I'm interested in making a presentation in either Google Slides or Powerpoint and I'm trying to decide between them.

The topic is "How to learn Computer Science With Me," (I'm a tutor) and will include ideas about learning theory (pedagogic theory). I expect the narration to last about 5 minutes.

But the presentation will be as much visual as possible. The overall type of presentation is, "show slides with visual clues, and put most of the content into the narrated words." The design will be casual. I'm not a designer and I'll do it myself.

I'm interested in having the option of providing a version without narration. Rather, the words would appear in-between slides, or would be handed out as a separate document.

I've never created an important presentation before, so I'm trying to decide between Powerpoint and Google Sheets. I have questions about practical differences.

If I follow this plan of providing two versions-- a video with narration, or a set of slides with accompanying text -- what practical effect does that have on the following issues:

First, for the non-narrated presentation:

  • how would the viewer view the non-narrated presentation?
  • Would they look at a PDF? Is there free software to let them view it more like a slideshow, with buttons to click forward and back?
  • Do some ways of viewing it make more sense in terms of helping the user interact with the document easily and understand it in the way I intend?
  • Can the non-narrated version be put on a website easily?

Second, for the narrated version:

  • how would I turn the narrated presentation into a video with the slides timed to narration?
  • how easy is this with each program, or are there any differences at all?
  • How do you envisage people receiving the presentation, in whatever format you produce? As a single file -- perhaps downloaded, perhaps emailed or on a USB key — which they can view in some application? Streamed over the internet (viewed in a browser)? There are a large number of variables in this question, which may be too broad. Jan 31, 2020 at 10:43
  • I don't think there are any real differences between the applications in this case. The best way to get around the narration issue is by hiding slides from the presentation: Both applications skip hidden slides: Skipping slides in Google Slides, Skipping slides in Powerpoint.
    – Joonas
    Jan 31, 2020 at 13:39
  • Most often I see Slides.com used for programming slides. It's fantastic. Don't think they have a narration feature but you could record your talk in a video for that. Or just transcribe it which is very common Jan 31, 2020 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


There are a lot of questions. I'll divide this answer into two parts.

Google Slides Vs Powerpoint

I commonly use both with different objectives. If you want to give a link to a document that has different revisions, and you want it to be always updated, use google docs.

But Powerpoint, on the latest versions (365), has some really useful tools to add dynamism to a presentation. In particular the Transformation transition.

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This basically makes PowerPoint into a "motion graphics" tool. You add a slide with some elements, shapes, colors. Duplicate the slide and move them all around. The transition will animate all the elements to the new position and size.

It also has some predefined and customizable animations for individual elements, basically position, size, rotation, and transparency. But the best tool is Transformation.

And then you can add music and voice, and export it as a video or leave it as a Presentation. You can also export as a PDF. But with no sound.

I will sound like a Powerpoint evangelist... For an animated presentation, It is the best tool. Period.

For specifics on "how to" on PowerPoint just google some tutorials.

The next level of application is a specialized 3D application (like Blender) or a Compositor application (like After Effects) but it needs more work to produce similar results. (Of course, if you want cinema level effects PowerPoint will not be enough)

Delivery and interaction

You can simply upload a video into a webpage and it will be online or upload it to youtube. Ready.

A PDF can have basic interaction, like go to page 3. The same as a Powerpoint presentation in full screen, with the benefit of custom transitions.

There are some webpages like SlideShare but this will ruin the transitions, the animations. It will convert the presentation to simply turn into next page thing.

But you can not have it all, without any trades.

  1. If everyone on your audience has Powerpoint you can deliver an interesting product, with some interaction, like "go to step 2" and see it animated.

  2. If they do not have it they can see the video with little extra step for you. No big deal.

  3. There are some light versions of Powerpoint even free for mobile devices but the transitions are limited.

  4. You can export a PDF for a quick reference document.

  5. But if you want an interactive webpage, the approach is totally different. It needs to be programmed.

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