Presentation tips using Mac or CR-48 & Google Presently

I've talked about presentations before, and decided it's worth posting an update on tips specific for presentations with Google Presently (our presentation product as part of Google docs), when used on a Mac or on a Chromos machine like my CR-48.

1) The right screen size: After you connected your projector or external screen, resize (or hit the green + button in your browser). Why? The external display and Mac OS will negotiate the right screen resolution, but the layout of your presentation in the browser will not know that the screen size changed. By forcing the browser to re=think it's size, you ensure that the slides and preview are displayed properly.

2) Full screen shortcut: cmd+shift+F (for Full screen) removes borders and other stuff - this is *the* way to do your slide show.

3) Cache the content: As presently draw down content from the interweb, you slide show can never be forgotten home. You never need to find a USB key. You never quire some additional undesirable unintentional content! And it also means that you can be let down by a poor internet connection where you try and present. So - I always click through my full presentation once on the machine where I'll be presenting from, so that at least all the nice pictures are cached and that they load faster. (Sometimes, even with a broken or no internet connection, this could be sufficient!

4) Plan for offline: If the step above does not provide you with enough confidence that you'll be able to recover from a dead battery etc, then you could always download a PDF file of the slides, and show those when everything else fails. (Tip 2 on cmd+shift+F works also for PDF viewer.) When I do this, I will have the PDF viewer open on another "space". See below, tip 6.

5) Don't start from the start: If you are 1/2 way through your presentation and jump out to demo something else, you don't have to start from slide one again! If you find yourself back in the presentation editor, on the left pane with slide thumbnails, slide down to the slide you want to continue from, right click and "Start presentation from here" on the desired slide.

6) Switching between demos and slides (and even backup PDF viewer slides) is made simple with Mac's  "Spaces" (or the equivalent on Chromos with "new windows", I frequently have my work stuff open on desktop 1, my presently on desktop 2, my demo on desktop 3 and PDF backup on desktop 4 (if I this this is a particularly high-visibility presentation in high-risk area). This means I can simply switch from presentation to demo with a quick ctrl+3, or back with a ctrl+2.

Hope this helps!


  1. Great post. A couple of my colleagues will be getting their Chromebooks soon as they attended Google I/O. We tweeted this :)


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