The OLC Accelerate conference is an event you don’t want to miss, especially with this year being the 25th Anniversary. If you’ve been following the blog posts and social media announcements, then you may have heard there is a new session type being offered this year. Gamification! There has been a lot of excitement around this new format and we’re looking forward to reading your proposals. If you’re not familiar with gamification, you may be wondering how to create a presentation in this highly-interactive format.
How Do You Gamify a Presentation?
At first thought, converting an entire presentation may seem like a daunting task, but gamifying your session is easier than it might seem. To help you get started, we’ve pulled together some key points to think about when gamifying your presentation. These tips are just a starting point, and the steering committee for the conference is currently working on more resources to help you gamify your presentation. These resources include tip sheets, webinars, and coaching — all of which will be available on the Presenter Services webpage. If you’re not familiar with the format, but are interesting in trying it out, there are plenty of ways we can support you.
For now, we’ll review a few simple tips to help get you started.
- Identify your Objectives:
Before you can decide upon anything else for your presentation, determine what your objectives are. When you’re designing a course, you start with the focus or theA Quick Guide to Gamifying Your OLC Accelerate Presentation key takeaways, it’s the same with gamification. You can’t know where to aim, if you don’t know where your target is. Start by asking “What do I want the attendees to learn from my session?” After you have a clear understanding of what you want your attendees to take away from the session, then you can start focusing on gamifying it.
- Explore Formats:
There are a lot of great examples to follow when gamifying your session. Think about games you are familiar with. You can draw on them as the inspiration for your session. Last year, we collaborated with two of our colleagues, Alex Pickett and Andy Shean to convert our panel session into a modified version of Jeopardy. We realized the traditional format wouldn’t allow for everyone’s thoughts to be shared on a topic, so we changed up the rules and how points were awarded. The end result received rave reviews!
An important thing to keep in mind when exploring formats is the way in which information will be communicated to your audience. At the end of the day, people are attending your session because they want to learn something valuable. Whatever the format, make sure they’ll leave with some really great ideas.
- Set the Rules:
Once you have an idea of the general format you want to follow, work on establishing the rules of the game. As mentioned previously, you may have to bend the rules of how a traditional game works in order to communicate your information. But a game isn’t just about communication, it’s about enjoyment, learning, and much more. But you’ll need clear rules to ensure that happens smoothly. The rules of the game will need to apply to three key perspectives; the players, the audience, and the overall game.
- The players: you’ll need to know how your players will engage in the game, how to earn points, and just as importantly, how to win the game.
- The audience: how will you engage your audience in the game? Will they be able to vote on which player wins the game or which player has the best answer? Accelerate loves to see proposals with audience engagement built in. This is an important fact to take into consideration.
- The game: what is the overarching set of rules that will help guide the players and attendees to the ultimate goal? What are the constructs that presenters and attendees need to abide by in order to have a successful and meaningful experience in the game?
- Identify the technology
After you have a strong understanding of the rules you want the game to follow, you can identify the technology you’ll need. There are a number of buzzer apps, timers, and other game-based items available in Google Play and the Apple store. Try a few and see which ones work for you.
Also, be sure to check the restrictions on any software you are interested in using for the session. The last thing you want to do is discover a major limitation of the tool while you’re trying to play the game in front of your audience. And this brings us to our final point…
Make sure everything works as planned. Run live tests with all the technology you intend to use. Guaranteed there will be some small consideration you’ve overlooked in the planning process, which will come out in the actual use. Test early and make sure you test several times prior to the session offering. You’ll want to know how the technology works so you can troubleshoot an issue quickly and with as little disruption to your session as possible.
Bonus point – Don’t forget the prizes!
Small rewards for your contestants or audience is a great way keep their interest and ensure they stay engaged during the session.
If you have more questions about how to gamify a presentation or are looking for some games to play to generate ideas while at the conference itself, there are several resources OLC provides.
There are several resources available to you through the OLC Accelerate conference website, specifically on the Presenter Services webpage.
- Tip sheets – downloadable resources that offer guidance on creating and implementing gamified style presentations. These one page resources serve as refreshers for a variety of presentation considerations, including making your sessions accessible.
- Webinars – opportunities for you to learn directly from experts who have experience with designing gamified presentations and other presentation formats. Attend as many of these sessions as you want, they’re all free.
- Free coaching – OLC offers free coaching for any conference presenter on a variety of topics including slide design, presentation design, and yes – even gamifying your session. Check out the website to sign up for your coaching session with an expert presenter.
At the conference:
And lastly, you’ll want to explore two activities while you’re at OLC Accelerate, the Technology Test Kitchen and the Escape Room! These gamified events will have you laughing and enjoying the conference experience like never before.
We’re excited to see the great ideas you come up with for gamifying your presentation at OLC Accelerate. But most importantly, have fun and enjoy the creative process of exploring something new.
Learn more about the CFP and submit before June 3, 2019.