PowerPoint nights are the new fun way to party together—even when you're far apart.
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PowerPoint party ideas: how to host, theme ideas, and more
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If you live far from your friends or family, it can be hard finding ways to connect. And while you may be unable to party together in person, that doesn't mean you can't still gather to celebrate, unwind, or just have a good time. Virtual games make it possible to host a fun game night party, no matter how far away the participants may live.

Though there are many types of virtual games you can play over Zoom and other video chat services, the PowerPoint party has been a particularly popular one over the last few years.

What is a PowerPoint Party?

At its core, the PowerPoint party is a party where attendees craft and give presentations on topics of their choice. Drinking, themed costumes, Q&As, and other fun add-ons may also be included. A PowerPoint party takes the meeting and school presentation staple—the Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or slideshow—and makes it something fun, playful, and party-appropriate. A PowerPoint party can also be done with Google Slides, Keynote (the presentation software from Apple available on iOS devices), or any other presentation tool—Microsoft PowerPoint is not required.

First popularized in 2018, the PowerPoint party is best kept to a small group of people—it's not an activity for a crowded rager—and can be enjoyed digital only or in person.

How to Host a PowerPoint Party

To plan and host your very own PowerPoint party, first gather a select group of people who you think will enjoy the party. PowerPoint parties aren't for everyone, or for every occasion—it's something best left for smaller groups of adults, young adults, and teens. (If you want to include younger kids, consider pairing them with an adult or an older child with experience giving presentations.)

When you invite people, explain the expectations of the party. What's the time limit or slide limit on each presentation? What's the dress code? Is the PowerPoint party themed? The Drink, Talk, Learn (DTL) PowerPoint party—in which everyone simply chooses a topic they're passionate about, with no themes or restrictions—is the classic option, but if you want to do a themed PowerPoint party, check out some clever PowerPoint night ideas below. If you're worried about people having the same topic, ask that everyone submit their topics to you ahead of time to avoid any duplicates.

On the day or evening of the party, send around the link to join the video call early to avoid any technical difficulties. You can allow everyone to share their screen when they're presenting, or you can collect all the presentations and serve as the presenter.

If you're attending a PowerPoint party, your presentation can be whatever you want it to be. Use PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote, fill your slideshow with images, charts, graphs, quotes, gifs, videos, and whatever else makes your point, and have fun with it. (Most PowerPoint parties should be goofy, either in the topic or presentation.)

One presentation tip: Try to use your slideshow for images, graphs, and keywords or phrases that help make your point. Don't just read what's on the screen; try to use notecards to make your argument.

PowerPoint Night Ideas

To make your virtual party even more fun or interesting, try adding some of these PowerPoint night ideas to your gathering.

Make presentations into a drinking game with a few extra rules. Have presenters take a sip of their drink every time they say "um" or another filler word, for example, or ask them to finish their drink in its entirety if their presentation extends beyond the allotted time. (Always drink responsibly, of course.) You could even pick an uncommon word or phrase—like pink umbrella, for example—and if anyone works it organically into their presentation, the whole party has to drink.

Take the party up a notch by enforcing a themed dress code. If everyone is presenting about a historical figure, have them dress up like that figure. You could also ask everyone to wear business attire or dress entirely in one color.

Challenge your party attendees by assigning topics: They'll have to work up a passion for their given topic, and you can laugh at their efforts to make their presentations entertaining. (Bonus points if you choose extremely obscure topics, like how staples are made or where sand comes from.)

To get everyone invested in your PowerPoint party, make it competitive. Find a great prize (even if it's just a virtual trophy) and create a scoring sheet with points for the quality of presentation, the strength of argument, choice of images, outfit choice, adherence to the time limit, and whatever other details you think are important. Have everyone score everyone else (all in jest) after their presentation; the winner at the end gets the prize.

Whatever form your PowerPoint party takes, just know that you can always make yours in-person, too. Wouldn't that make for a unique family fun night? Or a fun take on girls' night in?

PowerPoint Party Theme Ideas

Ready to host your very own themed PowerPoint party? Here are a few PowerPoint night ideas beyond the classic Drink, Talk, Learn party to get you started.

Drunk History

Presenters choose a historical figure or event and present about it. Have everyone dress like their figure or era, and encourage people to have a drink or two before their presentation to really make it interesting.

The Best [Whatever] of All Time

Every presenter picks a movie, TV show, video game, board game, fictional character, food, city, etc., and everyone makes the case that their pick is the best one of all time. Keep topic selections within the same genre to spark a little friendly competition.

Conspiracy Theories

Have everyone select a conspiracy theory and present it with the goal of convincing everyone that it could indeed be true.

Assigning Characters

All presenters pick a category—it could be dogs, foods, characters in a movie, TV show, or book, whatever—and explain who everyone would be in each group. (This is best done within a close-knit group of friends.) Presenters could explain which Harry Potter character everyone might be, or which type of pasta noodle they'd be. The opportunities are endless.