Add a QR code to your presentation

By now, you’ve probably seen QR codes in many places. You may even have used them. They’re still fairly new.

What’s a QR code?

A QR code is a square image — usually black and white — that works something like a barcode that you see on products in a store. The code contains a link, usually to a URL. Then you use a QR reader app on a smart phone, which scans the QR code and displays the URL as a link, so you can visit the page. A QR code can also lead to text, a phone number or SMS (texting).

Why would a presenter want a QR code?

Do you put your website’s URL on your first and last slides? Email address? Twitter name? A QR code is just another way of letting people connect with you.  A QR code is a connection between offline (your presentation) and online but it has a technological connection that text on your slide doesn’t have — people with a QR reader on their smart phone can capture your URL without having to write it down.


How to create a QR code

There are several free services that create QR codes for you. Some have paid versions that offer more features, such as analytics to help you keep track of how many people are using your QR code. Here are a couple of free services:

The procedure is pretty simple. You may have a few options but basically you enter the URL and download the image. You can use that image anywhere. Here’s a QR code that I created with that links to my e-store. I set this one to be 200×200 pixels.

How to insert a QR code on a PowerPoint slide

Inserting a QR code on a slide is as simple as inserting a picture. Go to Insert> Picture and navigate to the file that you downloaded. You can resize the image if you want, but remember that it should be large enough so that people can scan it from their seat.  I’m not aware of any specs regarding how large a QR code has to be, but when I stood 5 feet away from my monitor and scanned from this blog post, the app didn’t work. From 2-3 feet, I had no problem. Of course, your QR code will probably be projected on a screen that makes it larger. I would certainly test it from the back row before using it!

Here’s an example of a QR code on a slide. This one links to my Training webpage.



How your audience can use your QR code


People in the audience need a QR scanning app. I used QR Droid, but there are many available.  On a smart phone, you go to the App store and search for QR reader or QR scanner, then download the app of your choice.

Once you have the app, you open it and it contains a thin line. To scan the QR code, you hold up the phone to the QR code and move the line across the image. Then, the URL that was set up appears on the screen. Here’s how it looks on my Droid 4.

You can simply click the link to go to the webpage on your phone, but you can also share the link. For example, audience members might want to send the URL to themselves by e-mail so they can go to your webpage later.

Either way, you succeeded in getting your audience to your website where they can find more information.

Be sure to test your QR code before you use it!

Do you have your own business? If so, I have a similar post but with more ideas for using QR codes here.

Have you used a QR code on a slide? Do you think it would be useful?

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