A Closer Look At Google Presentations

by Jeff Turner on September 19, 2007

Google Presentation’s Greatest Strengths Are Collaboration And Interactive Presentation

When I introduced Google’s latest app yesterday, I was in a bit of a hurry and really didn’t do a very good job of illustrating it’s capabilities or explaining what I thought it’s strength’s were. Today I’d like to take this just a bit further and talk about the two features that distinguish it and also show you how you can use it and other existing presentation tools to generate content for your own website.


By far, the best feature of Google’s new Presentation App, is the ability to collaborate in real time on presentations. This is true for all of the Google Apps, including Docs and Spreadsheets. In this case, making a presentation application collaborative has some real advantages. A team working on a listing presentation could all be working on the same presentation at the same time to generate a better document faster. I can see this being a tremendous benefit to a real estate office.

Interactive Presentation

Built into the new Google Presentation App is the ability to host a “webinar” around your presentation at almost no cost. You can can have one or more people on a conference call looking at the document at the same time, but you would be the one controling the presentation and talking through it live, answering questions, etc. We use Microsoft’s Go To Meeting for a live demos, but if you’re presenting a powerpoint like document, this makes an incredibly powerful alternative.

Hosting Your Own Presentations

Once you’ve created your presentation you could also host it on your own website. If you’re not going to use the collaborative features, or the document is complete, or you don’t need to interactive sharing functions, you can download the Google Presentation to a zip file, unzip it and load those files to your own server using FTP. All of the files you need will be contained in a folder and you simply need to upload that folder to the directory you want them to appear. In my case, I created a “presentations” directory and uploaded the folders there. I left this public so you can see the structure: http://www.realestateshows.com/presentations/ (If you don’t know how to do this, let me know and I’ll prepare a separate post about uploading files via ftp)

Google Presentation Published

This is how the Google Presentation looks when you simply publish it. Google Publish Live Demo.

Google Presentation Publish Screen

Self-Hosted Google Presentation

This is how a Google Presentation looks when you download the contents to your hard drive and host it yourself. You loose the ability to control the presentation while other watch, but you gain control over the traffic. If you are not going to use the interactive presentation options, this is a way to use the Google Presentation tools to create content for your own site. Preview Live Demo Of A Self-Hosted Google Presentation.

Self-Hosted Google Presentation

Export From Powerpoint to HTML

If you already own Microsoft’s Powerpoint, you have a couple of options. You can upload your existing PPT files to Google’s Presentation app and use all of the feature there. Google sucks in the template information and does a pretty good job of replicating the look and feel, as you can see above. Both of the above illustrations were created by uploading a PPT file. However, you can go straight to html from Powerpoint and host your presentations your self as well. As with Google Presentation, you will loose all of your transitions and effects, but it works. Preview Live Demo Of Self-Hosted Powerpoint Presentation.

Powerpoint Self-Hosted Presentation

Keynote Self-Hosted Presentations

If you’re a Mac user, you get a little bonus. Keynote allows you to export to html as well, but it gives you the option of saving each stage of your builds as a separate image. It also handles images and text graphic elements differently, so your presentation will look exactly how it looks on your mac. Preview Live Demo Of Self-Hosted Keynote Presentation.

Self-Hosted Keynote Presentation

Of course, you could export from Keynote to an interactive flash presentation, but embedding that into an html file takes a bit more work. The html export features on Google, Powerpoint and Keynote create all of the files and links for you.

Give It A Try

Google has made this simple to use and it costs nothing, so give it a try for yourself. And if you’d rather push traffic to your own site, you can use it and other presentation apps to do that as well.

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