A few Google Slides tips can help you turn your plain white slides into vibrant, feature-packed presentation experiences. You can do a lot with Google Slides if you know a few tricks and tools. For example, did you know it’s possible to add audio notes to your slides?
Microsoft PowerPoint is a highly versatile tool, but many people can’t afford to pay for it or simply would prefer not to. Google Slides is not only a free alternative, but also has loads of potential for creativity and features that will impress your audience. This guide covers the top eight Google Slides tips anyone can use to level up a presentation.
1. Add or Import New Fonts
Trying out new fonts is one of the easiest Google Slides tips anyone can use. Google Slides has a dozen or so default fonts, but you’re not limited to these. You can choose from hundreds of free fonts to add to your font inventory directly from Google Slides.
To add a new font to Slides, simply go to the toolbar at the top of your project page. You may need to click on some text first to get it to appear. Select the drop down menu where you choose your font (it will say the current font you’re using, such as Arial). At the top of the fonts menu, select the option for “more fonts”.
This will open a window in your Slides project where you can browse through all of the free fonts that Google offers. You can search for a specific font or filter the fonts by different features. Once you find one you like, click it to add it to your short list of fonts. You can add numerous fonts at once, so feel free to add as many as you want.
When you’re satisfied with the new fonts you’ve selected, make sure to click “Ok” at the bottom of the fonts window to add the new fonts to your short list. Now when you go to your fonts drop down menu in Slides, you should see the new fonts you added as options to use in your presentation.
2. Leave on Alignment Lines
When you’re setting up a presentation in Google Slides, it’s nice to have things organized, but it can be tricky to get everything lined up. This is especially true if you have a lot of photos, graphs or other assets you want to display on one slide. There’s an easy Google Slides tip that can help with this.
While you’re creating your presentation, you can set Slides to always display alignment lines on your slides. This will allow you to effortlessly line up everything. When you’re finished creating and editing your slides, you can turn off the alignment lines and your slides will be clean for presenting.
To turn on alignment lines, go to the toolbar at the top of your project page and select the “View” drop down menu. In this menu, navigate to “Guides” and select “show guides”. This will add thin gray alignment lines to your slide editing window. You can even add more lines if you need to by selecting “add vertical guide” or “add horizontal guide” in the Guides menu. To turn off all alignment lines, simply uncheck “show guides”.
3. Make Use of Themes
Themes are a fantastic way to level up any Google Slides presentation. When you create a new presentation, the default slides are usually plain white with black text. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to get a more creative layout, though. Google has free themes built into Slides and plenty of users create and share their own custom layouts online that others can use for free.
To use one of Google’s themes, select the “theme” button on the toolbar above your slide editing window. This will open a side window where you can scroll through the themes Google has built into Slides. At the bottom of this window, you can also select an option to “import theme”.
This button is what you’ll use to add an external theme. There are plenty of sites online for finding free Google Slides themes, but make sure a site is legitimate and trustworthy before downloading anything.
One good site for finding SlidesMania, which has hundreds of completely free-to-use themes for creating unique and stylish presentations. The free templates on SlidesMania include themes for everything from teaching to professional presentations and even game themes.
When you find a theme you like, you can either download the theme or presentation or, even easier, add the theme’s sample presentation to Google Slides. This method is the safest since you don’t have to worry about accidentally downloading something harmful to your computer. When you add a sample presentation to Google Slides, you can select that presentation to use as your theme and Google will automatically replicate the theme of the presentation for you.
4. Automate Customization With the Theme Builder
Sometimes you have a theme you like except for one or two details. You might have a logo you want to add to all of your slides or a color you want changed for all of your bullet points. Rather than going through every slide and making these changes one at a time, you can use the Theme Builder to change them across all of your slides.
Many Google Slides tips require you to use extensions or third party tools, but this one is a feature that’s already available in Google Slides if you know where to look. On the toolbar at the top of your project page, select the “Slide” drop down menu. In this menu, select the option to “edit theme”.
This button will pull up a window where you can see the template you are currently using for your presentation and make any changes to it you want. You can select the option to apply a change to all slides or only one type of slide. When you’re finished making changes, you can close out of the theme editor and you should see your changes reflected in your presentation.
5. Use Extensions to Draw on Your Slides
The lack of real-time drawing and notetaking is one of the downsides to using a presentation rather than going over ideas on a whiteboard. There are many situations where it would be helpful to be able to draw on your slides during a presentation. There isn’t a tool for this built into Google Slides, but extensions make it possible.
Using the Annotate Chrome extension is one of the best Google Slides tips for those who like to annotate and draw on their Slides. Annotate is a confirmed extension on the Chrome web store that has been verified by Google to have no history of security or privacy violations. Annotate is safe to use but also highly functional and free.
There is a paid version of it that gives you some premium features, but simply being able to draw on your slides is completely free. Your annotations will “stick” to your slides, as well, meaning you can jump to a new slide and the notes you added to the previous slide will stay on it. This is a great feature for interactive presentations, games, art-focused presentations or brainstorming sessions.
6. Add Audio Notes
Audio notes may not be a commonly used feature on presentations, but they can be extremely helpful today. If you work or study remotely or have co-workers or teammates who do, audio notes can allow you to asynchronously give your presentation. This means you can send your Google Slides presentation to others and they can click through your slides and listen to your audio notes as if you are there presenting the slides live.
Using audio notes is one of the most effective Google Slides tips to impress your audience. You’ll need to use a Chrome extension to add audio notes in Google Slides, but there are plenty of free tools for doing this. For instance, the Annotate Chrome extension mentioned above includes an audio notes feature.
Another great tool for creating audio notes in Google Slides is the Mote Chrome extension, which has also been verified by Google and confirmed free of security or privacy violations. This safe and free-to-use extension is specifically designed for audio annotating. You can even use it to dictate notes while you’re reading a webpage or watching a YouTube video, so it’s useful outside of creating Slides presentations, as well.
It is also worth noting that Mote has a transcription feature that you can use to make your audio notes accessible for audience members who may have limited hearing.
7. Embed Trimmed YouTube Videos
Adding videos to your presentation is one of the most common Google Slides tips. It has one problem, though. What if you don’t want to include an entire video? Maybe you found an interview that talks about a certain point you discuss in your presentation, but the clip you want is in the middle of a 20-minute video. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could just include the clip you wanted in your presentation?
This is easier to do than you might think. Start by selecting the “Insert” drop down menu in the Slides toolbar. Select the “video” option and you’ll see a window where you can choose where to source your video from. The easiest way to add a video to your presentation is directly through YouTube. You can search for the YouTube video you want right in Slides or simply paste the link to go directly to it.
Once you find the video you want, select it in the video selection window and Google will embed it into your slide and open a side panel where you can make some changes to the video. In this panel, find the “start at” option. This is where you can manually select what timestamp in the video you want it to start playing at when you get to the video’s slide. Update the timestamp to the section of the video you want and you’re all set!
8. Link to Slides Within Your Presentation
Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to link to slides within your presentation. Adding hyperlinks to websites you’re sourcing or other related content is common practice when creating a presentation. There are plenty of situations where it would also be helpful to hyperlink to different slides in your presentation as a form of quick navigation.
For instance, if you are studying or working remotely, linking to slides in your presentation can be extremely useful when sharing a presentation you’re not presenting in person. This way your audience can quickly navigate to different slides out of order if they want to see a certain reference, refer back to earlier content or otherwise skip through the slides as needed. This trick is also useful for simply jumping back to the first slide at the end of a presentation.
To link to a slide within your Google Slides presentation, simply select some text on the slide where you want to add the link. Right click on the highlighted text as if you were going to add a normal hyperlink. In the right click drop down menu, select the option to “link”. A smaller pop up menu should appear showing some linking options. Select the option to link to “slides in this presentation” and select the slide you want to link to.
Using Google Slides Tips to Create Epic Presentations
Slide presentations are a popular and convenient presenting tool, but it can be tough to stand out when everyone is using presentations. You can make your presentations more streamlined, professional and creative by trying out the free, easy Google Slides tips in this guide. Remember, you don’t have to use all of these tips at once.
The trick is choosing the right tips to add some extra color or polish to your presentation without distracting from the most important part: the message you’re sharing through your awesome Google Slides presentation.
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