Google Slides is great for creating a professional presentation. Even if you know the basics of how to use Google Slides, you may not realize everything it can do.
There are plenty of killer techniques you can use to save time. And with them, you can make an even bigger impact with your Google Slides presentation. But you can't use them if you don't know them! Google Slides ideas save you a ton of time.
In this article, we share 20 pro Google Slides tips to help you get the most out of using Google Slides. Learn how to make Google Slides look good with these cool Google Slides tricks.
Guide to Making Great Presentations (Free eBook Download)
Before going further, be sure to grab our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. You'll learn to take an initial idea through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.
To learn more about the basics of Google Slides, check out our comprehensive Google Slides tutorial series.
If you want to learn how to make your Google Slides look professional, don't feel as if you've got to take it on yourself. Instead, trust others with starting points for your presentation design. Think of each slide as being full of Google Slides tips for great designs.
Quick Google Slides Ideas to Use Today (Quickstart Video)
Are you wondering how to make a good presentation on Google Slides? Do you want some quick tips you can use right away? We've outlined some of the best tips in the video below:
For even more Google Slides presentation ideas, review the list below.
Jump to content in this section:
- Tip 1. Use a Pro Google Slides Template
- Tip 2. Cut & Paste a Slide From One Presentation to Another
- Tip 3. Master the Master Slides Tool
- Tip 4. Dictate Your Presentation Text
- Tip 5. Use an Image as a Background
- Tip 6. Put an Image in a Shape
- Tip 7. Engage with Audiences Using the Q&A Tool
- Tip 8. Add Sound to Your Presentation
- Tip 9. To Collaborate, Share Your Presentation
- Tip 10. Make Your Google Slides Look Good - Quickly
- Tip 11. Add Technical Terms to the Personal Dictionary
- Tip 12. Go Back to an Earlier Version of Your Presentation
- Tip 13. Embed Your Presentation in a Website
- Tip 14. Play Your Presentation Using Chromecast
- Tip 15. Learn Google Slides Keyboard Shortcuts
- Tip 16. Make Your Text More Stylish
- Tip 17. Import Your Existing PowerPoint Presentations
- Tip 18. Use Highly Specialized Templates
- Tip 19. Add a GIF for Fun Motion Images
- Tip 20. Print Your Finished Slides
- Tip 21. Set Up Slide Timing for Slick Delivery
20+ (Quick) Tips & Tricks to Use Google Slides Like a Professional
Ready to become a Google Slides expert? Let's dive into these powerful tips to using Google Slides like a pro:
Tip 1. Use a Pro Google Slides Template
A template is a great way to get a professional look for your Google Slides presentation. It helps you avoid having to spend a ton of time with design - and you don't have to hire a pricey designer.
Luckily, one of my favorite Google Slides tips is this: outsource the design work to someone else.
To use a presentation template or theme, first rename it. Then, find some slides you like and type over them with your own information. You can quickly delete the template slides you don't need, use those you do, and add your own custom photos and info.
Learn how to make a good presentation on Google Slides by changing themes here:
Need premium templates for your Google Slides presentation ideas? Envato Elements has you covered, with thousands of options to choose from. Or you can explore some of our very best Google Slides theme ideas in this feature article:
Tip 2. Cut & Paste a Slide From One Presentation to Another
If you give a lot of presentations, you may find yourself in a situation where you want to re-use a slide from one presentation in another. Don't recreate the slide—there's a better way.
You can copy a single slide from one presentation to another. Or you can copy a single slide from a theme or template. This can be a huge time-saver if you create a lot of presentations.
Here's what to do:
Open the Google Slides file with the slide you want. Click the desired slide and Ctrl + C to copy it to the clipboard.
In the example below, I'm copying a slide from a theme into an existing presentation:
Open the presentation you're creating. Click on the slide before where you want to insert the copied slide. Click Ctrl + V to paste the copied slide from the clipboard to the new presentation:
Edit and change the copied slide, as needed, from within your presentation.
Tip 3. Master the Master Slides Tool
Ever wanted to change an element in your Google Slides presentation in bulk? This happens when a piece of content appears on many slides in the deck.
In this case, you may be trying to change something that's defined on a master slide or master layout. Master slides and layouts can be changed, but to do so you've got to open the Master Slides tool:
All content shown on the master slide is shown across the full Slides presentation. Changes you make on a master layout affect all other slides using that layout.
It's important to learn how to use Google Slides' powerful Master Slides tool. For all you need to know about the Master Slides tool, study this helpful Google Slides tutorial:
Tip 4. Dictate Your Presentation Text
For computers with a microphone, use your voice to dictate speaker notes in your presentation. Here's how:
Make sure your microphone is turned on. Click in the Speaker Notes section of your screen. Select Tools > Voice type speaker notes.
The Microphone icon appears on your screen:
Click the Microphone icon and begin speaking. Your text is added to the speaker notes as you talk:
When you've finished, click the microphone icon again to turn voice typing off. Click the X in the upper right corner of the icon to close it.
Tip 5. Use an Image as a Background
Images add a lot to a presentation. An image can illustrate a point, often better than words can. An image also adds interest to a slide and draws in your audience. An image can even be used symbolically to represent an important concept.
But you can do more with images than simply put them onto your slides. A background image can help make your presentation be more visually appealing. And it's easier to use an image as a background in Google Slides than you might think.
This is one of the best Google Slides presentation ideas because it's both easy and stylish! Here are complete instructions on how to use an image as a background:
You can find an assortment of pro quality, royalty-free images on Envato Elements. Along with stunning photos, you also get access to templates, fonts and more! All are included with your flat monthly rate.
Tip 6. Put an Image in a Shape
We've already discussed the importance of using images in your Google Slides presentation to add interest. We've also explored how to use a photo as a background.
But background images are just one cool thing that you can do with photos in Google Slides. Another trick that many presenters don't know about is the ability to import an image into a shape.
To set your presentation apart with images embedded in shapes, learn how to do it in our Google Slides tutorial on working with images:
Tip 7. Engage with Audiences Using the Q&A Tool
Google Slides has a neat feature that allows you to accept questions as you present. This tool can also be helpful for live webinars.
You can activate the Q&A feature in Google Slides when you're using Presenter View. It's in the Audience Tools section.
This is one of the winning Google Slides presentation ideas because it really boosts engagement. You can use it to connect with your audiences in new, creative ways!
Audiences will see a URL on your slides. When they click it, they'll be able to type questions for you to answer. It's a powerful Google Slides idea to fuel collaboration. And it's how to make a good presentation on Google Slides even better!
Tip 8. Add Sound to Your Presentation
Audio brings new life to your Google Slides presentation. And it's amazingly easy to add. You can use the Insert > Audio dropdown. I like to add music for a fun background for my presentation. Or you can import spoken audio tracks to bring new voices to your slides.
The following Google Slides tutorial takes you through the process in detail:
Tip 9. To Collaborate, Share Your Presentation
Collaboration is a great way to make sure your Google Slides presentation is the best it can be. The give and take of ideas often results in a higher quality end product.
Google Slides allows you to share your presentation with others. After all, that's what presentations are really all about! Once you put your Google Slides design ideas into action, share them with others all around the globe. Using the Share button to share your presentation:
On the Share menu, you can also control who can access your slide deck - and what they can do. You can give them access to simply view slides.
Or you can optionally allow comments or even full edits to be made. The choice is totally up to you! Use the dropdown menu in the General Access section to control these settings.
Tip 10. Make Your Google Slides Look Good - Quickly
You've already seen it earlier in this tutorial, but I can't say it enough: to learn how to make your Google Slides look professional, use a template. When you use a template, you don't have to learn the app entirely on your own.
Starting with a template is like having a guide to creating a great presentation. Open it up and instantly, you see Google Slides tips in the form of pre-built slides. They're already perfectly laid out and ready for your content.
To learn more about how to customize your Google Slides presentation, check out these two tutorials below. They're loaded with advice on how to make Google Slides look good:
- How to Create Google Slides Presentations Using Cool (Customizable) ThemesSven Lenaerts29 May 2019
- How to Make Google Slides Presentations Look Good (10 Cool Effects for 2023)Brenda Barron15 May 2023
Tip 11. Add Technical Terms to the Personal Dictionary
Under the Tools > Spelling menu option, choose Show spelling suggestions. When this option is selected, possible spelling errors show up underlined with red.
But Google's spellcheck isn't perfect. Often company-specific terms, names, and abbreviations show up with the red underline.
To fix this, go to Tools > Personal dictionary. Add your specific terms. They'll no longer be flagged as possible spelling errors:
If you later decide to remove a term from your personal dictionary, open it up again.
Click the trash can icon to the right of the term you want to delete and click OK.
Tip 12. Go Back to an Earlier Version of Your Presentation
As you put your Google Slides presentation ideas to use, odds are you'll make many changes to your slides. So, what happens if you want to go back to an earlier version? You can't always get there by pressing Undo. And you certainly don't want to redo your work again.
Fortunately, all your Google Slides theme ideas are logged. You can easily revert to an earlier version of the deck. Here's how.
Go to File > Version history > See version history. When you click this, Google Slides will launch the Version history sidebar. On it, you'll see a list of all the versions of your slide deck from the past.
To revert to an earlier version, click the three vertical dots next to one of the revisions. Then, choose Restore this version. You'll be asked to confirm your choice, and when you do, your slides will go back to the old version. It's that easy!
Tip 13. Embed Your Presentation in a Website
Use the File > Share > Publish to web menu option to embed a slide presentation on your website.
Publishing a Google Slides presentation means that someone can see it with only a link. (As opposed to sharing a presentation, where a user must be logged into Google Drive to see your presentation. Also, note that those who view a published presentation cannot edit or make comments.)
Here's the Publish to the web dialog box:
As you can see from the image above, you can also define the following aspects of your published presentations:
- Google Slides slide size
- how often the slide auto-advances
- when the slideshow starts
- whether the slideshow loops
Tip 14. Play Your Presentation Using Chromecast
Chromecast allows you to share a presentation from an Android mobile device if you've got a Chromecast device available and set up. You also need to have a Google Home app on your mobile device, available WIFI, and be using the Google Chrome browser.
The Chromecast device plugs into the monitor you want to use. It even works with some Smart TVs.
When you open your Chromecast app, it looks for nearby Chromecast devices. Select the correct device, enter your password, and name your Chromecast. Select the Google Slides presentation you wish to stream to the TV or monitor. Then, click on the Chromecast button to stream your presentation.
For more information, here are Google's instructions for using Chromecast.
Tip 15. Learn Google Slides Keyboard Shortcuts
Did you know that Google Slides has keyboard shortcuts? If you use Google Slides often, learning and using keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time.
Find the keyboard shortcuts at the Help > Keyboard shortcuts menu option. Here's a screenshot of some the available shortcuts for Google Slides:
The shortcuts are arranged by functionality. To see the shortcuts for a specific functionality, click on that functionality in the list on the left.
Don’t worry about memorizing all the keyboard shortcuts at once. Instead, focus on those that you’ll use the most! They’re quick, powerful ways to bring your Google Slides design ideas to life. They’re how to use Google Slides ideas even faster.
Tip 16. Make Your Text More Stylish
Text really forms the centerpiece of your Google Slides theme ideas. By featuring your words in creative ways, you can keep your audience focused. Similarly, you can call attention to key aspects and details that need special focus.
For example, you can change font size and type, as described in this basic Google Slides tutorial:
But you'll find that Google Slides offers an array of other text effects. These Google Slides design ideas bring your fonts and text to life. For example, you can add bolds, italics, and underlines. These are three basic ways to add emphasis to a given bit of text.
Plus, Google Slides makes it easy to change the font color. To do that, select text like you see below, then choose a new shade from the Text color menu. Prefer to highlight? Google Slides offers that as well.
One more thing for Google Slides ideas for text: you can add new fonts! This opens up limitless Google Slides presentation ideas. Learn how here:
Tip 17. Import Your Existing PowerPoint Presentations
One of the most daunting elements of learning a new piece of software is the extra effort needed. Already familiar with a tool like Microsoft PowerPoint? Switching to Google Slides may sound like it represents extra work.
Luckily, Google has done a great job by building in backward compatibility. You can upload your PowerPoint presentations and use them in Google Slides. This offers key advantages. First, you can work with your favorite slide decks instantly. And it opens up a wider world of templates. Any PowerPoint slide template or deck works in Google Slides.
Use the tutorial below to see the Google Slides tips and tricks to convert your PowerPoint presentation. It gives you thousands more options for Google Slides presentation ideas.
- How to Convert PowerPoint (PPT) to Google Slides Presentations on Import (+Video)Laura Spencer19 Dec 2022
Tip 18. Use Highly Specialized Templates
I already recommended using Google Slides templates to build great presentations. There are hundreds of great Google Slides presentations for specific themes and topics. These Google Slides theme ideas are beyond what you could imagine on your own.
I like to divide Google Slides presentation designs into two categories: general purpose and specialized. These templates show you how to use Google Slides ideas, rapidly.
Check out the three roundups below to see Google Slides designs that are for specific purposes:
- 30 Google Slides Templates for Teachers, Educators, and Students for 2022Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo29 Apr 2021
- How to Make a Great Infographic With Google Slides Using a Template (+Video)Sharon Hurley Hall14 Jun 2021
- 22+ Nature & Floral Google Slides Themes (Free + Premium Presentation Designs)Andrew Childress01 Dec 2021
Tip 19. Add a GIF for Fun Motion Images
GIF images have certainly grown in popularity in recent years, so why not consider adding one to your next Google Slides presentation?
The Google Slides tutorial below can help you add a GIF to your next presentation. Learn how to upload your own GIFs or source them to add motion imagery to your upcoming Google Slides presentation.
Tip 20. Print Your Finished Slides
Even if your slides will be delivered on-screen, it helps to have printed copies that you keep at the ready. I always print my slides before presenting to give me a copy to proofread. There's something about seeing your slides on paper that can help you catch errors you might have otherwise missed.
When printing your presentation, try to save as much paper and ink as possible. Use the Google Slides tutorial below to print your slides for the most efficiency!
Tip 21. Set Up Slide Timing for Slick Delivery
The very best presentations use automatic transitions for a powerful delivery. If you have the time, consider setting up slide timings. It's a Google Slides idea that you and your audience will both appreciate!
The traditional model for presentations is to use a "clicker" or mouse to advance slides. But automating slide timings can lead to smoother transitions and slide progressions.
If you can nail the delivery, auto-advancing slides and effects is an amazing effect. It lets you focus on your message, instead of worrying about the mechanics as you share. It's how to make a good presentation on Google Slides look great in front of your audience.
Learn more about setting up slide timings in the Google Slides tutorial below:
5 Top Google Slides Presentation Design Trends for 2023
As you build your next Google Slides presentation, think about embracing some of the top trends for your slides in 2023. These are surefire ways to help you build better slide decks. That means it’s easier than ever to engage with your audience!
Let’s explore five of these top Google Slides tips today:
1. Highly Visual Slides
Wondering how to make Google Slides look good? Embrace a popular trend: highly visual slides. Whether it’s bright colors, photos, or even charts and graphs, visually engaging slides are built to capture audience focus.
It helps to think of slides as visual aids. You shouldn’t be simply reading text. Instead, use slides to illustrate the key points you’re talking about. Audiences will thank you. More importantly, they’ll remember and understand what you said later.
2. Short and Sweet Slide Decks
You can use all the cool Google Slide tricks in the book, but brevity is growing ever more important. Most of us lead busy lives, with many demands on our time. No one wants to sit through a lengthy, rambling presentation.
The best Google Slides presentations today are short and sweet. They focus on a few key points, driving home their message clearly and concisely. See more tips in our design guide:
- How to Make Google Slides Presentations Look Good (10 Cool Effects for 2023)Brenda Barron15 May 2023
3. Making Data Visual With Infographics
Infographics are illustrations designed to visualize data. That makes them ideal tools to use when creating professional presentations.
Infographics like this merge information and graphics to form compelling visuals. This helps audiences form a mental image of your big ideas. They look great on big screens, and are increasingly recognized as far superior to dull, text-heavy slides.
4. Use a Memorable Design When It Fits
Many times, your presentation design should fit in and not be too bright or loud. But when you've got room to experiment, don't be afraid to use a memorable design.
If the content is a bit flat, you can make up for it with an advanced template. Bright color schemes, graphics, and backgrounds are more likely to stick to your audience.
The article below has 20 of the best unique designs for when being forgotten simply isn't an option.
5. Bringing Apps and Websites to Life With Mockups
Sure, you can say you've got a website or app. But that’s no substitute for showing it off. That’s where device mockup templates come in. Device mockups are illustrations of real devices like notebooks, tablets, phones, watches, and more.
By combining a professional device mockup template and a screenshot image, you bring your online platform to life in a realistic way. Thanks to Google Slides and custom templates like this one from Envato Elements, it takes only seconds to create your own device mockups.
How To Make Google Slides Look Good (With Envato Elements)
Before we dive into the top Google Slides tips, we want to show you a resource that's helped many creatives give their best presentation ever. Think of these as pre-built Google Slides theme ideas.
Envato Elements is an all-you-can-download service with the best Google Slides templates. These templates are full of pre-built designs that show you how to make your Google Slides look professional. Just open them and fill them out with your specifics.
Envato Elements includes many extras. Here are other assets, all included, that help you see how to make a good presentation on Google Slides:
- Stock photos. The perfect way to fill out a bare slide, there are over one million stock photos for a flat rate.
- Graphics and illustrations. Including infographics that help you explain concepts and ideas.
- Background music. To set the tone while your presentation plays.
Advantages of Using Google Slides vs PowerPoint
Already entrenched in using a popular presentation software like Keynote or PowerPoint? You might be wondering why it's worth learning yet another tool. Luckily, there are good reasons to do exactly that! We've explored many in our list of Google Slides design ideas above.
Using Google Slides gives you more features (and improved functionality) anywhere. And that makes it worth your consideration.
Some of my favorite features in Google Slides include:
- Collaboration. Sure, every presentation software has implemented some version of this functionality. But Google Slides just does it better, with real-time collaboration and easy chat built into the app.
- Low switching cost. You can import and export your presentations to PowerPoint format. Thus, there's no "switching cost" of jumping between the apps. Other apps require long term commitments to formats. But Slides gives you freedom to experiment.
- Always backed up. Embracing the cloud means that you don't have to worry about how you store your presentations. It also gives you version control to jump back and forth between revisions.
Check out the presentation app comparison below. It includes a full and complete Google Slides vs PowerPoint review.
More Professional Google Slides Template Resources for 2023
One of my favorite Google Slides tricks is to let others design your presentation. You've already seen Envato Elements, an all-you-can-download service for sourcing Google Slides presentations. When you use premium templates, you'll save time while benefitting from stunning styles.
These designs assist you in learning how to make a good presentation on Google Slides. Let's look at three of the best Google Slides presentation templates from Elements:
Vexana is far from a neutral and flat Google Slides presentation. The bright and flashy colors are sure to grab the attention of your audience. Use this contrasty presentation to set the tone early when you're presenting.
My favorite Google Slides tip is that you should choose templates that you can use over and over. When you download a template like Arara, the flexibility of the template helps you to use it for many presentations. Just drop in your details and you'll bring your content to life!
A pitch deck is a presentation that's designed to launch your company or idea to success. Manola is the perfect presentation that includes all the Google Slides essentials for a pitch deck. Use this template to get the investor or potential employee support to get your company off the ground.
For even more outstanding templates that can help you master how to use Google Slides, check out the roundups below:
- 34 Best Google Slides Templates for Business Presentations in 2023Laura Spencer12 Jul 2023
- 20 Google Slides Themes With Cool (Customizable) Background Template Designs 2022Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo27 Mar 2021
Also, learn more about using Google Slides in our ultimate tutorial series on How to Use Google Slides.
Learn All About How to Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook)
Take the knowledge you gained in this Google Slides tutorial further. Download our eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. Grab this PDF Download now for Free with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.
It'll help walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.
Learn More Techniques to Use Google Slides Effectively
Pros use cool Google Slides tricks to design their best presentations in less time. If you're still learning how to make a good presentation on Google Slides, we've got you covered with a special series.
Our resource How to Use Google Slides (Ultimate Tutorial Guide) is the single best source for Google Slides tips. Check out three tutorials, each loaded with tricks on how to make Google Slides look good:
- How to Make a Great Infographic With Google Slides Using a Template (+Video)Sharon Hurley Hall14 Jun 2021
- What Is Google Slides? Great (Free) Online Presentation SoftwareLaura Spencer07 Jun 2019
- 17 Fun Free Google Slides Themes (+Playful Slideshow Design Ideas for 2022)Andrew Childress25 Sep 2022
Go Build a Google Slides Presentation Today
You can do more with Google Slides than you may have realized. Once you master these professional Google Slides tips, you'll be amazed at what you can do.
We've explored the very best Google Slides design ideas for 2023. Learn how to use Google Slides ideas like these, and you'll know how to make a good presentation on Google Slides. This is the key to impressing any audience. And you'll find that it saves you tons of time along the way. Truly, Google Slides presentation ideas like these are a win-win.
What techniques do you use to bring your presentation to the next level? Share your professional Google Slides tips in the comments below.
This tutorial was originally published in September 2017. It's been updated to include new information and a video—with special help from Andrew Childress.