Chris Iufer of Duarte Design posted a great blog entry earlier this week on using free-response audience feedback during a presentation by Nancy Duarte at the Web 2.0 Expo. Chris describes the process he used to determine how to collect and display this feedback. He first enlisted his colleagues to help him think about the potential audience for this presentation, then applied the results of that activity to decisions regarding the use Twitter, Poll Everywhere, and the Meebo chat room service.
I follow the Duarte Design blog because I was impressed with what I’ve seen of Nancy Duarte’s book on presentations, slide:ology. (Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen is another great book on designing and delivering presentations.) As you might imagine, my interest in classroom response systems has led to an interest in effective presenting, which in turn has led to an interest in visual explanations (e.g., the great “In Plain English” videos produced by Common Craft), visual thinking (e.g., the organization VizThink and Dan Roam’s book The Back of the Napkin), and even graphic facilitation (e.g., Peter Durand’s Center for Graphic Facilitation blog).
I find it exciting when some of my varied interests overlap. For instance, when Garr (Presentation Zen) Reynolds blogged about the comic book created by Scott McCloud that Google used to explain its new Web browser Chrome, I found my worlds colliding. I’ve followed Scott McCloud’s work since reading his book Understanding Comics years ago, thanks to my interest in comic books in high school, and I’ve come to appreciate his ability to explain complex ideas in words and pictures (that is, using comics). Putting comics, visual explanations, and Web technology all in one blog post made for an interesting read for me, to say the least.
Back to Chris Iufer’s post about audience feedback. He ended up using the Meebo service, which worked well for him. (I think Poll Everywhere would have done the job well, too, had he used the free-text response option.) He asked in his post, “Have you ever participated in a live poll during a presentation? What was your experience like? Is this something you would do in one of your presentations?”
His questions remind me that some of the challenges and opportunites we see in using classroom response systems in the world of higher ed are becoming relevant to other domains, including the domain of professional presentations that Duarte Design knows well. Here’s another domain: I know of a couple of churches that have experimented with Poll Everywhere for audience feedback during their pastor’s sermons. I hope that our worlds will collide a little more often in the future so that those of us in these various arenas can learn from each other.