Google Updates Slides Presentation App With Q&A Feature

Users of Google Slides now have the capability of getting real-time feedback and questions from the audience.

Google Slides

Users of Google's slide presentation application now have an option to make presentations a more interactive experience for their audience.

The company this week rolled out an update to Google Slides that it says gives users a way to collect real-time feedback from people who are watching a slide presentation. The new Slides Q&A feature gives audience members an option for submitting questions or offering comments on a presentation from their laptop computers, smartphones or tablets.

A link displayed on Google Slides presentations gives users the ability to vote up or down on questions they want the presenter to answer at the end of the presentation. The goal is to enable those watching a slide presentation to engage in a more lively and interactive fashion with the individual making the presentation, according to Google.

The new feature, for instance, allows users to ask questions as they surface instead of having to wait until the end of the presentation to submit them. In addition, the Q&A option lets users submit questions anonymously.

"Slides Q&A makes it easy to interact with your audience—without having to worry about mics or moderators," Google Slides engineer Michael Frederick posted on the company's Google Docs blog this week.

Google Slides is part of Google's suite of productivity tools. The other products in the suite are Google Docs and Google Sheets. The company has positioned Slides as an easier to use and more affordable option to Microsoft's PowerPoint, which has long dominated the market for presentation software.

Access Slides Anywhere

One of the big selling points for Google is the fact that, as a Web-based application, Slides can be accessed from anywhere and any device. In making the case for Slides, Google has pointed to the fact that it allows multiple people to work on a presentation at the same time with support for features such as real-time editing and chat and commenting from inside a presentation. Google also offers users the ability to convert PowerPoint slides to Slides and vice versa.

One Slides feature that Google is touting is its support for what the company calls a "Show up, don't setup" experience, which basically refers to users' ability to stream their presentation to Chromecast, AirPlay and Hangouts.

This week's updates build on those capabilities, Frederick said. For instance, Slides users will now be able present their presentations to a Hangout from their iPhone or iPad. Also new is support for a laser pointer that lets users point to portions of their presentation that they might want to emphasize.

Google will roll out the Slides update globally this week to Android, iOS and Web users.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.