How to Use QR Codes To Create Tweetable Moments in Presentations

Alan BelniakMarketing, media, Social Media4 Comments

Last week, I presented a topic on social media influence for Aberdeen Consulting.  I covered the broader topic area, and kept out the parts where I’d normally dig into the weeds.  I had a little more than 30 minutes, and I wasn’t sure the detail level of the audience.  When I got to the part of where I get into the specifics (go take a look – slide 15), I simply put up a slide that shows a short link out to another presentation, as well as a QR code.

A friend and colleague, Joe Chernov (@jchernov on Twitter, if you’re following along at home) was in the audience.  He tweets,

@jchernov tweet (as seen on


It’s a tactic I’ve used before, since many people might want to see what I’m talking about right then and there.  It also spurred this idea of mine.  I haven’t seen this before, so I’m not sure if it’s brand new, old hat, lame, or cool.


The Setup

Audience members of conferences are often taking notes, and sometimes are looking for that one nice sentence that kind of ties up one entire thought.  Presenters are getting hip to this, and closing out a point with a one- or two-bullet summary of the previous point, to drive it home.  If they’re particularly adept, they make this point inside of 120 characters – that’s so it can get tweeted and then re-tweeted.  In fact, I often see people trying to scribble down or peck out the thought on the slide, only to miss the last few words because the presenter has moved on.


What if presenters made this easier?  No radical change in their slide necessary.  In fact, the slide that shows the pithy or take-away phrase only needs one addition:


A QR code


QR codes can be used for many things – and one of those things is driving to a URL or website.  If you’ve read a previous post of mine, where I talk about pre-populating tweet statuses via the web, you’ll see where I’m going with this.


The Steps

  • Create the packaged or pithy quote (ideally fewer than 120 characters, but definitely fewer than 140 characters) – this includes any relevant conference or industry hashtags or URLs
  • Use the instructions in the post above, or one of the many free tools that are available today to create the URL that you’ll use.  If you just need help with the part of the URL that relates to the actual tweet text, try this site for encoding/decoding URL text.
  • If you’re a bit of a geek, you’ll want to monitor the results, via tracking the click stats on the URL.  Head over to (you can do the same with – I’m showing you one method, and you can pick which works for you).  Use the long URL to create a short URL.  Take an extra second and customize the short URL so it’s also easily human-readable.
  • With, you can generate a QR code by simply taking that new, short link, pasting it into a browser, and adding .qr at the end of the URL.  The resulting webpage will be mostly blank, except for a QR code.  Depending on your set up, right-click and save or copy image, and then head over to your presentation.
  • Now, you have the ingredients: you have the actual quote or summary point, you have a short URL that’s been customized to be human readable, and you have the QR code that will drive people to a pre-populated Twitter status to share that exact point, if they scan your slide with a QR code reader.
  • Just keep the slide up long enough to let them do this.  If you plan on using a few of these in your presentation, you might want to notify your audience members in advance.


The Steps, In Review

I’ve walked through the steps below.   I didn’t use this actual slide in my presentation, but if you watch this presentation (skip to the second-to-last slide), you can imagine that I could have used this.


Quote/tweet: “The temperature isnt the weather.” – via @abelniak re: integers and social media influence #mpb2b

Check: 100 characters

Long link creation:

Short link creation:

QR code generated (by visiting

QR code of (as seen on


The Result

And here’s an image of a slide I created with these items above:


QR code quote slide (as seen on


Go ahead and try it – scan either QR code and watch what happens on your phone or tablet’s browser.


It takes a little extra work. But if you’re a presenter, and you’ve got, say, 45 minutes, there are probably only a handful of these take-away/tweetable moments you’ll want to include.  So, this doesn’t result in that much extra work.  You make it easier for your audience to share these moments (and using exactly the text you want, with attribution [though they can change the text before it gets tweeted]), and you might even get called out for it – like Joe noticed with my presentation.


Are you doing this already?  Do you know someone who has?  Drop a link to the presentation in the comments so we can see.


[sc:RSS_footer ]