“Storytelling is one of the ways we connect with other people, allowing us to share our hopes and dreams, our fears and worries, and our experiences and plans,” says Lori Gracey in her blog entry, Telling Our Stories. Presentations are opportunities to show people different ways of thinking about a topic and to tell a story. How you structure your presentation impacts how people receive your perspective. Let’s explore a few tips to create fabulous presentations with Google Slides.
Tip #1: Enthrall listeners with powerful narratives.
“It is more difficult to process information if it is coming at us both verbally and in written form at the same time,” says Garr Reynolds, author of the Presentation Zen book and blog. A stirring story well-illustrated can make it easier for your audience to process information. Avoid bulleted lists, lots of text, fancy and transitions and animations. These just get in the way of the story you are telling. Charts are fine to include when they align to the story you are trying to show and tell.
Tip #2: Engage with pictures.
“Pictures should contain the story within a frame,” suggests Tatjana Soli in The Lotus Eaters. This isn’t a bad approach when selecting pictures that capture the flow of your narrative. Once you have crafted an enthralling story, you need pictures that illustrate each well-defined idea or concept. The simpler the image, the more impact it can have on the viewer.
Here are some ways to add pictures to a Google Slides individual slide:
You can upload (put) your own picture; grab a snapshot if on a device equipped with a camera; paste in the URL (web address) to a picture you have found online, in your albums, or on Google Drive; or take advantage of Google’s Image Search. Notice that the results shown are labeled for commercial reuse with modification.
You can also rely on free image repositories, such as those shown below, to find relevant, breathtaking images that adhere to a particular theme for your overall presentation. Here are my top eight image search sites:
- Creative Commons Search
- Free Images
- Free Images Collection
- Wikimedia Commons
You can also reshape images in Google Slides using the Crop tool. Simply select the desired shape.
Tip #3: Enhance experiences with multimedia.
You can enrich user experiences by adding multimedia. Google Slides allows you to embed videos from YouTube, as well as any videos you may have stored in Google Drive. The latter option makes it easy to insert audio files that have been saved as MP4 files. These MP4 files have audio, but no video, and can provide an emotional touch or enhance an image.
- Navigate to the non-YouTube MP4 you want to insert in your Google Slide.
- Use an image or text item to serve as the hyperlink to the MP4 file.
- To play the MP4 file, click the hyperlinked image or text.
Read this information from Google for an illustrated how-to.
Tip #4: Enchant the eyes with fonts.
“If you need to put eight-point or ten-point fonts up there, it’s because you do not know your material,” says Garr Reynolds. Instead, take advantage of large font size and easy-to-read fonts. In Google Slides, you can add fonts, as detailed in a previous blog entry. Here’s an excerpt:
Step 1 – Go to the Font Drop Down Menu and Choose MORE FONTS at the bottom of the list.
Step 2 – Select the Fonts That Appeal to You. Once you have selected the font(s) you want to use, those will appear in your font list, represented by “My fonts.”
Be brief and use large font sizes with only a few words on the screen. Vary colors of your font text to match the theme of your slide show.
Tip #5: Enlist the help of available slide templates.
Are you stuck for a creative look to your slide theme? Then check out this blog for some amazing templates that can serve as your starting point or an inspiration for what you want to create yourself.