How to Add a Video to Google Slides

When creating a presentation using Google Slides, you may want to add quite a few elements beyond blocks of text to make your point. Graphics and photographs are important to creating a successful presentation.

A newer type of element that has become extremely popular for presentations is video. Adding video clips to explain a tricky point or to demonstrate the steps required to complete a task can be a fun way to break up the presentation while adding extremely important information.

Adding a Google Slides video is not an overly daunting task, but it can be a little tricky for the newcomer. You’ll need to have the video stored in the correct place before you insert it, for example. We’ll provide some tips to help you add a Google Slides video to your presentation.

How to Add a Video From YouTube

You will add a Google Slides video from YouTube by embedding it into the presentation. Start by opening your Google Slides presentation and open the slide where you want to add the video.

Select the Insert menu and click the Video command. You’ll see an Insert Video window that has three tabs across the top. We’ll discuss the two tabs that deal with YouTube videos here.

  • Search: The left tab allows you to search through YouTube’s library of videos for a clip that you can add to your presentation. YouTube will return a list of videos related to your search criteria. When you find the video clip in the list that you want to use, click on it to highlight it and then click on the Select button in the lower left corner.
  • By URL: If you already know the URL address for the YouTube video that you want to add to the slides, you can click on the By URL tab. Then paste the URL for the video into the text box. Google Slides will create a video preview window, so you can be certain that you have the exact video you want. Then click Select to insert it into the slide.

Adjusting the Size and Position

Once you have the video box on the slide in the presentation, you can click on and drag it to move it to any position on the slide. You also can drag the edges of the video box to make it larger or smaller on your Google Slides video page.

You will not have the ability to crop the video box’s dimensions inside the presentation, though, so you may want to insert the video box first, resize it, and place it on the page. Then, because the dimensions of the video box are locked in place, add your other elements to the slide around the video box.

How to Add a Video to Google Slides From Google Drive

If you want to add a video to the presentation that is not available on YouTube, you will need to have a copy of it stored in your Google Drive account. If the video is only stored on your computer’s hard drive currently, you will need to add a copy of it to your Google Drive account in the cloud.

To upload a video to Google Drive, click the New menu, followed by File Upload. Find the video stored on your computer’s hard drive. Highlight the file name and click Open to start the upload process. (Make sure you have enough free space in your Google Drive account to store the video, as video files can require quite a bit of storage space.)

Using Google Drive to Insert a Video

With your video file in your Google Drive account, you can take the steps to insert it into your presentation. Start by opening the slide in your Google Slides presentation where you want to add the video.

Click the Insert menu and the Video command. In the Insert Video window, click on the Google Drive tab on the right.

Once you click Google Drive, you’ll see some new tabs along the top of the Insert Video window. You can use the search box at the top of the window to look through your Google Drive account for the exact video or use the tabs to find the video you want to use. Once you find the video file, highlight it. Then click the Select button in the lower left corner of the window.
After adding the video box to your slide, you then can resize it by dragging the corner of the video box, or you can drag the entire box to a new location on the slide.

How to Play a Video in Google Slides

Google Slides allows you to select from a few different options for playing the video as you are running your presentation. To see your potential choices, click on and highlight the video that you’ve added to the slide. Along the right side of the screen, you’ll see a series of control options appear underneath Format Options.

Options for Video Playback

Underneath the video preview box in the Video Playback section of Format Options, you’ll see a drop-down menu from which you can pick one of three options for how you want to play the video when you are running the actual presentation.

  • Play (on click): When you select to play the video on click, it means that the video will begin playing as soon as you click anywhere on the slide during the presentation. You don’t have to click directly on the video box to start playing the video.
  • Play (automatically): To play the video as soon as the slide appears on the screen, use this option. This is the most convenient option, as it keeps your presentation moving along smoothly. However, you may want to have a second or two of silence or music at the start of the video so those watching the presentation aren’t caught off-guard by the sudden playing of the video as soon as the new slide appears.
  • Play (manual): Selecting the manual option means you must click on the Play button on the video inside the presentation before it will begin playing.

Editing the Video Start and End Times

With the video highlighted in your slide, you also have an option to choose to start and end the video at a certain time, rather than playing the entire video. (This option will appear just below the playback drop-down menu that we just discussed.)

Google Slides will automatically set the time in the Start At box at 0:00 and in the End At box at the time for the full length of the video. If your video is 1 minute long, the End At box will be set at 1:00, for example.

You then can change the times in these boxes to alter how much of the video plays during your presentation. This can be helpful if you only want to play a short segment of a video that you have embedded from YouTube. For example, if you only want to play the middle 10 seconds of your 1 minute video, you could set the Start At box at 0:25 and the End At box at 0:35.

Another option is to click on and play the video in the preview window under Video Playback. Pause it at the position where you want the video to start playing in your presentation. Then click Use Current Time underneath the Start At box, and Google Slides will automatically enter the current time into the box for you. Find the ending position you want to use in the video and click on the Use Current Time text underneath the End At box.

Muting the Audio

There may be times where you only want the video to play without the accompanying audio. You then can talk over the video during your presentation, disseminating the information that you want, rather than playing the audio recording associated with the video. (This can be especially helpful if you are using an embedded YouTube video, where the audio recording may have little to do with your specific presentation.)

Under the Video Playback section of Format Options, click the Mute Audio checkbox to highlight it, and Google Slides will not play the audio associated with the Google Slides video.

The Best Way to Record a Video for Google Slides

If you would like to create your own video for your Google Slides presentation, this is a relatively easy process. You can record the video all by yourself, or you can use others to help you record a video.

Using a Webcam

When you want to record yourself in the video, a webcam makes this an easy process. You can attach the webcam to your computer. As it records the video, you will control the webcam through the software that’s on your computer screen.

Some webcams have an automatic upload feature that will record the video directly into your YouTube account. You then can perform editing functions within the YouTube software before embedding the YouTube video into your Google Slides presentation (as we described earlier).

You also could save the webcam video to your computer’s hard drive and upload it to YouTube or Google Drive later before embedding it into your Google Slides presentation.

Using a Digital Camera

If you already own a digital camera or camcorder, you can record your video onto a memory card that’s inside the camera. Then copy the video to your computer’s hard drive before choosing whether you want to upload it to YouTube or Google Drive. From there, insert it into Google Slides.

Almost any still image digital camera released in the past several years can record videos of excellent quality, so this is a great option. Consider placing the camera onto a tripod, so you can set up the perfect angle from the camera to your position. Set up good lighting, and you can use this camera to make a professional looking video all on your own.

A digital camera also works well if you are recording a video of other people, rather than of yourself, as you can hold the camera to do the recording. Most digital cameras allow you to connect a microphone to the camera, so you can record high quality audio as well.

Using a Mobile Device

One of the easiest ways to record a Google Slides video is to use the device you may have in your pocket or in your hand right now: A smartphone or tablet. You may already be familiar with how the video recording works with the smartphone or tablet, so you can make a quick video in almost no time.

YouTube has a mobile app that you can use to record and upload videos directly from your smartphone or tablet into YouTube as you’re recording them. You can then edit the videos inside the YouTube software before adding them to your presentation.

The video quality may not end up being as good as with a digital camera or webcam when you use a mobile device, but this may not be important for your presentation.

Hiring a Professional

Finally, if you have the budget for hiring a videographer to help with recording the video for your presentation, you will be able to make an extremely high quality video that will have the appropriate lighting and audio quality.

You can be certain the professional will have the equipment on hand to create an excellent video. You just have to decide whether undertaking the cost of this option is worth it for your presentation.

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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira