Presentation Must-Haves #HWDSBTLE

Here are some simple tips to bring some Jazz to your presentations using Google Slides!

Where to start:

  • Present on an iPad.  Presenting with Slides on an iPad is a smooth and easy experience.  No need to constantly walk back to the laptop to hit next or pay for a clicker dongle that you’ll end up replacing (or losing!) multiple times.
  • LARGE and BOLD font!  If the audience can’t read the text on the slides, the style of the font doesn’t matter.  Just because it looks nice on your screen doesn’t mean it is readable when projected.  Err on the side of caution and go BIG and BOLD!
  • High Contrast.  Using a coloured background with coloured font can be risky!  Select a font and background combo that clearly displays when projected.  If you’re not sure if it’s going to project clearly enough, increase the contrast between colours just to be safe.
    This is your slide on low contrast.
  • Minimize the text.  If you have to put full sentences on your slides, try to limit it to two per slide.  Slide font size should be a minimum of 30, so if you can’t fit all of your text on a slide with size 30 font, you have too much text!
  • Include a link to your presentation on the very first slide.  This allows them to click on hyperlinks (rather than rush to write them down in a notebook), zoom in pictures and diagrams (rather than squint to try to read them), follow along with your presentation and have access to it after the presentation is over.  By using a link-shortening service like Bit.Ly, you can create a custom link relevant to your content (and easy to type into the address bar).


If you already do those presentation essentials, this is what you should try next:

  • Enable the Google Slides Live Q + A feature.  This feature allows participants to submit questions during the presentation.  The presenter can spotlight the questions at their convenience and post them instantly onto the screen.  Here’s how to do it.
  • Give the participants commenting or editing access to your slides.  Wait..what?  Give them access to my slides?!  Allowing the audience to add slides at the end of your slide deck crowd-sources the expertise in the room that you may not have realized was there. In the permission settings, you can require students or staff to log in before contributing.
  • Try another presentation format altogether.  Trying something like Sway or one of the options at H5P can increase engagement and audience participation.  Or forego the stand and deliver presentation entirely and put materials, links, videos, prompts and instructions into an Explain Everything template and have students/staff contribute their thoughts by posting the product to a common place, like a slide deck or Commons page.

If you end up adding one of these techniques to your repertoire, tell us how it went by tweeting with the hashtag #HWDSBTLE

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