A less-than-memorable presentation could be the result of using the wrong presentation theme. Use the right professional theme with great design layouts and your presentation is likely to be a hit. But with the wrong theme, you could leave your audience with a bad impression.
If you use Google Slides to create presentations, there are plenty of professional Google Slides themes you can import. Making a great impression has never been easier.
In this tutorial, I'll explain in detail why choosing a high-quality Google Slides import theme is so important. I'll also show you how to find and download professional Google Slides themes using either Envato Elements or the GraphicRiver marketplace—two terrific sources of premium themes. Finally, I'll explain how to quickly apply customization to the Google Slides theme you chose after importing it into your presentation.
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Why Presentation Theme Designs Are So Important
You may have a great message for
your presentation. You may have done tons of research. You may spend hours
practicing. But unless you're careful about choosing your presentation theme design, all
that hard work may not come across to your audience or best represent your brand.
No matter what presentation software you use, the presentation theme you select and use is important.
A good presentation theme helps you to:
- Draw the Viewer In. Like it or not, we're all affected by what we see. Colors, images, fonts, and shapes—they all make a difference. The right theme makes good use of all these design elements to engage the audience through a presentation. The best themes come with great layout options and plenty of striking graphic features.
- Shape the Reader's Opinion. The way your theme looks impacts the reader's impression of you. A well-designed, professional theme leaves your audience with a positive opinion of you and your message. A sloppy, unprofessional presentation design does the opposite.
- Allow for Branding. A good theme lets you add your unique branding elements to your presentation, such as your color scheme and logo. It also helps tie the presentation to your brand in your audience's mind. This is important for in-person presentations, as well as when distributing your presentations online.
- Save Time. The right theme saves you time. No longer do you have to spend hours trying to develop the right look on your own. A good theme will be attractive and come with plenty of unique slide designs. It'll also be easy to customize for your needs with quick to edit professional slide setup.
- Avoid Common Mistakes. There are many common design traps for those new to presentation design. Using too many fonts or the wrong colors for your presentation are just a few of the things that can go wrong. A professional theme helps you get it right.
Browse through these posts for curated selections of the most popular Google Slides themes, with fresh, on-trend designs:
- Google Slides25+ Cool Google Slides Themes (To Make Presentations in 2019)Sean Hodge
- Presentations20 Google Slides Templates for Teachers, Educators, and Students for 2019Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo
- Google Slides30+ Best Business Presentation Templates for Google Slides (For 2019)Laura Spencer
Best Google Slides Templates on Envato Elements (With Unlimited Use)
One source where you'll find thousands of professionally designed Google Slides themes is Envato Elements. Here, you can download as many premium themes as you want for one low subscription. You'll get blown away by the variety and quality of the selections. But since you've got unlimited downloads, you don't have to limit yourself to only one theme. You can change Google theme for every presentation topic or audience.
What's more, your unlimited downloads also include fonts, photos, icons, and other design and presentation elements you can use to make your presentation unique and effective. Want to add a video clip to your presentation? How about a soundtrack or sound effect? You get unlimited access to those in Elements, too—all for one low monthly fee.
Each premium Google Slides theme from Envato Elements is made for the non-professional designer. This means you can easily change the theme on Google Slides and customize it without needing special skills and software.
How to Find & Download the Right Google Slides Theme
If you use Google Slides for your presentation, the good news is that you don't have to look far to find a good presentation template. There are many resources available, including some from Envato's own Elements and GraphicRiver marketplace.
In this section, we provide detailed steps on how to find and download a Google Slides theme for your needs.
Step 1. Start at GraphicRiver or Envato Elements
While there are many Google Slides templates available for download, our own GraphicRiver marketplace and Envato Elements are good places to start when looking for a professional theme.
GraphicRiver has a premium selection of presentation templates available. Here are our best-selling Google Slides themes from GraphicRiver that are available for download one-at-a-time:
Each thumbnail shown on the screen represents a different Google Slides presentation theme. To examine a theme more closely, click on a thumbnail. A screen appears showing more information about the Google Slides theme you clicked on:
Use the scrollbar to the right of
the screen to scroll through the information about the Google Slide theme. You'll get plenty of slide design examples of the theme, information about the theme author, and details of what's included inside the download.
While we're using a theme from GraphicRiver in this tutorial, there are many advantages to using Envato Elements. Remember, you get unlimited downloads of Google Slides themes, design elements, and multimedia items at Elements. And so, it may be a better source of Google Slides themes for you.
Step 2. Use Search to Look Through Google Slides Themes
If you're having trouble finding the right presentation theme for you, use the search tool in the upper right corner to find a Google Slides theme more to your liking.
When you've typed in your search phrase, click the Search icon (it looks like a magnifying glass) in the upper right. In this example, we're searching for the phrase, "google slides design." You'll see a list of thumbnails that meet your search criteria.
If you need to, use tools on the left to further narrow your search. Or, use the sort tools upper-right corner to change the order of your search results:
Step 3. Select and Download a Google Slides Theme
Once you've found a Google Slides theme you'd like to download, click on the theme's thumbnail to open it:
Note: In this example, we're using the Swift Minimal Google Slides Template.
Details about the selected theme display:
In right sidebar, you'll see an Add to Cart button and a Buy Now button. Click the Add to Cart button to add the Google Slides theme to your cart and choose a license. Or, click the Buy Now button to go straight to check out with a Regular license (more on that below).
When you click Add to Cart, the Customize Your Selection dialog box appears:
By default, you're purchasing a Regular license. Click Change details to switch to an Extended license.
About These Licenses
A regular license allows for a single use of the theme for yourself or an end client. With a regular license, you're not allowed to charge the end user for the use of the theme.
An extended license also allows for a single use of the theme, but with an extended license you may also charge the end user for the theme and the end result may be sold.
Learn more about these licenses.
Go to Checkout
Click the Go to Checkout button.
If you're not already logged into your GraphicRiver account, you'll be prompted to log in or to create an account:
Once you're logged into an account, enter your purchase information and complete the purchase. A confirmation screen displays:
Click the Download button on the lower right to complete the transaction. A popup displays asking whether you wish to open or save your download. Select the toggle button next to the Save File option and click the OK button. Your Google Slides template ZIP file is downloaded onto your computer (most likely it'll be in your Downloads folder).
You can't upload a ZIP file to your
Google Slides presentation. So, you need to double-click on the downloaded ZIP
file to open the contents. Use the Extract
All option, or other a similar tool, to unzip the ZIP file.
How to Modify the Google Slides Template to Create a New Presentation
If you don't have an existing presentation, get a head start on creating a new Google Slides presentation by opening the downloaded template file and editing it. Here's how:
Note: This example was created on a PC using the Windows operating system. For this example, I downloaded the Main - Swift Google Slides theme. If you use a different operating system or download a different Google Slides theme, your results may be slightly different.
Step 1. Drag Google Slides Theme File to Google Drive
After your template file is unzipped in your Downloads folder on your PC, drag the Main - Swift Google Slides folder to your Google Drive:
A notification of the file upload appears in the lower right corner of the screen. Click the X in the upper right corner of the notification to close it.
Step 2. Copy and Open the Template File
Double-click the Main - SWIFT Google Slides folder to open it. Double-click the Presentations subfolder. You'll see three presentations themes in PowerPoint PPTX format (these will convert to Google Slides format when opened). The screen should look something like this:
Before you begin changing the default theme, copy it first. Right-click on the template you want to use, then select Make a copy.
This creates a copy of the presentation without overwriting the original theme. This could be important if you decide to start over and return to the original theme.
Double-click the copy of the theme you wish to open. The file displays but doesn't open. Choose the Open with Google Slides option from the center of the screen. The selected theme opens with the default text:
Step 3. Edit the Google Slides Theme
Type the title of the new presentation in the upper left corner. To replace the existing text in the presentation, highlight
it and type over it. Your presentation should look something like this:
Click the plus symbol (+) at the left of the icon menu to add new slides as needed. Continue editing and modifying the presentation. You can change the fonts, colors, and make other formatting changes just as you would for any other presentation.
For more guidance on formatting a presentation, refer to the following Envato Tuts+ tutorial:
How to Change a Google Slides Theme for an Existing Presentation
Now that you've found a presentation theme that you wish to use, you're ready to apply it to an existing Google Slides presentation. Let's get started:
Step 1. Open a Presentation
Go to your Google Drive and open an existing presentation in Google Slides. Here's an existing presentation:
You can change the theme for several of the slides in the presentation or for all of the slides in the presentation.
Select the slides you wish to apply the new Google Slides theme to by clicking on them in the panel on the left. To select more than one slide, hold the SHIFT key while selecting consecutive slides, or the CTRL key to select slides that are apart from each other.
Note: To keep your presentation uniform, I suggest that you apply the same theme to all the slides in your presentation.
Step 2. Change the Theme
With your presentation open and the slides you wish to change selected, click Slide > Change theme. A side panel appears to the right of your presentation showing all the currently available themes:
At the bottom of the side panel, click the Import theme option. The Import Theme dialog box displays:
To upload the theme from your computer, click the Upload option at the top of the dialog box, then click Select a file from your computer. If you're on a PC, File Explorer opens.
Go to the folder where downloaded template files are stored. Most likely, this will be your Downloads folder.
Open the Main - SWIFT Google Slides folder, which contains a Presentations subfolder. Double-click the Presentations folder to open it. The contents of the subfolder are visible:
Click on the template file of your choice and click the Open button. The new theme is uploaded:
Another Import Theme dialog box displays:
Click on the Default Theme thumbnail and click the Import theme button in the lower right corner of the dialog box. The new theme is automatically applied to your presentation:
Note: Swift is a minimal style theme design, so the change here is subtle. Once you apply it to multiple slides in your presentation though, you'll notice a more dramatic style transformation with your entire presentation.
Step 3. Make Adjustments
Notice that some formatting remains from your original presentation. For example, the border around the title and the white color on the font on the first slide remain the same. To get the full effect of your new theme, you may wish to change some of your original formatting.
For example, to make sure white text is visible against a white background, you may need to adjust the text color. Likewise, you need to make sure that black text is visible against a black background. Adjust the text color by highlighting the text and using the Format > Text color option.
Text color is just one of many adjustments and edits you can make to your presentation after the new theme is applied. You can make other adjustments to the presentation as well.
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Change to a Better Google Theme Today
The theme you use for your presentation is important. A professional presentation theme can help you to make the right impression. You've just learned how to change Google themes by importing one into your Google Slides presentation.
Downloading a Google Slides theme and applying it to your presentation isn't difficult. And the right Google Slides theme can make all the difference when it comes to the impression you make on your audience.
Editorial Note: This post was originally published in 2017. It's been comprehensively revised to make current, accurate, and up-to-date by our staff—with special assistance from Lexi Rodrigo.