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Involve your Audience: Google Slides’ “Presenter View”

Presentations Have Evolved

“Please hold your questions until the end of the presentation.”

More times than not when attending a presentation, the phrase above is in the speaker’s introduction. There’s good reason for this: The speaker doesn’t want their presentation to get thrown off by irrelevant or tangential questions, or be interrupted while speaking. Or, perhaps they just like hearing their own voice!

Whatever their reasoning, it affects an optimal presentation. Not only does it limit the interactivity of the session, but audience members must remember their questions throughout the presentation. They either lose focus on the presentation while trying to remember their question, or more commonly, they forget their question in order to focus on the speaking at hand.

Presenters should want their audience to ask questions in order to gain feedback during and after the presentation, but what is the best way to go about this?

Introducing Google Slides’ Presenter View

Google has come up with a solution to this ever-so-common scenario, allowing presentations without interruption and for audiences to ask questions virtually throughout the presentation. Here’s how it works:

Launch your Presenter View

This is accessible through your normal Slides presentation tools, as shown below.

Slides Presenter View

Once launched, you will be able to start a new Q&A session, with a link where attendees can post questions at any point in time, which also very conveniently appears on the slideshow itself.

Ask a question in Slides

What does the audience see when they access the Q&A link?

The audience will see a Q&A board, similar to the one below. Some of the benefits of this board are:

  • Choosing to post anonymously - Perhaps you want to ask a question but you don’t want everyone to know it’s you. Slides provides you the ability to ask anonymously without everyone knowing. You can get your question answered without getting the “stage fright” of asking in front of large groups of people.
  • “Upvoting” and “Downvoting” questions - In larger presentations, of course, many questions can get asked, but time restricts what can get answered. The audience can upvote or downvote any question based on importance, letting the speaker answer the most pressing questions when they are able.

Audience Feedback in Slides

What does the presenter see?

The presenter will have another window appear, and can open up that window to see questions coming in. They can pull up this window at any point in time and do not have to wait until the end of the presentation to prompt the audience for questions.

Audience Tools in Slides

Slides’ new Presenter View is not only a great for enabling audience collaboration in typically one-sided presentations, but also adds to the Google Apps collaboration toolset. Interaction in presentations is no longer limited to a brief segment at the end of the session, but encouraged throughout when audience members have questions fresh in their mind, ready to ask at any time.

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Originally published on June 06, 2016

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