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The Q&A, or Question and Answer, Panel is an excellent way to manage and filter incoming questions from participants without them seeing each other's questions. It works somewhat like private chat in that questions are seen by the presenters or hosts or panelists, but not by the other participants. You can see here on the Presenters screen, as I transition over to the Question and Answer Panel, that there is a space at the bottom where a question can be typed and as participants type to me... go ahead Greg, if you would type your message and click on Send.
You want to address it to me as the Host or Host & Presenter or to All Panelists. In that case the leaders of the session see the question and you can be specific about which leaders see it, but the participants do not see each other's questions. So Greg is asking, Can you copy formulas? If I click on his question I now have the ability to send or send privately. So I can type an answer that says, Yes, you can.
Just use copy and paste commands. And I am able to send my response to this person individually or to all participants. So if just click on Send Privately and then click on Send, only Greg sees that question and answer. This is how it looks on a Mac. I see two other questions coming in here. One from Bob: Will we be covering absolute referencing? I can click and say, Yes.
Click Send, and that question then is displayed for all participants and the answer is also displayed for all participants. In the case of Agnes' question, will we take a break soon? I might just say aloud, "Hi Agnes! I see your question there and yes we are going to take a break at 15 minutes past the hour." So I don't need to type my responses if it's not convenient to type, in fact as you're presenting it can be quite difficult for the presenter to type. You might rely on your host or other panelists to respond to questions in the Question and Answer Panel, especially when it comes to technical issues.
If individuals are having technical problems, it's nice to be able to keep those private so that all the participants are not alarmed by individuals' technical problems and all participants are not seeing the conversation about that technical problem taking place. You might choose to use question and answer in conjunction with chat or instead of chat. I know that some presenters, especially when presenting to a very large audience, will restrict the communication just to question and answer so that participants are not distracted by the items coming in.
If I do not have the Question and Answer Panel showing, it's helpful to see that to the right of the individual's name in the Participant Panel, a little question icon shows up to indicate me this person has asked a question and that will alert me to open the Question and Answer Panel and read their question. If something is directed to me, I'm seeing a separate tab in the Question and Answer Panel. This keeps clear questions that are sent to the hosts, the presenters, or individual panelists or just specifically to me.
If I have a question from an individual and I want to defer it to someone else-- maybe I don't know the answer to the question--I can click on Send Privately. The Respond Privately dialog box pops up and I can defer to another individual, I can dismiss it if I think it's not important, and by default I can use the custom response. So if there are questions that I can't get to during this session I can just dismiss them and move on or defer them to a helper who can answer that question later.
I can also customize the text of that and say, ask me again later. I think you'll find that the Question and Answer Panel is a nice way to filter questions and control questions without the entire audience witnessing that conversation.
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