PowerPoint vs Google Slides: The all-important debate

‘What is the best program for making my presentations? Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides?’

As a document design agency, we often get asked this question.

Though both have similar features and outcomes, over the years of working in slide production we have come across some defining differences between the two and developed our own preferences.

Both PowerPoint and Google Slides have their advantages and disadvantages, but fundamentally PowerPoint is the more powerful and flexible tool, while Google Slides is more limited, but easier for collaboration.

The depth of options in PowerPoint means that you can do more with the design, and when you’re a more experienced user, PowerPoint is faster to use thanks to shortcuts, add-ins and macros. On the other hand, the number of different options can be overwhelming and confusing if you’re new to using the program. As a desktop app, PowerPoint has the advantage of being able to work offline – this can be handy when travelling, or when faced with an unexpected internet outage. In the latest version of PowerPoint it is now possible to collaborate on documents in real-time, much like Google Slides, but in practice this requires a bit of setting up and is not nearly as streamlined as the Google experience.

Google Slides is super simple to get started on. You’re able to work on presentations in real-time with other people, making it simpler and easier to learn. The downside to using Google slides is that working offline requires a separate Google Chrome plugin and some advanced design features are not available. In comparison to PowerPoint, Google Slides is also generally slower and clunkier to fix any formatting.

Now you’re aware of the advantages and disadvantages of both programs, you will be able to make informed decisions about which one will work best for your needs.

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How can I use the two programs effectively?

It’s inevitable that you will favour one program over another, making it tougher to switch between the two.

Let’s say, you prefer to work and create with Google Slides, but the person you must send your slides to only uses PowerPoint, or they don’t know the program well enough to use the collaboration tool.

There is a way around this.

A great feature of Google Slides is that you can download your slides as a PowerPoint file, meaning that other people or external agencies, like us, can get on with the work efficiently by opening a program that has all the tools needed to make the best presentations.

How do I use both types of programs in a professional environment?

When presenting to an audience, both programs work well. Both feature a ‘Presenter View’ where you can view speaker notes on a second screen, and Google Slides allows audience members to submit questions through a link – potentially useful for larger seminars or panel discussions.

If you’re working on your slides in a professional environment (this could be within your own team or sharing with clients) it can be handy to have a program that allows for collaboration with ease. Google Slides is most well-known for its collaboration tools.

The downside to Google Slides is that it relies on an internet connection. This means that if you are working on a train or from home and the internet goes down, you won’t be able to continue editing. PowerPoint, however, allows for offline work, meaning that working from anywhere can continue smoothly.

When working on these programs in a professional environment, it is best to stay away from programs that rely solely on an internet connection in order to work. This will avoid wasted time – and we all know how valuable your time is!

We’re always keen to encourage people to work on PowerPoint. From our years of experience, we find that this program has the most advanced tools available, whilst still being user-friendly and simple to use. It’s also most efficient for us to work in, meaning that we can process your slides much faster.

These are the questions that we get asked on a regular basis. Giving a presentation can be daunting, especially when you’re not confident in the design of your document.

That’s where Imitor Graphica comes in!

We design your proposals into documents that you’re proud to share, taking the worry and stress out of presenting. At IG, we know the struggle is real. That’s why we created our services with the busy businessperson in mind.

For more information around using PowerPoint to put your presentations together, get in touch with us here.

Please email info@imitorgraphica.com to find out more.