ParticiPoll partner with Kenes Group for audience polling at ATTD 2017

February 27th, 2017 by

Kenes Group, one of the world’s leading conference organisers, with 50+ years experience organising global events, has chosen ParticiPoll for their audience polling. ParticiPoll’s anonymous audience polling is particularly popular with medical and life science practitioners, so we were delighted when Kenes the only global professional congress organizer dedicated to medical and scientific events chose to partner with us.

Ziv Izarov, Technology Project Manager of Kenes shared his experience of using ParticiPoll at the 10th International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) in Paris.


ATTD 2017 Scientific Congress in Paris

How do you go about engaging an audience of 3000+ physicians at a medical congress such as ATTD?
Over the 50+ years experience we have in conference management, there is a transition taking place, and most likely due to new technology and the rise in use of social media: from having attendees at a conference to having active participants. Instead of passively sitting at an event, our audiences now expect active engagement.
Using the latest technology we aim to deliver highly personalised and interactive experiences at our congresses. For instance, our ATTD conference App provides each participant with his or her own personalised experience of the congress. This also allows us to manage the conference in real time taking into consideration and acting on audience feedback and preferences. This year we have added Polling as an additional communication tool into the App to give participants an immediate say, and give them a means to communicate with the speakers and interact with the content.

How do you collaborate with the speakers for such an event, especially as it relates to Audience Polling?
To ensure effective participation during audience polling sessions, we work with our speakers individually, and take an active role in understanding the goals and objectives of each session. This is key. From this we collaborate to establish the best way to weave in interactive polling where it is likely to drive key learning’s or key takeaways. We specialize in scientific congresses, and this is a field that it is continuously evolving, with new treatments/guidelines/technology every year, hence to distill the essential information and for the content to be memorable and impactful, interactive audience polling is an excellent tool. Audience engagement ensures we keep these important discussions’ going on long after the meeting has ended.

Can you give us some examples of the types of questions the speakers used at ATTD for the sessions?
In one of the congress sessions, the speaker introduced a technology to treat diabetes, she wanted to see if she could convince the crowd that this technology could improve treatment. She conducted a poll at the start of her presentation and repeated the same question with a second poll at the end of the presentation. This example illustrates how the audience reacted to the content.
In addition, at ATTD we used the ParticiPoll comments system in more than 8 sessions, which enabled the audience to send questions to the speaker using the conference APP. At the end of the presentation, the speaker was able to select questions from this list, which contributed to an interactive and relevant discussion.


What made you chose ParticiPoll and how was your experience using it at ATTD?
One of our goals at Kenes is to be at the forefront of technology to improve our congress experiences, and we are familiar and have experience with audience polling software on the market. ParticiPoll stood out for us, as it is incredibly simple to use. ParticiPoll allows us to drop polls straight into Powerpoint presentations. It also uses audience members’ web connected devices and hence there is no need for extra hardware. ParticiPoll also customize the voting address (URL) according to the client brand or event. The anonymity of the polling results is another definite advantage, particularly as the industry we serve, life sciences, involves an exchange of sensitive information, discussion and makes reference to patient care.

Talk us through how the audience accessed the poll at the congress?
We worked with ParticiPoll to integrate the polling software into our conference App that made the process seamless. ParticiPoll were excellent partners in testing the polling prior to the sessions to ensure we had the capability to run smooth polling sessions.


ATTD 2017, audience used their own smartphones to participate in the polling sessions

For speakers and other conference organisers who may be interested in using ParticiPoll for their audiences, what are some of the important factors to consider when managing a poll at such an event?
A few important considerations should be made. Firstly, working in partnership with your speakers to establish the objectives of a session/presentation. Understand how and where to use polling questions. Ensure you are aligned with the speaker on how and when the poll is introduced, and how to refer them to their mobile device to participate. At Kenes we have a dedicated team of technicians present on site to ensure we have the necessary wireless infrastructure and sufficient Internet bandwidth to support several thousand participants accessing their device at the same time.


Professor Stephanie Ariel (King's College London) facilitating an audience poll using ParticiPoll

ATTD 2017: Facilitating an audience poll using ParticiPoll

What was the audience feedback of using ParticiPoll?
We find that engaging our audiences maximizes learning and sharing with others, because they have directly participated in the learning process. As many of the audience members are physicians and specialists in their subjects, they are more likely to then share the content with their faculty/peers when they return to their respective country. This way we find our audiences become strong ambassadors – which is powerful in having them share the information further. I would hope they would consider using the polling facility as they do this, to give their audiences the same experience, and hopefully further drive home the key takeaways from the congress. In addition, the speaker’s reaction to the voting and comment system was great, they all loved how easy and simple it is to use, and how smooth it worked on site.

As you are always thinking ahead, in what other conference/event settings can you envisage ParticiPoll being used?
One of the additional features of ParticiPoll is the audience can share comments with the presenters in real-time. The presenter can then isolate an individual comment for display on the screen to continue a lively and engaging dialogue with the audience.

‘Photographs by Simon Callaghan Photography

Premium & Free PowerPoint Templates

February 7th, 2017 by

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best sources of free and premium PowerPoint templates to save you having to search. If you know of any others that we should list then do contact us.

Microsoft Office – Quality: ★★★★, Choice: ★, Cost: Free
19 relatively smart free templates directly from Microsoft.

Presentation Magazine – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
Substantial source of free templates – mixed quality but something for everyone.

FPPT – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
2000+ templates across a wide variety of categories.

Slide Carnival – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★, Cost: Free
70+ free templates that can work in both Google Slides and PowerPoint.

Envato – Quality: ★★★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: $
200+ premium quality templates accessible through a monthly subscription fee.

Improve Presentation – Quality: ★★★★★, Choice: ★★, Cost: $
40 premium quality templates available to purchase “from designers behind over 100 TED talks.”

Creative Market – Quality: ★★★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: $
Large number of premium quality templates available to purchase – PowerPoint templates not specifically tagged so slightly harder to search. – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★, Cost: Free
160+ free templates, some more modern than others. – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
400+ free templates

Best PowerPoint Templates – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
250+ free templates with filter-by-colour selector and categorisation

Free PPT Files – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★, Cost: Free
400+ free templates categorised. Some good, some a bit out of date.

Slide Team – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: $
Claims to be the “worlds largest” selection of themes, templates and slides.

Articulate – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★, Cost: Free
Mix of 180+ templates, backgrounds, icons and animations

Slide Hunter – Quality: ★★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: Free
Mix of 180+ templates, backgrounds, icons and animations

Slide Model – Quality: ★★★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: $
1600+ relatively modern templates – mostly business and diagrammatic ones.

Leawo – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★, Cost: Free
300+ free templates across a wide variety of categories

PowerPoint Styles – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★, Cost: Free
250+ free templates across a wide variety of categories. Some designs a bit out of date.

Smile Templates – Quality: ★★, Choice: ★★★★★, Cost: Free & $
800+ free and 88,000 premium templates. Some designs a bit out of date.

How To Create A PowerPoint Template

October 4th, 2016 by

Creating your own PowerPoint template isn’t hard to do and can give your presentations more impact and consistency. Here’s our guide (based on Office 2016)…

The Basics

Saving a PowerPoint file as a template is really easy.

  1. Open the file you want to save as a template
  2. Click on the File menu
  3. Click on ‘Save As’
  4. Select the destination folder you’d like to save the template in
  5. When the Save As dialogue box opens, give your template a suitable name then set the “Save as type” select box to “PowerPoint Template” and click the ‘Save’ button



Designing Your PowerPoint Template

Saving is the easy bit, but designing the layout and appearance requires a little more thought.

Differing first and subsequent pages

You could just save a single “one size fits all” slide as a template but most templates (including the default blank one in PowerPoint) have an opening title slide layout that is different from the rest. This is something you can incorporate in your own custom templates.

Most presentations start with a title slide that carries your name, logo, presentation title, contact details etc. Subsequent template slides are usually more empty to leave plenty of space for your main presentation content. You might also want to have a final slide that is different again perhaps including your contact information, for example.

You can set-up these different layouts within a template so that you can re-use them every time you want to create a new presentation using that template.

Editing the Slide Master

The overall style of your template and the different slide layouts within it are all controlled within the Slide Master. To edit the Slide Master, click on the View menu in PowerPoint and select Slide Master. In left hand side of the main PowerPoint window you will see the Slide Master itself with the other layouts listed below:-


The Slide Master itself isn’t a displayable page template, its more of a ‘style sheet’ that controls the appearance of all the available layouts within the file. Try editing the font of part of the Slide Master and you will see this change ripple through all of the layouts. If however you edit the characteristics of one of the layouts, your changes will only affect that layout and any slides you create from it.

The example above is the Slide Master view for the default blank PowerPoint template. You will probably recognise the first layout as being the standard title slide you get when you create a new default blank presentation in PowerPoint.

Creating good layouts

There’s no perfect set of layouts that you should create – it very much depends on your needs, your organisation’s branding and your creativity.

Whilst you might want to have a fairly full opening slide (logo, title, name, etc), its generally best to keep the layout for rest of the main content slides fairly empty so that you can concentrate on succint content rather than bells and whistles.

Think carefully before repeating your name or logo on every layout – is it really necessary?

Remember when you’re saving a template, you’re creating something relatively generic that can be re-used for many future presentations. Its best therefore to stick to generic content features when editing layouts. For example, you shouldn’t type out your presentation title at the top of a layout otherwise that text will appear in all subsequent presentations that use that template.

The default blank template is often a good place to start as it comes with eleven useful layouts that you can customise straight out of the box. However, you might need something new that’s highly specific to your industry like a periodic table or a chart of term dates, for example. You have complete freedom to create appropriate new layouts for yourself so go for it!

Using your template and layouts

When you ‘open’ a PowerPoint template file, it creates a normal new PowerPoint presentation file based on that template (rather than opening the template file itself.)


When you’re editing your presentation, you apply one of your template layouts to a slide by right clicking on the slide, selecting Layout and then clicking on one of the available templates. You should see all of the layouts you made when you edited the Slide Master layouts.

One more step away from Death By PowerPoint – enjoy!


Death By PowerPoint – Are You Guilty?

September 26th, 2016 by

We don’t mean to be blunt but some of you just aren’t presenting well and it’s annoying! Death By PowerPoint is real so here’s a quick list of presentation crimes that you need to stop committing immediately:-

You’re the presenter, not PowerPoint

People don’t come to watch a slideshow – they want to hear and see you tell them something. Quit using PowerPoint as a crutch!

Stop reading from your slides

If you’re going to read from your slides then why turn up at all? Just email or hand out your presentation to the audience and be done with it.

Stop filling your slides with crap

Don’t post up stuff that just repeats what you’ll be saying anyway

Ditch the clip-art

If you’ve got a photo or a chart you need to show then fine but don’t fill your slides with lightbulbs, people shaking hands, archery targets, etc.

Guns don’t kill people, bullet points do

If you’ve got a list of stuff that’s long enough to need bullet points then it’s too long for your slide.

Give a damn

A whole bunch of people have gone out of their way to see you – make it worth it for them! Tell them something they really need to know.

Engage with your audience

You’re not an automata and neither are they. Make it a conversation, not a lecture. Talk to the front row, ask them a question, do a ParticiPoll poll.


For a more comprehensive set of ideas, check out our list of 28 Great PowerPoint Presentation Tips & Tricks.

28 Great PowerPoint Presentation Tips

September 16th, 2016 by

presenter polling audience

A comprehensive list of PowerPoint presentation tips and tricks.

Microsoft PowerPoint has been around since 1987 and is by far the most popular presentation tool on the market but many people still struggle to give effective presentations. PowerPoint is often blamed but often this is really a case of a poor workman blaming his tools.

Audience polling tools like our ParticiPoll system can add an extra dimension to presentations but what about all the other things that make for a great presentation?

Here is our list of tips and techniques to help you deliver a fantastic presentation. Let us know if you can think of any others we should add!


Creating Your Presentation

Follow The 10-20-30 Rule

Guy Kawasaki wrote that a presentation “should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points”. He was talking about pitching to investors but this is fairly solid advice for any presentation. You might need to over-run the 20 minute rule in some circumstances (e.g. a university lecture) but could the additional time be better used for questions and answers?

Start With A Summary

Summarising your presentation in a single slide at the beginning gives your audience a clear idea of what they’re going to learn and stimulates anticipation of the whole story. It’s also a good discipline for you as a presenter to help keep you keep the topic succinct. If you can’t summarise your presentation topic in 10-15 words, then it’s probably too long or too vague. Think of is an ‘elevator pitch’, a synopsis of a book or an abstract for a scientific paper.

Tell A Story

Human beings have used stories to impart information since the dawn of time and it’s still a great way to communicate. Even if you have to deliver a long series of facts, remember that it’s the underlying meaning or outcome of those facts that will strike home.  This doesn’t mean you should start your presentation with “Once upon a time”, just that you should build it in such a way that the chronology of the topic is clear.  Can you think of plot twists or hooks that can be shared along the way to keep them interested? You might find writing an initial ‘script’ away from PowerPoint helpful before you go diving into slides.

See It From The Audience’s Perspective

Getting the tone and content of your presentation right starts with being honest about what they really want to hear and what they can realistically absorb. If you really care about your audience, you have to be an advocate for their learning needs not your own agenda. If that means simplifying your content or recapping previous presentations then so be it. It’s better than losing them completley or being “that presenter” who was too difficult to understand or didn’t recognise who he/she was speaking to.

Present What You Know And Care About

Most lower-quality presentations are a symptom of the presenter not really wanting to be there. A rookie presenter who knows their subject or is really passionate can be better than a pro who isn’t bothered. Just look at Elon Musk – his presentation style is notoriously haphazard but he is incredibly exciting and comes across as completely authentic. The very best presenters know their subject so well that they don’t even need notes or slides. If you don’t know or don’t care then don’t present – find someone else!

Avoid Too Much Text

Using too much text is one of the most common presenting mistakes. Presenters often feel they need to include everything in their slides. This often manifests itself in over-use of bullet point lists, paragraphs of text and tiny font sizes. A couple of sentences per slide and no more is the ideal and remember that the audience came to hear you speak not read. A good test on the day is to see whether they audience are mostly looking at you or the slides – if its the latter then you’ve put too much content in!

Use Images

A picture tells a thousand words and good images are far better than tons of text. Don’t use cheesy stock imagery though – that’s a real turn off. Choose pictures that directly illustrate or support what you’re saying or set the tone of the slide. In the right setting, a bit of humour can cheer the audience up and keep them engaged too (there are loads of great Internet meme graphics you can use or adapt.) Videos can work well too but its best to keep to shorter snippet videos rather than diverting half your presentation slot to something pre-recorded.

Customise Your Template

Far too many presenters stick to the standard blank PowerPoint template. PowerPoint comes with lots of other template and font choices to improve appearance.  It’s also really easy to create your own custom PowerPoint templace with your own logo, font, etc.

Don’t Over-Use Animations

Subtle slide-ins or fade-ins of the next slide can add a bit of style to a presentation but sliding-in every last bulletpoint becomes irritating on a longer presentation. Keep it simple!

Present Data Clearly

It can be tempting to chuck in a spreadsheet of raw data and try to explain it figure-by-figure but a chart or graph will highlight the significance of your data far better. Be sure to pick the right sort of chart for your data. Typically you would use a histogram to compare quantities, a pie chart for percentages and a line chart to show change over time.

Use the Slide Sorter

Inspirational ideas for slide content don’t always come out in a sensible order for the presentation itself. Once you’ve written your main slides use the slide sorter (View Menu > Slide Sorter) to put the slides in an order that fits the overall story of your presentation. Audience retention is improved by having sub-topic chunks within your presentation so try to bring slides together in mini-segments.

Avoid Death By PowerPoint

Death by PowerPoint is a phrase used to describe a multitude of sins. In almost every case it’s the presenter who is at fault not PowerPoint. The most common cause is making the slide deck the focus rather than the presenter. If you don’t want to be there and could just as easily email your slides to your audience, then do that and spare everyone.

Preparation For The Event

Dry Run

You’ve probably put hours or even days into getting your presentation content right so don’t spoil it by not preparing on the day. Ideally you should run through your slides in the same room and on the same device that you will be using on the day. This will avoid local technical issues (e.g. lack of Internet connection, poor slide projection, lack of sound, wrong presentation software, etc.) Be sure to turn off your screen saver too!


Practicing in front of a mirror isn’t the same as doing it in front of an audience and it might make you more self-conscious. Start your presentation training with small, friendly audiences and speak about something your’re totally familiar with. Then you can work your way up to larger audiences and more tricky topics.

On The Day

Coping With Nerves

Imagine the audience naked! If you’re new to public speaking or are speaking to a new crowd, it can be pretty nerve-wracking. Turn this on its head be imagining the front row are all naked and desperately self-conscious!

Speak Slowly

It’s tempting to think that you need to divulge as much information as possible but talking too fast is really hard for audiences to digest. Watch a TV newscaster and see how the speak slowly with lots of pauses. It’s definitely a case of “less is more” and you’ll be amazed how much better the audience absorb stuff. The breathing space will also give you more brain ‘CPU time’ to gauge audience reactions and respond accordingly. Speaking too fast is a common trait of nervous speakers but ironically, slowing down will give you more time to relax and give your presentation more gravitas.

Keep To A Schedule

Presentations that over-run are hard work for the audience and a nightmare for event organisers. Keep an eye on the clock, try to avoid labouring points and don’t be afraid to skim less critical slides if you are running out of time. There’s nothing wrong with ending a little earlier than expected and it can give you an opportunity for an impromptu Q&A session.

If You Get Stuck

If you get stuck half way through a presentation or someone asks you a difficult question, don’t be afraid of taking a pause. It’s OK to buy time with “let me think about that” or “that’s a great question!”. At times like this it can help to go back to your presenation synopsis and use that to get you back on track.

Make Eye Contact

It’s very easy to end up staring at the one person on the front row who seem to be smiling at you but focussing on just one person or just staring into space makes the main audience feel like you’re not interested in them. With a small audience, be sure to move eye contact from person to person without fixating on any particular individual. If you have a larger audience, try scanning your attention from left-to-centre-to-right and back again focussing on random individuals each time. Don’t forget the people right at the back too!

Don’t Read From Your Slides

People don’t come to conferences or lectures to read stuff – they want to hear a human being (that’s you!) engage with them. It’s OK to use slide content as a cue occasionally but reading from the screen with your back to the audience is both lazy and boring to watch. If you need additional cues and are using a projector screen then use the Notes feature in PowerPoint – you can get the notes displayed only to you on your computer (Slides > User Presenter View) whilst the audience see only the main slide content on the screen.

Project Your Voice

It might sound obvious but you need to be heard! That doesn’t mean you need to shout, just that you should speak slowly using your lungs. Even if you have the benefit of amplification, you still need to make sure you’re speaking at a consistent volume near to the mic. With an informal audience, you can do your own little sound-check by asking if the people at the back can hear you.

Correct Microphone Use

Most handheld or podium mics need to be held a few centimetres away from your mouth. Speak across the top of the mic rather than directly into it otherwise you’ll hear loud thumps whenever you speak percussive syllables. Clip-on Lavalier mics that you attach to your lapel or collar can help you speak more naturally but try not to turn your head too much as you may end up speaking too far away from the mic. In all cases, speak with your normal voice (unless you’re a singer or performer!) and don’t drop the mic unless you’ve really had the last word!

Use Your Hands And Body

Body language is big part of communication but you don’t have to be a trained orator to get it right (and many politicians and TV personalities use wildly unnatural and contrived gestures anyway). It’s a classic case of “be yourself” – do use your hands, gestures and facial expressions to accentuate what you’re saying but don’t do anything that feels unnatural. If you’re a relatively reserved, non-animated person that’s OK – maybe you’re better at verbal wit or pithy comments? If you’re not into waving your hands then try gripping the outer edges of the lectern or walking around the stage as an alternative. If you’re worried about it then get a friend or colleague to sit in the audience and give you feedback after a presentation.

Ask Great Questions

Asking Socratic questions is a great way of engaging audience members brains and get them thinking ahead. They can often make great slide headings too. If your presentation schedule and environment allows, putting these questions directly to the audience can really liven up the talk. Try asking interesting questions that the whole audience can answer together using a show of hands or shout-outs. If it’s a sensitive subject then try using an anonymous feedback tool like ParticiPoll.

Avoid Classroom Chicken

Don’t ask the audience questions they don’t want to answer. “Is everyone having fun?”, “Who has done their homework?” or “would anyone like to put their hand up and tell me X?” will most likely be replied with whispered “Nos” or deathly silence. Disingaged audiences can often play a game of chicken with you, holding out on responses until the very last moment (or not at all!).

Hold A Q&A

If time permits, giving your audience an opportunity to ask questions either at the end or during the presentation is always a good idea. You often end up finding out what they really wanted to hear from you and this can be fed back into any future repeat of the presentation.

Share Your Slides

Sharing your slides with your audience after the presentation is a great way to help them recall the content of your presentation. It’s also a great way to encourage engagement after the event so don’t forget to include the date, time and title of the presentation as well as your contact details. At the beginning of the presentation, be sure to tell them that you’ll be making the slides available so they don’t feel the need to spend too much time taking notes instead of watching you. Don’t share your slides or hand-out printed copies of your slides before the presentation otherwise you’ll spoil the show and give people an excuse to leave without watching.

Interact With The Audience

To “lecture” has become a dirty word implying presenting in a reprimanding or condescending manner. It also implies a one-way street whereas audiences love to give feedback, ask questions and steer the presention to suit their needs.

A traditional ‘show of hands’ can work but it tends to favour the know-it-alls and attention-seekers and allows audience members’ groupthink to sway the responses. Its also innappropriate for sensitive subjects where the audience may not feel confortable expressing themselves.

Polling and feedback systems like ParticiPoll (try it now for free!) are a great way of adding interaction into your existing presentations without too much setup hassle. They’re a great way to grab the audience’s attention (especially if they’re fiddling with their phones) and help you find out what they think.

Alternatives to TurningPoint for Audience Polling

July 31st, 2016 by

Hardware-based audience polling solutions such as TurningPoint and iClicker have been around for years and remain in use primarily because of the inertia in larger organisations.

Systems that use hardware voting pads or clickers have lots of disadvantages:-

Disadvantages of Hardware Voting Systems

  1. Expensive to purchase
  2. Have to be organised in advance of the presentation
  3. Have to be handed out to the audience or class then collected back in.
  4. Have to be recharged or have batteries replaced from time to time.
  5. Cannot respond to changes in voting software easily
  6. Often use their own WIFI system to connect
  7. Don’t always integrate seemlessly into popular presentation software


Now that smartphones, tablets and WIFI or cellular data networks are ubiquitous, there’s a far simpler “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to getting feedback from your presentation audience.

Systems like ParticiPoll collect votes using audience members smart phones, tablets and notebooks and integrate directly with popular presentation software like PowerPoint.


Advantages of Software-Based Polling Systems

  1. Everyone has a smart phone or tablet now
  2. Presenter or venue don’t need to worry about providing hardware
  3. Uses existing WIFI or cellular data networks
  4. Turns phones into a useful tool rather than a distraction
  5. Can be updated to respond to changes in voting software
  6. Can collect free-text comments, questions and other feedback
  7. Can be rented on a ‘software-as-a-service’ (SaaS) basis.
  8. Retain historical poll results in the cloud
  9. Personalisation options for the voting buttons


ParticiPoll is one of the simplest of the lot as you don’t need to load pre-prepared questions and answers into a third-party system and your audience don’t need to install an app. Presenters just pose a question plus possible answers inside a normal PowerPoint slide and drop a poll histogram into it. You can add polls to your existing PowerPoint presentations and some presenters even drop ad hoc polls into live presentations as they’re going along!

Start your free 14-day trial of ParticiPoll now!


ParticiPoll Kunden-Fallstudie: Sectio chirurgica Live-Operationen Webinar

May 12th, 2016 by

ParticiPolls anonyme Zuschauer-Umfragen sind besonders bei Nutzern in den Bereichen der Medizin und Life Sciences beliebt. Daher waren wir sehr erfreut, dass die beliebte deutsche live-Webinar Serie Sectio chirurgica sich dazu entschlossen hat, ParticiPoll bereits im zweiten Jahr in Folge wiederzuverwenden.


Ben Ravilious, Mitbegründer von ParticiPoll, sprach mit dem Organisator der Sectio chirurgica, Andreas Kramer, Medizintechniker am Department für Anatomie der Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen….


BR: Erzählen Sie etwas über die Sectio chirurgica: Was sind die Ziele, wie wurde die Sectio chirurgica entwickelt, wie war die Resonanz auf die Sectio chirurgica bisher.

AK: Aktuell haben Sich über 20.000 Medizinstudenten registriert. Dies entspricht einem Viertel aller Medizinstudierenden in Deutschland. Aber auch Ärzte und Vertreter medizinischer Fachberufe gehören zu den Zuschauern. Ziel der Sectio chirurgica ist es, die klassische Anatomie in einen klinischen Kontext zu bringen und dadurch gemeinsam interdisziplinär spannende Eingriffe kostenlos als Livestream zur Verfügung zu stellen. Aktuell liegen ja eLearning Formate und MOOCs stark im Trend. Da konnten wir natürlich mit der Sectio chirurgica punkten und haben viel positives Feedback erhalten.


BR: Den Operationssaal, das Studio und den Livestream aufzubauen muss mit einigen Herausforderungen verbunden sein – können Sie uns etwas darüber erzählen, wie Sie all dies bewerkstelligt haben?

AK: Die Sectio chirurgica gibt es seit über 8 Jahren. Zu Beginn wurde diese nur in einen Hörsaal übertragen. Mit den Jahren wuchsen die Anforderungen sowohl von uns, als auch von unseren Zuschauern. So entstand die Idee die Sectio chirurgica via Livestream ins Internet zu übertragen. Wir bauten bei uns im Department für Anatomie einen echten OP-Saal ein und kombinierten diesen mit moderner Studio und Fernsehtechnik. Die Herausforderungen als Fachfremde bestanden vor allem darin Partner zu finden, die einen kompetent beraten und auch langfristigen Support bieten können.


BR: Die Interaktion mit dem Publikum nimmt einen großen Teil der Sectio chirurgica ein – welche Funktionen waren bei der Suche einer technischen Lösung entscheidend?

AK: Ja, Interaktion ist bei uns ein wichtiger Bestandteil. Bei uns soll der Zuschauer nicht nur gelangweilt vor dem Bildschirm oder Tablet sitzen. Wir erfanden den “Second Stream Screen” abgeleitet vom Second Screen aus dem Fernsehumfeld. Hier stellen wir dem Zuschauer auf seinem mobilen Endgerät zusätzliche Live-Inhalte, wie beispielsweise weitere Kameraperspektiven und die Möglichkeit beim live-Voting mitmachen zu können zur Verfügung. Uns war es wichtig fertige Dienstleistungen bei Dritten für diesen Bereich einkaufen und individuell anpassen zu können. Eigenentwicklungen sind oft zu teuer. Die Lösungen müssen einfach in der Wartung und auch hoch skalierbar sein – da die Zuschauerzahl stetig wächst.


BR: Wieso haben Sie sich für ParticiPoll entschieden und welche Erfahrungen haben Sie beim Einsatz in den Liveübertragungen gemacht?

AK: Wir haben bereits länger nach einer Standalone-Lösung für ein Live-Voting-System gesucht. Der erste Kontakt mit der Firma ParticiPoll war super nett und unkompliziert. Bei der Entscheidung das ParticiPoll-System bei uns einsetzen zu können war uns besonders wichtig, das wir einfach und schnell die Erstellung und das Design der Fragen umsetzen können. Ebenso wichtig war uns die Möglichkeit zur Analyse des Abstimmungsverhaltens der Zuschauer, um den Einsatz verbessern zu können. Die Resonanz der Zuschauer war bisher durchweg positiv – allerdings haben wir gemerkt, dass das Timing, also wann wir die Fragen während der live-Sendung stellen, sehr wichtig ist, um den roten Faden der Sendung nicht zu stören.


BR: Worauf kann man sich in der Staffel 2016 der Sectio chirurgica freuen?

AK: Für die neue Staffel haben wir ein großes neues Greenscreen-Studio mit einer mehr als 8m großen Projektionsfläche gebaut. Tolle anatomische Bilder, 3D-Anomationen und spannende Interviews werden hier auf eine ganz besondere Art und Weise präsentiert werden.
Wir wollen aber auch verstärkt das live-Voting einsetzen. Hier werden die Zuschauer aktiv den Verlauf der Sendung beeinflussen können.

Start der neuen Staffel ist der 28.04. um 18Uhr. Interessierte können sich bereits unter registrieren. Zugang zu dem Livestream erhalten Medizinstudierende, Ärzte und Vertreter medizinischer Fachberufe.

Customer Case Study: Sectio Chirurgica Live Surgery Webinar

May 6th, 2016 by

ParticiPoll’s anonymous audience polling is particularly popular with medical and life science practitioners so we were delighted when the popular German live surgery webinar series Sectio Chirurgica chose to use ParticiPoll for a second year running.


ParticiPoll co-founder Ben Ravilious spoke to Sectio Chirurgica organiser Andreas Kramer, medical technologist at the Department of Anatomy, Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen….


BR: Tell me about Sectio Chirurgica: what its aims are, how it was set up and what response it has had so far.

AK: Currently more than 20,000 medical students have registered for Sectio chirurgica. This estimates as about a quarter of all medical students in Germany. The audience does not just consist of medical students, however, but also of physicians and other medical professionals. Sectio chirurgica aims at embedding classical anatomy into a clinical context, thus presenting exciting interdisciplinary livestreams accessible for free. Obviously, we were able to benefit from the fact that eLearning formats and MOOCs are very “now” and so we received a lot of positive feedback.


BR: Organising the operating theatre, studio and live streaming must present some challenges – can you tell us a bit about how you bring everything together?

AK: We started producing Sectio chirurgica 8 years ago. In the beginning we only transmitted the surgeries into our own lecture hall. Over the years our own expectations and the expectations of our audience were raised. The idea was born to transmit Sectio chirurgica live via the internet to a broader medical audience. We literally began building our own operating room right in the Department of Anatomy and combined it with modern studio and television technology. One of the main challenges for us as non-specialists was finding partners able to give expert advice as well as long-term support.


BR: Interaction with the audience is a big part of Sectio Chirurgica – what features did you seek when you were looking for a technical solution?

AK: Yes, interaction is one of the most important features. We do not want the audience to fall asleep staring at their screen or tablet. We developed the Second Stream Screen, derived from Second Screen as known in television. In the S3 we offer the audience additional live-content on a mobile device (tablet or smartphone), i.e. different camera angles and the opportunity to take part in our live-vote. We were particularly concerned with finding 3rd parties offering a finished product we could buy and adapt to our needs. Often this is cheaper than developing a product yourself. Solutions need to be fairly easy to maintain as well as “scalable”, since our audience is growing steadily.


BR: What made you choose ParticiPoll and what was your experience of using it in your live show?

AK: We have been looking for a stand-alone voting system for some time. Our first contact with ParticiPoll was very uncomplicated and actually quite friendly. The decision to use the ParticiPoll-system was influenced by how fast and easy it is to create questionnaires and adapt the design. Another important feature was the ability to analyse the voting behaviour of our audience, allowing us to improve the way we use the voting feature. Our audience’s feedback was 100% positive, however, we soon realised how important timing is when asking a question in order to be non-disruptive.


BR: What can we look forward to in the 2016 season of Sectio Chirurgica?

AK: For the new series we built a new and bigger greenscreen studio with a projection surface spanning over 8m. Amazing anatomic pictures, 3D animations and exciting interviews will now be presented in a unique manner. Plus, we will use the live-vote feature even more and allow the audience to actively influence the episode.
The new series begins April 28th 2016 at 6pm CEST. You can register now: Access is granted to medical students, physicians and medical professionals.

What Does Your Audience Think?

April 7th, 2016 by

It’s funny how the word ‘lecture’ has become synonymous with imparting information in a reprimanding or condescending manner.

What does this tell us about the way we’re presenting to our audiences?

presenter polling audience

Think back to the best presentations, lectures or talks that you’ve ever seen. How did the presenter relate to the audience? Did they engage with them or talk at them? Did they use presentation software as a crutch or as an enhancement?

Presenters who interact with the audience are far more memorable and their presentation material is better absorbed.

Audience participation creates a two-way street between the presenter and the audience. This makes the audience feel they are part of the presentation rather than passive recipients. It also helps the presenter direct the presentation at the right pace and in the right direction. With the right tools, it can also add a wow-factor and be a great way for the presenter to collect valuable feedback data for use afterwards.

Traditional audience participation might just involve taking questions from the floor or getting a show of hands but these in-public methods are fraught with problems.  Taking questions tends to favour the extroverts and attention seekers in the audience and a show of hands can easily produce groupthink or herd mentality.

This is particularly dangerous with sensitive subjects or where there is potential to embarrass either individual audience members of the presenter. If you’re canvassing voting intentions, students’ comprehension or personal health issues then it’s very hard to rely on traditional methods.


Introducing ParticiPoll

We created ParticiPoll as a halfway house between a traditional show-of-hands and the more complicated hardware-based polling system.

ParticiPoll is an anonymous audience polling system for PowerPoint that lets you quickly drop polls into you existing presentations and collect votes via any web-connected device (no apps required.) You just have to pose a question and a set of possible answers in your slide and then insert a poll.

As well as unlimited polls and votes live in PowerPoint, our premium version gives you access to historical poll data and audience-submitted comments. You can also customise your voting screen to reflect your organisation branding.

Next time you’re presenting, find out what your audience really think – ParticiPoll them.

PowerPoint ‘Kill Switch’ Shuts Down Poor Presentations

April 1st, 2016 by

Audience polling system provider has launched a new ‘Kill Switch’ which allows audience members to instantly suspend poor PowerPoint presentations by majority vote.

(Strictly embargoed until after midnight, 31st March 2016)

The Kill Switch will be rolled out in April as an additional feature to ParticiPoll’s existing audience voting system, popular with healthcare, life sciences, educational and corporate users.

voting app kill button and resulting PowerPoint shut down screen

Head of Marketing at ParticiPoll, April Bouffon said “ParticiPoll is already a great way of obtaining live feedback from audiences but we realised the potential to take it one stage further and let them totally shut down the application if the presenter wasn’t up to scratch”