Glisser is an online platform that allows you to create interactive presentations that can be used for marketing, training or any other type of events. The site has different functions available for presenters, attendees at events and event planners which all focus on allowing for increased presenter-audience interaction. Since creating engaging visual presentations is what we do, I decided to take a closer look at Glisser and see what it’s all about and how the various functionalities work.
When you first navigate to the site you are presented with three options, for “Presenters”, “Attendees” and “Event Planners”. Each option has different features highlighted that are relevant for people in that specific group. For example, if you click on “Presenters” you can see the different ways you can use Glisser to increase audience participation during presentations. Some of these include using polls, social media and surveys which you can use to strengthen your brand and increase your number of sales leads. For “Attendees”, Glisser provides a space to enter the unique code created for your event, and when you enter it on any device you are given access to the slides being presented, and you can comment, ask questions, participate in polls/surveys and share the slides via social media. For “Event Planners” you can watch videos that demonstrate Glisser in action at a range of events, and see how the features can make your event more engaging for attendees.
Glisser offers a free trial of its service, so I decided to sign up as a presenter and test out the entire process. Once you sign up, you can pick between uploading your own presentation or using an existing set of test slides to test out the different features. I decided to begin with the test slides, which have instructions on how to include the various functions (polls, videos etc.) written on each slide. After you pick one or the other, you have to enter details for your ‘event’, like the name and time. However, you can still access the presentation even after the event ends. Once you finish entering these pieces of information, you are taken to the presentation editing pane.
In the editing pane, there is an option to the right where you can decide whether or not you want to enable certain features like having a twitter hashtag for your slides or allowing people to ask questions or ‘like’ slides.
For the sake of this review, I enabled all the interactivity features. I also added a poll and a YouTube video link to see how those features worked, and confirmed I was finished with editing. After doing so, I received an email in my inbox that gave me a unique link to my presentation so I could test out the audience-presenter interaction. I typed in the code on my smartphone, (which is always a variation of glsr.it/CODE) and was able to navigate through all the slides in the presentation.
Since I had all the features enabled, I was also able to test out leaving comments, questions and ‘liking’ slides, which all seemed to work well. Once I finished going through all the slides on my phone the event was over, and I got another email which summarized the stats of my presentation, including the number of attendees, interactions, ‘likes’ and questions that occurred during.
There are a bunch of features that I think are really useful. One is the ability to get immediate feedback from your audience at any event, which includes their email address so you can follow up on leads. In addition, adding video, polls, documents and other media is really easy to do with the interface, and works well. It is also useful how after the event one is able to see a summary of all the interactions that occurred. You can also tell that the interface is really suited to work on a range of devices, the slides look crisp and run smoothly on an iPhone and the interactivity options are easy to use as well. Lastly, since the setup makes it so easy for attendees to share content from your presentation online, using Glisser would definitely increase the amount of buzz your event creates and it would help ensure that many more people see your content.
The cons mostly revolve around the usage of animated and complicated slides, which do not seem to work on the interface. After my initial test, I uploaded some BrightCarbon training slides to see how the animations would fare, and when you view them either as a presenter or as a member of the audience, the animations do not render and there is no way to click through them as you would on PowerPoint. The other cons are minor, one is that you can’t watch attached videos via your mobile device due to bandwidth issues, but in my opinion this is not really an issue since you would want to watch the video on a larger screen at the same time as everyone else in the audience. The last issue I noticed was that if for some reason you need to edit a slide, you have to do it outside of Glisser and re-upload it, which means you have to redo any interactivity functions as well, which could be inconvenient. However, I was informed via email that Glisser has resolved this issue in their latest update, and you will now be able to edit things like text in your slides after they have been uploaded.
When I initially looked through the website, I was really interested in Glisser’s concept. The push to make content interactive is great, and I think it definitely achieves that. I can see many companies benefiting from using the polling and comments/questions features at events, and I definitely understand how it could be used to generate more sales leads. However, since animations are not supported I don’t see how typical animated BrightCarbon presentations could be improved by using this kind of platform, but for TedEx or Slideshare-style slides I think it definitely adds value.