If you’re looking to make your Google Slides presentation more interactive or interesting, embedding a video is an easy option.
Google Slides has three methods for adding video to a presentation: you can search for a YouTube video, paste in a specific YouTube URL, or upload a video from Google Drive.
Here’s how to add a video to your Google Slides presentation.
How to add a video to Google Slides
1. Go to slides.google.com and either create a new slideshow or open one you’ve already created.
2. In the top toolbar, click “Insert” and then choose “Video.”
3. The Insert video window will open on the YouTube Search tab. Type keywords or the title of the YouTube video you want to embed into the search field and click the magnifying glass icon or hit Enter.
4. Among the search results, select the video you want to embed.
5. If you want to add a YouTube video to Google Slides using a URL, when the Insert video window appears, click the “By URL” tab.
6. Open the YouTube video you want to embed in another browser tab and copy the URL.
9. Choose between the My Drive, Shared Drives, Shared with Me, and Recent tab and find the file you want to upload.
10. With the video you want to add chosen and highlighted, click Select.
11. Once the video is added to your Google Slides presentation, click and drag the file to position the video where you want it on the slide. Red guide lines will appear on the slide to help you center it within the slide.
Slideshows can either be exciting and engaging, or the most boring part of the workday. One way to avoid the latter experience is to add audio or music into your Google Slides presentation.
You can add audio into Google Slides directly from your Google Drive, or you can add a link to a Spotify track – here’s how to do both.
How to add audio to Google Slides
1. Upload the audio file in either MP3 or WAV format to your Google Drive.
2. Open your Google Slides presentation and go to the slide you want to add audio to. Click “Insert” in the toolbar at the top of the Slides screen.
3. In the “Insert” drop-down, select “Audio.”
4. In the “Insert audio” pop-up, you can search for your audio file in “My Drive,” “Shared drives,” “Shared with me,” or “Recent.” You can also type the name of your audio file in the search bar.
5. Click the file you want to add, and hit “Select.”
6. Your audio file will now appear in your slide as a small sound icon. To resize the icon, click on it and drag one of its corners outward or inward.
When you click the icon or hover your mouse over it, a playback bar will appear where you can pause, play, or fast-forward the audio.
When you click on the icon, a sidebar menu will appear on the right side of the slide – here, you can customize a number of sound and design elements like audio playback, reflection, shadow, color, and more.
2. Click the ellipsis icon next to the song, album, or playlist you want, and in the pop-up, go to “Share” and click “Copy Song Link.”
3. Open your Google Slides presentation and go to the first slide you want the music to play under.
4. Select a bit of text (or an image) on the slide, click “Insert link” and paste in your Spotify link.
5. On the day of your presentation, make sure that you log into the browser version of Spotify. While you’re giving the presentation, you’ll need to click the link, which will open Spotify in a new browser window. You’ll still need to click play on the song in the Spotify window before returning to your Google Slides presentation.
No matter what your content, you can make a more compelling presentation when you’ve toned some common presentation skills and also mastered some of PowerPoint’s lesser-known features.
How to make a better PowerPoint presentation
Here are nine ways to get more out of PowerPoint and create a killer presentation.
Start your presentation instantly
Few things look as unprofessional as fumbling around trying to start your presentation in the PowerPoint app. But you can skip all that by setting your presentation to start instantly.
1. When your PowerPoint deck is complete, click “File” and “Save As.”
2. In the Save As dialog box, change the “Save as” type to “PowerPoint Show” and store it somewhere easy to find, like your desktop.
3. When you’re ready to start the presentation, double-click this icon, and the deck will launch instantly in presentation mode, without needing to open the PowerPoint application.
Create an animated chart
You can format any kind of chart so each segment animates individually. This can help you call attention to specific parts of the chart as you discuss it. Add a chart in the usual way, then:
1. Click the “Animations” tab in the ribbon and then click “Animation Pane.”
2. In the ribbon, click “Add Animation.”
3. Choose the kind of animation you want to apply to the chart.
4. Right-click the effect in the Animation Pane and then, in the menu, choose “Effect Options.”
5. In the Properties box, choose the “Chart Animation” tab and then change “Group chart” to “By Category” and click “OK.”
Align your graphics
PowerPoint lets you add objects – shapes, lines, arrows, text boxes, and other elements – to the screen, but getting them aligned can be tricky. You might appreciate knowing you can perfectly align any elements on the screen with just a couple of clicks.
1. Press and hold the Shift key.
2. While continuing to hold Shift, click each item on the screen that you want to align. If you click an element by accident, click it again to de-select it. Release the Shift key when they’re all selected.
3. Click the “Home” tab in the ribbon.
4. In the ribbon, click “Arrange” and then, in the “Position Objects” section, choose an alignment to arrange or distribute the objects neatly on the screen.
Embed your fonts for portability
If you’re using special fonts in your presentation and you try to open the deck on a computer that doesn’t have those fonts installed, PowerPoint will substitute a local font, sometimes with disastrous results. You can avoid that problem by embedding the font in the deck, making the presentation fully portable (and possible for other people to share and edit the deck as well).
1. Click the “File” tab in the ribbon and then choose “Options.”
2. In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, choose “Save” in the navigation pane on the left.
3. In the section called “Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation,” click “Embed fonts in the file” and then select “Embed all characters.”
Blank the screen to keep all eyes on you
It seems inevitable: For whatever reason, you find yourself needing to discuss a topic that’s not directly related to the slide on the screen. That’s when the deck can become a distraction, with your audience’s eyes focused on a pie chart when you’re answering an unrelated question. PowerPoint has an easy solution: Press the B key to blank the screen – it’ll turn black until you press B again or move to the next slide. If you prefer, press W to turn the screen white.
Easily jump between sections of your deck
Not every presentation is linear, and you might prefer to jump back and forth from sections of your deck to a common “table of contents,” so you can tackle the presentation in any order. This can be handy, for example, if you’re using a deck for training or education. PowerPoint’s Zoom feature is ideal for this.
1. Create a presentation and be sure to organize it into sections, ideally with title slides dividing each part of the deck.
2. Click the “Insert” tab in the ribbon.
3. Click “Zoom” and then click “Summary Zoom.”
4. In the “Insert Summary Zoom” window, select the title slide or start of each section and then click “Insert.”
PowerPoint will add a summary page to your deck. Now you can start your presentation here and click a section to go there. When that section is complete, PowerPoint will return you to the summary page.
Preserve the presentation as a PDF
If you want to share your presentation with your audience, a PDF file is an easy way to preserve the formatting, make it easily printable, and prevent anyone from modifying your content. Just click the “File” tab in the ribbon, choose “Save As,” and then select “PDF” as the “Save as” type. You can now share this PDF file quickly and easily.
Zoom in for a closer look
During a presentation, you might realize that the audience can’t clearly see a detail you want to focus on. That’s ok – PowerPoint lets you zoom in with a couple clicks.
First, make sure your presentation is set to Slide Show view. To zoom in, click on the magnifying glass in the lower-left corner of the presenter view. You’ll see a zoom box appear – position it where you want to zoom, and click. Now the presentation will be zoomed in on the part of the screen you want to focus on. You can even click and drag to move around the screen while zoomed in.
When you’re done and want to zoom back out, either press the Escape key or the magnifying glass icon again.
Add a musical soundtrack
You can easily add a musical score that plays in the background across all your slides. This is especially handy for “kiosk” presentations that run autonomously.
1. Go to the slide where you want the music to begin and then click the “Insert” tab in the ribbon.
2. Click “Audio” and then click “Audio on my PC…”
3. Choose the track you want to play.
4. In the ribbon, click “Play in Background.”
Now, when you reach this slide, the music will start to play automatically and it will continue playing across slides until the track is over, then loop and play again.