How To Insert a Countdown Timer in Google Slides Presentations

Adding a countdown timer to your Google Slides presentations can be extremely useful to help pace your presentation and keep your audience engaged. With a timer counting down on your slides, you can effectively manage time limits for discussions, activities, breaks, and more.

While Google Slides does not have a built-in timer function, there are a couple easy workarounds:

Embed a YouTube Countdown Timer Video

The easiest way to add a visible countdown timer is to embed a countdown timer video from YouTube directly on your slide. Here are the steps:

  1. Open your Google Slides presentation and navigate to the slide where you want to add the timer.
  2. Click Insert > Video in the toolbar.
  3. In the search bar, type in your desired timer duration, like “5 minute countdown timer”.
  4. Select the countdown timer video you want and click Select.
  5. Resize and position the video as needed on your slide.

You can set the video to play automatically when you start presenting or manually on click. Just right click the video, choose Format options, and toggle Autoplay when presenting.

Use the Slides Timer Chrome Extension

Another option is to install the Slides Timer Chrome extension and add a simple text code to your slides to display a countdown timer.

To use:

  1. Install the Slides Timer extension in Chrome.
  2. In your Google Slides, add a text box to the slide.
  3. Type your timer code in the format: <<mm:ss>> For example, <<05:00>> would be a 5 minute timer.
  4. The timer will automatically start when you begin presenting that slide.

Customize the Timer Appearance

You can customize the appearance of your embedded YouTube timer video:

  • Resize the frame by dragging the corners
  • Reposition by dragging the video around
  • Set a colored background

For the Slides Timer extension, you can style the text box with different colors, fonts, sizes, and positions.

Tips for Using Timers Effectively

Here are some tips to help you utilize timers effectively in your Google Slides presentations:

  • Pace discussions – Set a timer for discussion prompts to keep groups focused.
  • Manage activities – Give groups a set time limit for activities with a countdown timer.
  • Insert breaks – Add a quick timer before the next section to remind attendees to take a break.
  • Limit sections – Embed timers to ensure you spend an appropriate amount of time on key sections.
  • Add urgency – A ticking countdown can add energy and urgency to spur action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add multiple timers to Google Slides?

Yes, you can add a separate timer to any slide in your presentation. Just repeat the video or text box embed process for each one.

Do the timers work when presenting remotely?

Yes, the YouTube and Slides Timer options will work both when presenting in-person through a projector or TV and when presenting through Google Slides remotely.

Can I start timers automatically or manually?

Embedded YouTube timer videos can be set to start automatically when you reach that slide or manually on click during your presentation. The Slides Timer text code starts automatically when presenting that slide.

What do I do if the timers aren’t showing up?

If your embedded YouTube video or Slides Timer text box isn’t displaying the timer properly, try refreshing the Google Slides browser tab and restarting your presentation. Also ensure any ad blocker extensions are disabled.

Adding a countdown timer can be a great way to boost engagement, manage time limits, and pace your Google Slides presentation effectively. With just a few simple steps, you can embed customizable timers to display on your slides. Experiment with the options to find what works best to keep your audience attentive from start to finish!