Remember when you were in school and you had to create a presentation for class? It always seems like a competition between students, and the contest is not even about who delivered the report well and who researched properly. It was always about who had the best Powerpoint effects, animation, and slide design.
And would you believe that up until now, the aesthetics of a presentation play a big report in business meetings and company negotiations. Yes, the content is now massively important. But if a presentation looks boring and dull, not even the highest ranking executive would have the willpower to look at it.
Additionally, presentations are always a team effort. During your school days it might have been alright to meet every single day before report day to fix the presentation. However, as employees, you have got a lot of job orders and tasks to fulfil on top of the presentation your department or group needs to create and report.
This is where presentation tools like Google Slides come in. They are helpful in terms of design, effects, content organization, group cooperation, and its overall effect on the presentation. There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to using Google Slides, and here we will discuss about the app and how you can maximize your use of it.
What is Google Slides?
Before delving into the Google Slides App, let us first look into what the app is and why people prefer using it today.
Google Slides is the flagship presentation app of Google and is completely free to use, all you really need to have is a Google account. Because it is free to use, it might not have all the extra add-ons and features you have come to expect from tools such as Powerpoint or Keynote, but to be quite honest, that is what makes it special.
Other than Powerpoint and Keynote, there are lots of presentation tools available for use. Let’s try to enumerate some of them.
Prezi. A presentation tool that lets you create and present your topics in a zoomable format. The virtual canvas that you put your ideas on create a sort of narrative flow.
EWC Presenter. Lets you create professional-looking HTML5 presentations and enables you to animate it with a Flash-like editor.
Vuvox. Allows you to create documentary like slide shows.
Oomfo. Helps design interactive charts and allows you to connect it to a Cloud application or Excel file.
You might be thinking,”Hey, these actually sound amazing. What’s so special about Google Slides?”
The great thing about Google Slides is its simplicity. It already has the most essential features for presentations and is very easy to understand in one sitting. Google Slides got rid of the frills that are honestly too distracting anyway. It has an available library of themes, fonts, embedded videos, and so on. As if it were not easy enough to use, it has a wide variety of pre-made presentations that you can choose from depending on the kind of presentation you need to make.
What is even better is you can access the application anytime, anywhere, using any device. Some of the tools mentioned above are not even mobile adaptive. Additionally, it boasts amazing collaboration features that are definitely unmatched.
Plus, we would never worry about forgetting to save our documents or running out of battery in the middle of making one because Google Slides automatically saves your work whenever you make changes on it. You also would not need to stress yourself about file formats because Google Slides can be converted to Powerpoint file formats, and vice versa.
Google Slides is already the best tool you can use for free. It makes your presentations clean but not boring, organized but not dull. All you need to is to know how to use it.
13 Things You Should Know About Google Slides
First thing you need to do is to log-in to your Google account. In Google Drive click Create > Presentation, and then you are all set. The app is pretty much self-explanatory, so here we will talk about some of the creative ways and things you should know about Google Slides
1. Can be accessed without Internet connection
One of the worries of people wary about using Google Slides is that they might not be able to access it online. Google found a solution to this problem by creating an app that lets you access your files and edit it offline. All you really need to do is to download the app from the store and use it to view, edit, and run your presentation. Everytime you go online, all the changes you made automatically syncs.
2. Integrate with other apps
The great thing about Google is that all their applications support each other. So you can transfer charts made in Google Sheets to a Google Slides presentation, you can even make use of Google Drawings and copy your work into the presentation.
3. Shared presentation
Just like Google Docs, you can give other people access to your Google Slides presentation by giving them a link with a “Can edit” or “Can view” setting, or send them access through their email addresses. You can also share the link publicly, if this is the kind of presentation that requires constant changing like a game you designed.
Better yet, why not embed it on your website or a specific post in it. WordPress already has steps in embedding presentations on posts. You will need to edit the width and height of the presentation, but embedding on a blog post seems easy enough. If you want people to be able to view your presentation on a browser tab, make sure that the link sharing setting is on “Anyone with a link”.
4. Modifying image shapes
When it comes to editing your images, if it is not too drastic, you do not need to open another window or browser. If you want to change the shape of the image within the slide so it fits perfectly, all you need to do is to select the image and click on the Mask Image arrow to choose any of the available shapes.
5. Overlay image on text
For aesthetic purposes, you can put text on an image and edit its translucence so that the text is still more prominent. Select the text box or the shape, click on the Fill color tool, and then click Custom. From there, you can select a lighter color and drag the transparency slider
6. Insert videos
You will not have a hard time inserting videos in presentations in Google Slides, unlike in other presentation tools. What you do is to go to the slide you want to put the video in, click on Insert, and then Video. Choose between inserting a URL and doing a Video Search where a YouTube pop-up will appear. You can use that to select the video that you want.
7. Live website announcements
This will be awesome to look at in your website. Following the steps to embedding Slides on website posts, make sure that the slides are limited and have only content that is important. Use transitions so that the announcements will flow smoothly. Post this on the first fold of your website so that it is the first thing people will see.
8. Automatic presentations
In connection with the previous Google Slide trick, instead of embedding, just publish the link so that anyone you send the link to personally can have the slideshow experience. All you need to do is to go to File, then Publish to Web, then choose Link.
9. Countless themes
The Choose a Theme windows pops up when you start creating a presentation. Google Slides will show you 20 different preloaded themes. If none of them is to your liking, you can hundreds of additional themes in the Template Gallery and it can be applied to you presentation by clicking on Use this template.
If you have already made your own theme, you can easily upload them by clicking on the Import theme button.
10. Screencast videos
Screencasting is recording a video of your screen with audio. What you do is to install an extension for Chrome that allows you to screencast, and then proceed with recording. Make sure that the extension supports Google Drive, there are applications out there that uploads the video directly to the Drive so that you only need to embed it in the presentation. This is perfect if you want to show a group your hands-on work.
11. Animation potential
This might be a little too difficult to make, but it is possible. With animation, you will be using hundreds of slides containing images that, when flipped really fast or in our case quickly clicking through the slides, creates a kind of movement. It is a bit tedious, but the outcome will look amazing.
12. Supports Chromecast
Chromecast is a media streaming device you can plug into the port of your TV. But beyond that, it can also be used for presenting your slides. You do not need to open countless folders to get to your file, or use a big wire cord to show your presentation. You just need the presentation loaded on your mobile device and it becomes a remote where you can control the presentation, and the Chromecast beams your presentation to any device that supports the Google Cast Chrome extension.
13. Search within the website
Finally, the best thing about the Google Slides is being able to do research within the website. With this application, you would not need to get out of Slides to search for something on Google, because Google search is already in it.
When it comes to presenting in front of a class or a group of high ranking executives, always remember that content and aesthetic go hand in hand. If the slides look good but the content is a little rubbish, then you probably will get a few blank stares and angry glares, the same is true vice versa. Google Slides allows you to create a no frills presentation that you will still be able to customize to your liking, at the same time be able to highlight the content that you are presenting on. Go on and find out the potentials of Google Slides for yourself and be able to create a powerhouse presentation.