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Introducing Slides Q&A: Students ask questions while you present

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Public speaking can be intimidating—even for veteran speakers with phenomenal ideas and experiences to share. Take Shree Bose, for example.

At just 17 years old, Shree took home the top prize at the first ever Google Science Fairfor her research on drug resistance in ovarian cancer. Now, a senior at Harvard, she’s met with President Obama twice, crowdfunded a Minecraft computer program to support STEM education, and has given talks across the globe. But she still gets nervous every time she’s asked to speak at events.

When Shree recently visited our New York office to present to 200 middle school students, we invited her to try a new feature in Google Slides: Slides Q&A. This update—rolling out globally today—helps speakers connect with their audience and collect real-time feedback. With a simple link displayed on a Slides presentation, audience members can submit questions from their phones, laptops, and tablets—and vote on those they want answered the most.
Hear what your audience has to say 
Slides Q&A is great for audience members, too. During Shree’s talk, students submitted more than 170 questions and voted 800 times. They enjoyed being able to submit questions online the moment they thought of them instead of having to remember them until the end of the presentation. Some students also chose to submit questions anonymously.

At the end of her talk, Shree left time for Q&A, but she couldn’t possibly answer all 170 questions. So, she sorted the questions based on audience votes—and responded to the top ones. The question with the most overall votes was submitted by a seventh grader named Leila. She says, “I was so surprised when I saw my question was the most liked. I probably wouldn’t want to stand up and ask the question because I’m kind of shy.”
Focus on your ideas, not set up 
Slides Q&A makes it easy to interact with your audience—without having to worry about mics or moderators. Slides also helps you get your big ideas and stories on screen—without having to worry about wires or set up stress. Starting today, we're improving this "Show up, don't setup" experience in two ways:
  • You can now present your slides to a Hangout from your iPhone or iPad. So with just your phone or tablet and the Slides app, you can present to any screen using Chromecast, AirPlay or Hangouts. 
  • And for those of you who like presenting from a computer, we're introducing a new laser pointer on the web. Just in time for May the 4th (be with you). 
Today’s Slides updates are rolling out globally on AndroidiOS, and the web. So go on, share your stories and present with confidence.

And for a little inspiration, check out Shree’s full talk, #HowCanWe Make the World Better with Science? on the Talks@Google channel.

Posted by Michael Frederick, Google Slides Engineer