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August 9, 2012 / carlispina

Free PowerPoint Twitter Tools From SAP Web 2.0

My favorite aspect of Twitter is how it allows people to connect with one another in a wide range of ways that can help to facilitate communication and learning. Since joining Twitter, I have found it to be a great way to keep up with others in my field and generally keep up with my professional development efforts. Given my enthusiasm for Twitter as a professional tool, I was very interested to find the tools that Timo Elliott has released on his SAP Web 2.0 blog to allow users to seamlessly integrate Twitter into PowerPoint presentations in a variety of ways (the tools only work on Windows computer, but another Prezi-based version exists for Mac users). These tools run the gamut from a tool to live tweet a presentation, to a tool to poll Twitter users in real-time during a presentation, to a tool to display all of the tweets for a selected hashtag on a slide, amongst others. As a presenter at the 2012 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference, I couldn’t wait to try these tools out for myself as part of a live presentation.

To get started with these tools, you must download a PowerPoint presentation that has the following Twitter tools embedded in it
(from the SAP Web 2.0 blog):

  • PowerPoint Twitter feedback slides
  • PowerPoint AutoTweet,
  • PowerPoint Twitter voting — bar charts and pie chart
  • PowerPoint Twitter ticker bar
  • PowerPoint Mood meter
  • PowerPoint Crowd meter
  • PowerPoint Zoom text
  • PowerPoint Twitter update bar

Once this file is downloaded, adding the elements to a PowerPoint presentation is as easy as cutting and pasting the elements into your own PowerPoint presentation and setting the parameters of the Twitter data to be used in your presentation, whether this is the account information for AutoTweeting or the hashtag information for a feedback slide. In addition to these Twitter tools, the package also includes the Crowd Meter, which can measure audience reaction through noise level.

For my recent presentation, my co-presenter and I decided to try both the AutoTweet functionality and the Twitter feedback slide. Both were easy to set up, though the feedback slide was clearly the easier of the two as it only requires that you cut and paste the slide into the presentation. On the other hand, the AutoTweet feature requires not only that you input the account information of the account from which the tweets should be sent and any hashtags that should be appended to it, but also the use of due to issues with Twitter’s OAuth verification process. While this set up is not particularly difficult, it does require some additional time and thought.

Once this setup process is complete, AutoTweeting is as easy as including text in the note field of a slide between [twitter][/twitter] brackets. When writing each tweet that will be sent, it is important to remember to watch the number of characters and to leave enough space for any hashtags that will be appended on the end of the tweet. After the tweets are drafted and the AutoTweet functionality is turned on, tweets are automatically sent as you advance through your presentation.

After trying out these tools, I am still very enthusiastic about them, but I do think that they require a lot of testing and preparation. Despite significant testing on multiple computers in advance of our presentation, the AutoTweeting functionality ultimately didn’t work on the computer that was provided on-site at our presentation, underscoring the importance of having a backup plan whenever you are trying this sort of technology. On the other hand, the feedback slide that we had created to allow participants to submit questions for our concluding Q&A period via Twitter throughout our presentation was a great success, and we ultimately received more question through this tool than from people raising their hands. All in all, I would highly recommend using these Twitter tools in a classroom or presentation setting, to add an additional element of interactivity and dynamism to your presentations. But, I would also recommend testing each of them, preferably under the exact conditions of the presentation, before each use.


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