5 Tips and Tricks for Google Slides You Need to Try

In recent months, I’ve offered tips for Google’s cloud-based office apps, Google Docs and Google Sheets. But the unsung app of the bunch is Google Slides – the browser-based presentation software that’s Google’s answer to Microsoft Powerpoint.

Whether you’re giving a business presentation to a room of executives, speaking to a lecture hall brimming with students, or doing a job interview via a slideshow, Slides lets you quickly and easily create presentations for all manner of professional occasions. Here are five  tips to make that task easier.

1. Create a Master Slide

One of the most important (and easy to forget) things when making a presentation is having a master slide. This allows you to quickly make changes that will appear on all your slides, imbuing your presentation with a stylistic consistency throughout.

To do this, click Slide in the menu bar, then “Edit master,” and you’ll be taken to the Master page. Click the thumbnail under “Master,” then edit that slide’s colours, backgrounds, shapes, images and whatever other elements you’d like to see across all your slides.

Google Slides - Edit Master Slide

2. Stream Presentations via Chromecast

The days of using transparent plastic sheets of laminate paper to do your presentations are well behind us (does anyone even remember those days?). In fact, thanks to the miracle of streaming gizmos like the Google Chromecast, you might not even need to plug your laptop into a screen or projector via cable any more.

From Your PC

To stream your presentation via Chromecast, click the drop-down arrow next to the “Present” option at the top right, then “Present on another screen,” which should be available as an option if you’re connected to the same WiFi network as an active Chromecast.

From Your Phone

You can also stream presentations from your phone to a Chromecast and control them using your touchscreen. Open your presentation in the Slides app for your Android or iOS device, then tap the TV-like streaming icon at the top of the screen.

google-slides - connect to chromecast

3. Embed Google Slides in a Website

Slides offers an easy way to throw your finely crafted presentations straight onto the Internet. When you’re ready to share your slideshow with the world, click “File -> Publish to the web,” and then click the “Embed” option. (If you click “Link,” it’ll create a Slides logo that people then click through to view your slideshow – not quite as slick!)

When you’re done, click “Publish,” then copy the embed code into whatever CMS or web editing software you’re using for your site. Your slideshow should now appear there. The great thing is that you can keep editing your presentation through Slides, and it’ll automatically update on your site as well!

google-slides - embed on website

4. Change the Shapes of Images in Your Slideshow

There’s a good chance that you want your presentation to be embellished with more than just square/rectangular images. You might want your images to be circular, triangular, or Pac-Man-shaped, for instance.

To do this, add an image to your slideshow (Insert -> Image or by clicking “Background” then inserting one, or by any number of means). Next, with your image selected, click the drop-down arrow next to the crop icon in the toolbar and pick a shape of your choice. (Such as what I did here, by turning a pretty landscape into an irregular star shape and putting it against a brick background. Doesn’t look quite as good as I imagined, but hey, you get the idea!)

google-slides - image-masking

5. Check Out Some Presentation Template Sites

If you’re not feeling entirely confident about your presentation design skills or simply don’t have the time to piece together every single fine detail of a presentation yourself, then there are hundreds of templates that you can use.

A relatively recent addition to Google Slides is the Template gallery where you can use a number of templates for presentations relating to weddings, photo albums, portfolios and more. But the fun doesn’t stop there, as there are plenty of third-party sites packed with hundreds of Slides templates. Slides Carnival is a good one, letting you search for pretty much any presentation templates that spring to mind. I like Free Google Slides Templates, too, which lets you view the templates as slideshows, so you can see them in action.

google-slides - free-google-slides


And that’s it! All these tips assume a basic level of knowledge on your part on how to use Google Slides, so if you’re a complete Slides novice, then let us know, and we may write a guide for this robust app further down the line. Happy presenting.