Presentation 2.0: Twitter in Presentations Best Practice

Embracing the “backchannel” is essential for a Presentation 2.0 experience. I’ll keep this page updated with best practice techniques for presenting with Twitter and other technologies. Here are some of the best resources I’ve seen so far about how to use (and how NOT to use) Twitter during presentations:

Tips for using my PowerPoint Twitter Tools, that allow you to embed tweets in PowerPoint slides:

  • If you’re worried, use the moderation options (see instructions for the custom feed), and ask a colleague to manage the stream for you. I personally find this a little counter-productive, since the audience still sees the “offending” tweets, and you’re the only one in the dark. But sadly there may be spam tweets and trolls and pointless snarky comments, and showing these in your presentation would just be a distraction.
  • Pre-cache all the tools by going through the slides in presentation mode and setting any options – they will be maintained until the file is closed (or used the advanced options to preset the values – see instructions)
  • The whole point of the tools is to engage your audience in your presentation – I find the best way to do this is to “set the agenda” yourself, by asking the audience questions related to your content (the AutoTweet functionality could be used here), and reviewing the feedback with them.
  • The most commonly-used tool is the feedback slide. I find it works best if you insert it a few times into the presentation — e.g. at the end of each major section.
  • It’s hard to keep an eye on the ticker stream and present at the same time, and potentially distracting for the audience — use it in reasonably small doses, by inserting slides that don’t include the ticker stream.
  • If you’re presenting to an audience that is not very used to using twitter, explain the concept upfront. Most people have heard of it, but don’t see the point — you can explain that they now have a reason to sign up! And you can make the parallel with email — everybody knows that senior executive who refused to use email himself/herself. Twitter — or at least the micro-blogging that it represents — is going to be just as widespread.
  • Ask people in advance to participate, or before the conference, watch out for the people already using the conference hashtag, and give them a heads-up, so they’re ready to participate in the discussion.
  • For voting, there’s inevitably a lag between the vote and the chart being updated (it looks like it’s around 30 seconds in ideal circumstances, but could potentially be much longer – e.g. if somebody is using Twitter via SMS) – if you want the process to be seamless, you might want to consider doing a “voting slide” first without the chart, then coming back to the chart a few slides later to see the results.


Add your thoughts, comments and questions below, and I’ll update this page!

Thanks in advance,


  1. Hi Timo,

    I just presented today to the US Legal Marketing Association’s leadership around W2.0 and how it can be used to transform companies… and I used your twitter tools on my ppt. Very cool and got a great feedback.

    Good thing I used to work for SAP, so it wasn’t so awkward to have that logo on the slides.

    Very impressive job.

    Best Regards,


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  4. Hi there! I love ur tools! However today when i opened my powerpoint file, the tools didn’t load! and so i redownloaded twitter tools presentation, reopened it…and when i went back to my presentation slides they loaded! Any idea why is this the case?

  5. Apologies — I need to pay for a bigger server, because of increasing popularity of the site/tools. To be sure of accessing, you can download and use the offline version — see the instructions…

  6. Love these tools! Would like to use your provided html to add as a widget to a webpage, but looks like some of the markup is depricated (specifically the “embed” tag.)

    Planning any updates? I’d love more info on putting these twitter feeds on my webpage, too.

  7. Just a follow-up: I used the free widget-creating tool on Twitter to create an html web part. Can be found here: .

    Would still love to use your updated code to display on a full page. I’m considering adding it to our SAP portal for marketing reps and customer service to monitor.

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