In the era of online meetings and conferences, Google Slides has gradually become a favorite tool, and it’s easy to see why. It offers cool and useful features that benefit not only the speaker but also the audience. If you’re looking to use Google Slides in your next presentation, here are ten of its best features that you should take advantage of.
1. Customized Slide Sizes
Tired of boring presentations with the same old format? Google Slides takes care of that. With its custom slide size feature, you can turn your presentations into any format you like.
You can use custom sizes for your slides’ height and width, or you can simply choose from one of the three default sizes (Standard 4:3, Widescreen 16:9, and Widescreen 16:10). To change your slide size, go to File > Page setup. Pick the size you want, and then hit Apply.
2. Download as a PDF
If you’re making a presentation, you’re likely going to share it with your audience, too. However, since Google Slides is a web-based application, you’d need an internet connection to access it. This wouldn’t always be feasible, and most people prefer having a local file that they can view offline anytime.
Fortunately, Google Slides lets you export your presentations to various formats for offline use. The most flexible and commonly used format is PDF, but you can also download it as a Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx), Plain Text (.txt), and even PNG (.png). To do so, go to File > Download, and pick the format of your choice.
3. Different Image Sources
Images are a big part of an effective presentation, and Google Slides makes it very convenient for you to insert photos from multiple sources.
Aside from the typical way of uploading them from your computer, you can also just paste the photo’s URL or take a picture with your camera. There are also options for looking up images from the web, your Google Drive, and your Google Photos.
The best part is that you won’t have to switch to a different tab just to do so. The images will be displayed right in Google Slides! To add a photo to your presentation, click on Insert > Image. Then, select which source you want to use.
4. Video Trimmer
It’s always a good idea to add videos to a presentation, as more people enjoy watching a clip than listening to the speaker. However, it can be a bit of a hassle to do so, especially when you have a long one-hour video but only want to show a three-minute part of it. You’d have to edit the video in another app just to get the clip you need.
Google Slides fixes this issue for you with its built-in video trimmer. All you have to do is insert your video, right-click on it, and then select Format options from the menu. From here, you can select what time to start and end the video. You can also change other settings, like muting the audio, editing the size and rotation, and adding a drop shadow.
5. Google Font Support
When comparing Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides, the latter has more built-in font options to offer. You can choose from over 800 options from the Google Fonts library, giving you more flexibility in how to style your presentations. You won’t have to install them, unlike how you would in PowerPoint, as they’re readily available online.
Another great thing about the Google Slides font feature is that you can add your preferred fonts from the library to the drop-down menu in the toolbar. This is particularly helpful, so you won’t need to scroll through the library every time you want to use your font of choice.
To do this, click on the fonts drop-down menu and go to More fonts. You can then select your favorite fonts on the list, and they will automatically be added to the drop-down menu.
6. Audience Q&A
Your audience will almost always have something to ask after your presentation, and the last thing you want is to scroll through the endless messages in the meeting chatbox just to find their questions. This is where Google Slides’ Q&A feature comes into play.
Once you start a Q&A session, you will have a unique link where your audience can submit their queries, either anonymously or using their email address. You will then see all the questions on your end, and you can choose which ones to present to your listeners.
To start a Q&A session while presenting, click on the three vertical dots in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Select More > Q & A. It will open a Presenter view window. Then, click on the Start new button in the Audience Tools tab.
7. Live Captions
Ever attended a presentation where you had trouble understanding the speaker? Google Slides solves that with live captions. Although it only supports English at the moment, it’s still a very cool feature to use.
Just toggle on the captions while you’re presenting, and it will automatically present your words at the bottom of the screen as you talk. You can also change the text position and size for your audience’s convenience.
8. Laser Pointer
It’s common to see speakers using laser pointers in live presentations, and fortunately, Google Slides comes with an online version. While presenting, you can click on the three vertical dots in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Then, select Turn on the laser pointer. You will now have a virtual laser pointer following your mouse movement. This is especially useful when emphasizing things in your presentation and pointing out little details that your audience might have trouble noticing.
9. Publish to the Web
Aside from sharing your presentation offline as PDFs and PPTs, you can also share it online using Google Slides’ publish-to-the-web feature. This makes your presentation accessible to everyone, whether or not they have a Google account.
When you publish it online, you need to set a timer for when the slides stay on the screen. This can be as fast as a second to as long as a minute. You can also set the presentation to repeat after the last slide is shown. To use this feature, click on File > Publish to the web. Then, set your timer and other settings before clicking the Publish button.
There are tons of useful add-ons for Google Slides that can help you create engaging and powerful presentations. You have Lucidchart Diagrams for creating diagrams easily, Easy Accents for inserting accents to your slide text, and Magic Rainbow Unicorn for changing your font color to a rainbow one.
To use an add-on to Google Slides, select Add-ons > Get add-ons from the toolbar. Then, install the add-on of your choice.
With these nifty tools and features, you can turn your Google Slides presentations into something more effective and interactive. Make sure to utilize them in your next talk, and watch as they make your slides come to life.