A Guide on How to Use Google Slides for Presentations

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Various free online presentation tools are available for teachers, students, company employees, community organizers, and other leaders to create aesthetically pleasing and informative presentations. Google Slides is a popular and simple option. Understanding how to use Google Slides can help you make an effective presentation in your workplace. In this article, we explain what Google Slides is, provide a step-by-step guide to creating a presentation using Google Slides, examine when you can use it, detail some benefits of using this program, and provide tips for effective presentations.

What is Google Slides?

Google Slides is a presentation tool for designing and creating slide deck presentations. The application is browser-based, which means you can only access it through the internet. It allows you to convert your presentations to other formats, such as PDF files, making it easier if you want to send the completed work to other people. Google Slides offers various templates with different designs that you can use for your presentations. You can also customize unique templates that you can share or access templates that other users have created.

Related: Computer Literacy in the Workplace: What You Need to Know

How to use Google Slides

Follow these steps to make a Google Slides slideshow:

1. Create your presentation

Creating a new presentation is the first step to using Google Slides. On the application's homepage, select the section titled "Start a new presentation." You can choose to use a blank template or an existing one. You may also upload a custom-made template from your computer if it's compatible with the particular system.

2. Add a title

It's important for you to name all your presentations properly. Naming your presentations ensures they remain organized and easy to identify when you sign in to your account from any device. Click on the "Untitled presentation" tag on the top left corner and rename the document. Having a title for your document can help you easily search for it later. It's important to keep your titles appropriate and relevant because anybody who accesses the document can see the title.

3. Choose a theme

Selecting an aesthetically pleasing theme is an important part of creating a presentation. When you create a new document, you can browse and select your favourite theme from the "Themes" sidebar on the right side of the page. You can also access free themes; select "Slides" and click on "Edit theme" on the drop-down dialogue box.

If you want to upload a theme from the internet or your computer, click on "Import theme" and drag the theme to the blank space. The acceptable requirements for uploads are less than 50 MB files in .pptx, .ppt, .pptm, .pot, .ppsx, .odp, .potx, and Google Slides formats. Once the upload is complete, it appears on your slide.

4. Determine the aspect ratio of your slides

After choosing a theme, you can select how you want your slides to fit your screen. First, click on "File," then select "Page setup." You can choose from the options widescreen 16:9, standard 4:3, or widescreen 16:10, or select "Custom" to customize your framework. It's advisable to select the aspect ratio that's most appropriate for your presentation screen. For example, the standard aspect ratio is appropriate if you intend to project your presentation. The widescreen ratio is most appropriate for widescreen TV or computer presentations.

5. Add text

Text constitutes the bulk of many presentations you create using this tool. Ensure you remain within the slide's margins when adding text. The text box appears when you click on the empty slide. To add text boxes, select "Insert" and click on "Text box" from the drop-down menu. You may choose from various formatting options for fonts, text box size, letter sizes, shapes, and more.

6. Add media

Most users add various kinds of media when creating a slide show. It's advisable that your presentation contain content other than notes to keep it engaging and interesting. You can consider adding pictures, charts, videos, tables, GIFs, and other forms of media. If you want to add media, click on "Insert," then select your preferred media item to add to the presentation.

7. Organize your slides

As you create your presentation, you may notice that your slides aren't in the correct order. For a positive presentation experience, ensure you arrange your slides so that your presentation flows while you move from one slide to another. You can drag the slides to fit the order you want. To skip a slide, right-click on the slide and select "Skip slide" from the dialogue box.

8. Add animations

You can add some flair to your presentation with animated slide elements or transitions between slides. To add animations, click on the "Slide" menu in the toolbar and select "Transition" from the dialogue box, then use the "Motion" sidebar to customize animations in your presentation. The "Slide Transition" menu controls the animations between the slides, while the "Slow-fast" slider controls the transition speed. You can choose how long you want the transition to last, although they typically last between zero and five seconds.

You also have the option to animate individual objects on your slides. Click on the object you want to animate, then click on "Add animation" in the "Motion" sidebar. Toggle the animations manually with the "On click" option, or select the "After previous" or "With previous" options to run the animations automatically.

9. Add notes

While editing the presentation, you can choose to add notes below each of your slides. You can access these speaker notes during your presentation and use them as prompts to help you remember relevant points. These notes are only visible to you while presenting. You may also print your speaker notes if you want a hard copy. To do this, click "Print settings" under the "File" menu and select "1 slide with notes."

10. Share your presentation

As Google Slides functions online, the presentation tool automatically saves your progress to your Google Drive frequently. The next step is sharing your work with your peers, colleagues, or supervisors. To do this, click the yellow "Share" button on the top right corner of the screen. There are different ways to share your presentation. For example, you can select the "Get sharable link" icon to generate an access link that you can send to others through mail or social media platforms.

To invite people to access your document, enter their email addresses or names in the "People" field. Google Slides also allows you to make the document available to the general public. To restrict the contributions of those who have access, assign view only, comment, or edit permissions for the document.

11. Present

After completing the project, you can log into Google Slides to present your slideshow. First, select the particular project from your homepage and click on it to open the editing mode. Next, click on "Slideshow" in the top right corner. If you want to use your speaker notes, select "Presenter view" so they aren't visible to others during the presentation. Finally, you can export the presentation as a .pptx file if you're presenting offline. Click "File," then select "Download," and "Microsoft PowerPoint."

Related: How to End a Presentation

When can you use Google Slides?

Typically, you may use Google Slides to create slideshows and presentations. It's also useful for other types of projects, such as:

  • Analytics reviews

  • Business pitches

  • School assignments

  • Work meetings

  • Club meetings

  • Lectures

  • Community forums

  • Interviews

Related: How to Prepare for an Interview Presentation (With Tips)

Benefits of using Google Slides

Here are some of the benefits of using Google Slides for creating presentations:

  • It's simplified: Most Google applications simplify the user experience. It's easy to learn how to use the functions on Google Slides for your presentations.

  • It's connected: As Google Slides is a browser-based application, it links with other web-connected services. As a result, you can connect and collaborate with other applications.

  • It's easy to edit: Google slides allow you to access your files from anywhere if you have an internet connection. Due to this improved accessibility, you can review your documents and make edits at any time.

Tips on how to deliver effective presentations

Here are some helpful tips to consider when delivering presentations:

  • Limit the words on your slides: It's advisable for your slides to focus on visual elements with fewer words. Having more visual elements makes it easier for you to speak while presenting the slides and engage your audience without distracting them from the presentation.

  • Use contrasting colours: Using dark backgrounds with light text can make it easier for your audience to read. It's advisable to avoid using patterns as backgrounds for your slides because this may make them difficult to read.

  • Limit the number of slides: Using a lot of slides in your presentation may become distracting to the audience. Instead, consider using one slide for every minute of your presentation.

  • Use high-quality images: It's essential to use high-quality images to complement your presentation. Ensure the images remain sharp after you project them to a screen.

  • Be time conscious: It's good practice to leave extra time for questions after your presentation. Staying under the allocated time is a sign of respect for your audience.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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