TurningPoint Audience Response System, Other, 2006, Turning Technologies, LLC, $2920.
How do you keep and hold an audience's attention? How do you obtain useful, meaningful feedback throughout a presentation? How do you engage an audience in a dynamic, interactive manner? A new product, TurningPoint, allows presenters to engage audiences and even find out what they are thinking from moment to moment.
Real time information
TurningPoint is a wireless Audience Response System (ARS) that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft PowerPoint. It allows presenters to solicit instant, specific feedback, giving audience members the chance to see what others around them are thinking. And, since the responses are anonymous, the systems can help organizations get more honest answers to tough questions or touchy issues than they would from, say, a simple show of hands. But unlike a trainer who simply throws questions out to learners randomly to keep them on their toes, TurningPoint also has the capacity to organize and display the results of a question or poll immediately, giving the presenter real time information to work with.
Imagine, for example, a typical corporate training room. You see a whiteboard, computer, and DVD/VCR. Now imagine small boxes with keypads no bigger than a calculator's. The devices are connected wirelessly to a computer outfitted with software that automatically tabulates the results.
During a presentation, the presenter asks a question, "On a scale of 1 to 7, how would you rate the effectiveness of our sales campaign this year?" Learners punch their responses into the keypad. The computer processes the data and displays the results in a chart, table, or other graphic form for viewing.
The TurningPoint system is remarkable. To be sure, it is a powerful tool that can be used in any venue, from business, education, government, and training seminars to town-meeting-type events, marketing focus groups, or any other situation where it is useful to take a group's collective pulse.
Only after I used this innovative system in the classroom did I realize how flat and static PowerPoint truly is. If you think of slides as pictures hanging in an art museum, PowerPoint offers a quick, no-frills tour through the museum. In contrast, the TurningPoint system allows for a different experience: the slides come alive, interact with the audience, and actively...