Presenter add-in and Poll Everywhere account are free, so you can start creating right away.

If you get stuck, check out our guide for Windows PowerPoint. It will take you through each step listed above in even greater detail. The FAQs page is also a great resource for general tips and troubleshooting.

Step 2: Add a word cloud to PowerPoint on Windows

  • 1. Click ‘Poll Everywhere’ in the top menu ribbon
  • 2. Select ‘New’ and ‘Poll’
  • 3. Type in a question or prompt for your word cloud
  • 4. Select ‘Open ended’ and ‘Word cloud’
  • 5. Click ‘Insert’

Tip: Create clean, colorful word clouds using Twitter

word cloud powerpoint windows

Clicking ‘Insert’ will drop the new word cloud into your PowerPoint deck. At first, it won’t look like much. The word cloud hasn’t received any responses yet.

How do you get responses? It’s easy. A helpful note at the bottom of the word cloud will remind you to start your presentation in order to receive responses.

When you start your presentation, you’ll see your word cloud, along with instructions on how to respond. By default, audience members can respond either by visiting a website or texting a number.

Try it yourself. When you (or anyone else) submits a response it will appear automatically in your word cloud.

Add a word cloud to PowerPoint on Mac


Step 1: Add a word cloud to PowerPoint on Mac

  • 1. Download the Poll Everywhere add-in for Mac
  • 2. Install the add-in by dragging the file to your Applications folder
  • 3. Open the add-in from your applications folder
  • 4. Sign in to Poll Everywhere

Tip: No account? No problem. Create one for free

 

Downloading Poll Everywhere’s Presenter add-in lets you create and embed word clouds (and other interactive questions) directly into PowerPoint.

The Presenter add-in and Poll Everywhere account are free, so you can start creating right away.

If you get stuck, check out our PowerPoint guide for Mac. It will take you through each step listed above in even greater detail. The FAQs page is also a great resource for general tips and troubleshooting.

Step 2: Add a word cloud to PowerPoint for Mac

  • 1. Click the Poll Everywhere icon at the top of your screen
  • 2. Select ‘New’ and ‘Poll’
  • 3. Type in a question or prompt for your word cloud
  • 4. Select ‘Open ended’ and ‘Word cloud’
  • 5. Click ‘Insert’

Tip: 10 word cloud activities for the classroom

word cloud powerpoint poll everywhere mac

When you click ‘Insert’ Poll Everywhere automatically formats and embeds your word cloud into PowerPoint.

The word cloud won’t look like much at first. It hasn’t received any responses. To get responses, just start your presentation.

When you start your presentation you’ll see your word cloud, along with instructions on how to respond. By default, audience members can respond either by visiting a website or texting a number.

Try submitting a response yourself. Your word will appear automatically in word cloud in real time.

Tips for customizing word clouds


Now that you know how to create and embed word clouds, it’s time to learn how to personalize them. This is where you can get really creative. Poll Everywhere has tons of options for customizing the look and feel of your word clouds.

Head over to your ‘My Polls’ on the Poll Everywhere website. Click on the word cloud you created in PowerPoint. Here you will find tons of customization options, including:

Response settings: change how people respond to your word cloud, and how often. For large groups, I recommend limiting to the number of response to one per person.

Visual settings: change how your word cloud looks, including the font and background colors. Poll Everywhere uses hex codes for colors, so check coolors.co for hex code color schemes.

Add responses manually: you can quickly add a bunch of response to your word cloud by clicking ‘Test’ on the right side of the page and typing them into the white text box.

With these tools, you can transform your word clouds into colorful works of art. Here are some example word clouds I created using Poll Everywhere. If any of these inspire you, click the image to copy its free template to your account.

Happy polling!

Click any word cloud to copy its free template to your account

Create Word Cloud Free Example 1

Create Word Cloud Free Example 2

Create Word Cloud Free Example 3

Communication is a two-way street

Add live audience participation to your presentation with a free Poll Everywhere account.

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