Don't Be Shy: Google Slides Update Simplifies Q&A

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Google this week gave its Slides presentation tool a modern update intended to make public speaking a less harrowing experience.

Now, those who use Slides can solicit questions from the audience during a presentation. Folks can submit questions from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop while a person is speaking, and vote on the queries they'd most like answered. Just click on a link within the Slides presentation to submit your question.

During a recent visit with 200 middle school students at Google's New York office, 17-year-old Harvard senior and Google's first Science Fair winner Shree Bose took the new feature, dubbed Slides Q&A, for a test drive.

As she spoke, students submitted more than 170 questions (some anonymously) and voted 800 times. At the end of her talk, Bose responded to the top-voted inquiries, as chosen by the audience.

"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," Michael Frederick, Google Slides engineer, wrote in a blog post.

Google is also making it easier to share Slide presentations with less hassle. Using a phone or tablet and the Slides app, folks have the option to display content on any screen using Chromecast, AirPlay, or Hangouts. Presenters with PCs can also tap into the new laser pointer feature.

These updates are rolling out globally on Android, iOS, and the Web.

You can also check out Bose's full talk, #HowCanWe Make the World Better with Science?, on the Talks@Google channel.

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