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How to Add Video to Your Presentations and Slideshows

How to Add Video to Your Presentations and Slideshows

It feels like PowerPoint presentations have been around since the dawn of the computer age. While PowerPoint is still effective, crafting digital presentations has become easier than ever.

Whether through Google Slides, Adobe Presenter, Shutterstock Create, or another tool, presentations remain the most popular (and engaging) way to share information—for meetings, events, school projects, etc.

As the digital age continually reshapes the way we communicate, we’re here to help you crush the game going forward. Learn how to navigate the newest version of PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Create to continue to impress your coworkers with videos and GIFs.

Adding Videos Using PowerPoint

There are several reasons you might include a video in your presentation, especially as it becomes a more popular format in every industry. Videos help the presenter explain information further, enhance visuals, and excite an audience more effectively. They add interest to what might otherwise be a more muted presentation.

Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to embed a video in PowerPoint:

  1. Choose a slide or create a new slide for your video
  2. Select Insert and choose Video
  3. Choose Online Movie or Movie from File

The screenshot below shows the steps in Office 365 PowerPoint, but the process is identical in newer versions of PowerPoint.

Screenshot of how to add a video to Office 365 PowerPoint

For online videos, you can select a video from YouTube and copy the URL. This will add a video from the internet to your PowerPoint presentation. This is a convenient way to share your favorite videos that you’ve discovered, or ones that you’ve uploaded to YouTube yourself.

Otherwise, you can select a file from your PC and add your own personal video file to your presentation.

Using Locally Hosted Video Files

When you choose to insert a video from your PC, you are selecting a locally hosted video.

Self-hosting allows you to choose a video that you don’t wish to upload to YouTube, or another online hosting service.

This is the right option if you want to share a video that you have saved on your computer.

How to add YouTube video to Office 365 PowerPoint
Video via AmandaRachLee.

The process of inserting a locally hosted video is easy, but you may experience slower load times and your local videos may not be compatible with playback on mobile devices.

A YouTube video is a more dynamic and accessible way to share your videos during a presentation.

Consider uploading your video to YouTube before inserting it into your presentation. This not only offers a more dynamic viewing experience, it also makes it easier to share your PowerPoint with other users.

Adding GIFs to PowerPoint

A GIF, or Graphic Interchange Format, is a popular way to share information and create interest—often using humor. These short videos can be added to your PowerPoint presentation to introduce a more human moment.

If you’re presenting a very informational slideshow, a GIF helps you pause and re-engage the audience.

The process is similar to adding a video. Here’s how to insert a GIF in PowerPoint:

  1. Select the slide or create a new slide
  2. Choose Insert and click Pictures
  3. Find your GIF in the Insert Picture box
  4. Click Insert
How to add a GIF to Office 365 PowerPoint

Note that the GIF animation will only appear when you use the Slide Show presentation option.

Adding Videos Using Google Slides

Onto Google Slides, a quick and all-in-one design tool for Google-lovers everywhere. If you have a Gmail account, you have access to Google Slides.

Click the icon with the nine circles and select Slides.

Screenshot of how to access Google Slides using the 9 dots in the upper right-hand corner

From here, you’ll have an option to select a blank canvas or a pre-made template. If you’re not super design savvy or don’t have a specific design need, consider a template for ease. If not, go for a blank canvas!

We chose the Consulting Proposal template.

From here, begin to personalize the cover details with name, subject line, date, or whatever else suits your needs. Make sure your background themes are all cohesive for the content and take your time going slide by slide.

Screenshot of Insert Video option in Google slides
Click Insert > Video to upload your video onto a slide.

To insert your video in Google Slides, simply click Insert > Video. You’ll be prompted to upload your video from YouTube or Google Drive.

Screenshot of how to insert video from YouTube or Google Drive onto Google Slide

From here, decide which video works best. Since it’s a consulting presentation, we chose a witty clip from Steve Jobs. Copy and paste the URL from YouTube (or search directly here by typing in keywords).

Once you have it, click the video or paste the URL.

Steve Jobs video clip thumbnail shown before inserting onto Google Slides
Video via Malonus.

Click Insert to drop the video onto the slide!

Inserted Steve Jobs video onto Google Slide

Once the video is on the canvas, use the blue squares to drag-and-drop as you please. You can customize how and when the video is played using the right-hand tab.

When you’re ready to test everything out, click Slideshow in the top-right corner or click the small right-arrow next to the Slideshow button to choose Presenter View.

Adding GIFs to Google Slides

Adding GIFs to Google Slides is similar to adding videos.

Note that before anything, the GIF will have to be downloaded onto your computer or easily accessible through YouTube to get that URL. If it’s not, you’ll want to make a GIF or find one that’s downloadable as an MP4.

We used a GIF that was easily made in Create, then downloaded it in MP4 video format. Email the MP4 video to yourself. When you open the email, find the Google Drive button on the attachment and click it so that it lands in your Google Drive.

Now, head back to Google Slides. Click Insert > Video again to find the video uploaded into your Google Drive.

Click and Insert.

GIF video shown in Google Drive before inserting onto Google Slide

Same deal here, the video will insert onto the canvas for you to customize your GIF options. Well done!

Purse GIF inserted onto Google Slide
Customize a template like this inside Shutterstock Create!

As you can see, for projects like this, it’s handy to have Shutterstock Create at your side in the event you need to edit, adjust, or make an asset!

You can animate elements inside Create for a quick GIF or select a meme template to offer some laughs.

Using Create as a Design Ally

To make a GIF as we did, simply follow these quick steps:

1. Open a Blank Canvas or Template

Click either File > Create new > Blank Canvas or Template to start. For a quick GIF, we’ll start with templates.

Type a keyword into the search bar to find the right template inside Create

Use keywords based on the type of post or canvas size you like. For simplicity, we’ll type Instagram into the search bar.

From here, select a template.

"" template inside Create with lemon slice and mint leaf coming out against two-tone blue background

2. Customize Text, Images, and Graphics

Use the Text, Images, and Graphics tabs to customize the design for your field. Feel free to insert logos and brand colors, too.

How to insert a photo in Shutterstock Create editor

To change the background colors, select that color, then click Change color. Insert custom colors, pre-set colors, or use the Eyedropper tool to sample a color that’s already on the canvas.

We typed “family” into the Image search bar to demonstrate swapping the images. As a Creative Flow+ premium user, you have access to the one-click Background Remover for any image.

3. Animate It

When you’re ready, click an asset to animate. We’ll chose the fake company name we created, “Origin.” You’ll see the top font toolbar pops right up.

Click the Star button (if you hover over it, it’ll say Animate).

Finding the animate button inside Create

4. Customize Animation

From here, the animation toolbar will reveal itself on the left-hand side. Choose your pace, entrance, and looped patterns.

Animation toolbar on the left hand side menu in Create

You can animate one or multiple elements.

6. Download as MP4

When you’re set, click Download in the top-right corner and select the MP4 video option. Download again.

Now, the file will be on your computer!

Downloaded GIF as MP4 option in Create

Then, follow the above steps to drop it into your presentation! Easy as pie.

Now, it’s your turn.

Need more articles on crafting awesome presentations? Be sure to check these out:

License this cover image mockup via Mix and Match Studio, Bondan Gail, and Ales Munt.

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