digital signage in dental office

How to Use Google Slides in 5 Easy Steps for Beginners

How often do you create a presentation? According to Decktopus, while about 10% of participants said they created presentations daily, about 30% of people said they created presentations 1-3 times a month. That’s a lot of presentations being created and shown through technology.

digital signage in dental office

While Microsoft’s Powerpoint and Apple’s Keynote applications are commonly used, Google offers Google Slides, a free online equivalent that’s primed for collaboration and opens up the possibilities for easily accessed online presentations. Google slides can be used for numerous use cases: creating a school project on your classroom digital signage, a pitch deck to show potential investors on conference room signage, or a slideshow of different menu items on your restaurant’s welcome board. Whatever the case, Google slides have creative and compelling designs to attract your audience.

One advantage of using Google Slides: it’s part of the Google Drive universe (aka Google Workspace, which is formerly known as G Suite), so it integrates effortlessly with Google Docs and Sheets. It’s also compatible with different digital signage players like Brightsign, Andriod, Raspberry Pi, Mini PC, LG WebOS, and more.

If you’re new to digital signage technology or simply want to know how to make a presentation on Google Slides that may not be displayed on digital sigange, here are 5 easy steps to create a presentation that you can show or present instantly.

Step 1: Creating a New Presentation

If you already use PowerPoint or Keynote, you’re probably going to take to Google Slides like a duck to water. Because, fundamentally, the layout is very familiar. However, let’s start with the basics. If you already have a Google account, you’ll have free access to these resources. If you don’t, sign up for a free Google account.

After signing up for an account, go to the Google Slides welcome page. Remember, it’s free to use all of Google’s office-style applications for individuals, or you can sign up to Google Workspace if you want to boost team collaboration.

From the welcome page, click on “Go to Slides“. You’ll find yourself in familiar territory if you already use Google Docs or Google Sheets.

Create a new document by clicking on the “+” sign on the bottom right corner of the page. 

Hover your cursor over the “+” sign, and two options appear:

  • Create new presentation
  • Choose template

The templates are good and perfectly usable, but if you want to start from scratch, select “Create New Presentation“.

Step 2: Edit or Create a Slide Template

create a template

All themes are customizable. Check out the right-hand side panel entitled “Themes“. Themes allow you to change each slide’s look and feel. The thumbnails of each presentation slide sit along with the left-hand panel. You can select any of these, and they’ll appear in the edit window in the middle of the screen. 

You can pick up a slide and move it to change the running order or select a slide and delete it.

From here, select the existing text and replace it with your own. To replace the background image, click the “Background” tab. You’ll notice that the toolbar icons change according to whatever you have selected within the main edit window. If you select the background image, the taskbar changes to the selection as shown above. 

The toolbar adjusts to text-oriented settings if you select a text box (see image below), such as fonts, sizes, colors, alignment, etc. To add additional text boxes in your slide, click the “Text Box” button within the toolbar and add your text box anywhere within the edit window. You can add text anywhere on the slide. 

If you’re not working from a template, you can work from a blank presentation. Select File>New>Presentation

In this case, your screen will look more like this:

To create a new slide in this instance, you click the “+” sign for a completely blank slide or the drop-down arrow to select from a range of basic templates. 

Tip: Add Speaker Notes

At the bottom of the edit window, you’ll see a window that says, “Click to add speaker notes“. If you’re running a seminar or a tutorial, for example, you’ll have specific facts and figures to quote, which may differ from the text on your slide. Your speaker notes will help to prompt you as you deliver your new presentation slideshow.

Step 3: Add Media

Visuals get 94% more views than text-based information. Therefore, adding media to your slides is key. One of the main benefits of Google Slides is that you’re working within the web. Everything you could possibly need is on Google’s platform. 

Select the “Tools” tab along the top of the screen, and click “Explore“. A small web browser replaces the Themes box along the right side of the screen. 

google slides add media

From here, you can select images or videos from the web, from your Google Drive account, or your hard drive. 

Simply pick the image from the Explore window and drag it into your slide. From there, it’s possible to resize or edit your photo using the options within the toolbar. Alternatively, you can use right-click functions for extra control over the look of the slide. 

Additionally, you can embed web links for interactive slides that jump straight to web pages from within your Google Slides presentation.

Note: Pay attention to copyright and intellectual property restrictions. If you’re unsure, try using free stock image resources such as Unsplash.

Step 4: Incorporate Animations

Like PowerPoint, it’s possible to add animations, controlling how and when text or images appear within your slide. For example, you can display text in bullet points and show only the bullet point you’re currently discussing within your slideshow.

Click your thumbnail on the left side of the screen and select “Transition” from the toolbar. From here, you can choose the slide transition (the way the page “turns” from one slide to the next), as well as animate individual objects within your slide.

The simplest way to do this is with bullet points. Click the “Object Animations” section, select your transition type, and click the “By paragraph” button. 

Step 5: Present

google slides present

It’s easy to share your presentation with your colleagues. Make your shared document editable if you want collaborative input (you may have to grant permissions) or read-only if you want to protect your content. Send the link to anyone who needs to access your presentation. 

When you’re ready to present, click the “Start Slideshow” button (next to the Share button). This takes Google Slides into full-screen mode and allows you to present from your computer monitor, a projector, or a digital signage system.

Press “Escape” to come out of full-screen mode.

Create Animated and Engaging Presentations on Google Slides

Break free of subscription office applications and try Google Slides. It might feel a little unintuitive to work directly within a web browser initially, but you’ll benefit from the ultimate portability of Google Workspace. If you have a Gmail account, you’ll instantly have access to Google Drive and the associated applications. For collaborative working, these Google apps are genuinely hard to beat.

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