Embed a timer

In some lessons, you might want to let the conversation flow but others you might want to set a time limit on discussions. You might want to give the students 5 minutes to do a specific piece of work but sometimes get distracted and lose track of the time. You can easily embed a timer straight into your Google Slides presentation to help manage class time better.

It’s not exactly a function of Slides but fortunately, there’s a hack for that!

In your Slide, click Insert then Video and search for a YouTube video titled “X minute timer” where X is the amount of time. Select the video and adjust it to size. Have it fill half the page or a small portion of the page. Just press play on the video when you are presenting.

Have a look at the Knowledgebase article: Google Slides – Embed a timer

Dictating your notes

If you regularly use the Speakers Notes section in Slides then this will save you a lot of time. With any computer that has a built-in webcam/microphone, you can dictate what you want to say and Google will type it up for you. It may not save much time if you are just doing a couple of words or phrases but for long sentences and paragraphs, it can be a big help.

It might not be perfect at first glance but once a sentence is formed, Google goes over the sentence to work out the context and makes adjustments to what it has already done. You can see an example in the image below, the text at the beginning changes again once the sentence has been finished.

To start dictating make sure you are on the slide you want the notes added on to. Click Tools and then Voice type speaker notes… When you are ready just click the Microphone icon and talk clearly towards the computer.

Masking / Shaping an Image

You can change the shape of an image in Slides, this can help if you don’t want a solid square image and want to make it look a little nicer as a circle or rounded edged square. You can turn an image into an arrow, star or callout.

Simply select the image you want to change, then click the little arrow next to the Crop icon and select the desired shape.

Video Trimming

If you’ve ever wanted to show students a section of a YouTube video and have to skip along trying to find the exact moment you need or stop it quickly before it starts the next section then this is for you.

Google Slides has a neat feature that allows you to insert just part of a YouTube video, you can insert just the 2 minutes you want them to watch or cut off the first 10 minutes so they are just left with the exact information you want them to know.

It’s really simple to achieve, all you need to do is to work out the exact start and end time of what you want to show. If you want to show a specific amount of time from the beginning or the end then it’s even easier.

Check out our knowledgebase article to find out how: Google Slides – Trimming a YouTube Video.

Grid View

This is a tool that is extremely useful, especially if you have Slides presentations with lots of slides.

In the bottom left corner of a Slides window, you will see these two icons, the darker colour represents what view you are looking at. The standard default option is called Filmstrip View and is the view you get as default when you open a Slides doc. The other option is called Grid View and lets you view all your slides, you just can’t edit them in this view.

When Grid View is selected you see the slides in the document as a grid, from here you can check that your slides are in the correct order and if not simply click and drag a slide to where you want it to be.

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