Google provides all the tools I need as a presenter to create, present, and share slides publicly. I create and present presentations using the Slides app in Google Drive. For online meetings, I share the slides in a Google+ Hangout. I share the presentation with Google Drive's share feature to make the presentation "public on the web," which allows anyone to view it (Figure A).
A publicly shared presentation.
Share slides in a Google+ post
Google+ offers the best way to share slides online. Visitors view presentations by clicking on the presentation within a Google+ post. Slides may also be viewed full-screen or even downloaded (in PDF or PPTX format). As with any Google+ post, people can respond to the slides by commenting on the post.
Follow these steps to share slides in a Google+ post:
- Make sure your Slides app share settings have been set to Public on the web (Figure B), then copy the link (URL) to your slides
- Go to Google+, and in a new post, click the Link icon
- Paste the link to your slides
- Add text to provide context or further explain the slides
- Click the Share button
Create presentations with Google Apps, then share slides in context with Google+.
Share the link to your Google+ post
I encourage you to create a short link to the Google+ post with your slides. This way, people see your post, your slides, and your Google+ profile all on the same page. This is better than other systems that display slides without any context or just show shared files in a list of documents.
Here's how to create a short link to your Google+ post:
- Click the drop-down arrow in the upper right corner of your post, and select Link to post (Figure C)
- Copy the displayed link
- Go to your favorite link shortener, such as http://goo.gl
- Paste the link into the link shortener, and copy the resulting link
Give people a short link to see your slides, comments, and Google+ profile on a single page.
Get more feedback on slides
In a way, Google+ provides a third option for document collaboration and comments. You're probably familiar with the first two: allowing people to edit a document, or allowing people to insert comments in a document. Posting your slides as described above also allows people using Google+ to comment on your post, which is the third way to obtain comments from a broader community (of course, you can always choose to disable comments).
Share slides with private groups
You can also share a presentation privately with Google+. Instead of sharing slides with the Public, you can restrict viewing to a specific Google+ Community, or even specific Google+ users. Organizations using Google Apps can restrict viewing to other people within the organization. To do this, just identify the specific set of viewers in the To: field when you create your Google+ post.
Restricted posts and slides will only be seen by the people who are members of the group you specified. For example, I sometimes share a set of slides with a Google+ Community of students in a class I teach. If a student shares the link with a non-class member, that non-class member will simply receive a prompt to login. No one will be able see the post unless they're a member of the group.
Not surprisingly, Google+ sharing works not only for Slides, but also for Google Docs and Sheets.
Replace your intranet
Google Apps combined with Google+ can serve as an intranet that people actually use. Setup a few Google+ Communities for various groups within the organization (and follow a few tips to get started). Use the document sharing features described above to take information sharing and collaboration to a new level.
Sharing a document is helpful, but sharing a document with context — and the ability to comment — encourages even more collaboration.
How do you use Google Apps to share and collaborate? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
Andy Wolber helps people understand and leverage technology for social impact. He resides in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife, Liz, and daughter, Katie.