How to Add a Timer in Google Slides Presentation

Giving presentations can be nerve-wracking. You have a limited amount of time and many slides to get through. Going over time or moving too quickly through your slides can negatively impact your presentation. Using a timer in your Google Slides presentation can help you pace yourself.

In this article, you’ll learn two easy methods for adding timers to your Google Slides:

  1. Embedding a YouTube timer video
  2. Using a Google Slides extension

Why Add a Timer to Google Slides?

Adding a visible timer to your presentation slides serves multiple purposes:

  • It keeps you aware of how much time you have left for each slide or section. This prevents you from unintentionally speeding through or dwelling too long.
  • It visually displays the remaining time for your audience. They can see how much longer a discussion or activity will last.
  • Countdown timers build suspense and urgency nearing the end. This keeps your audience engaged.

Overall, a timer improves the pacing and flow of your presentation when used effectively.

Method 1: Embed a YouTube Timer Video

YouTube has a selection of timer videos you can embed directly into a Google Slides presentation. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Open Your Presentation

Go to and open the presentation you want to add a timer to.

Step 2: Insert a Video

Select the slide you want the timer to appear on. Click “Insert > Video” in the toolbar.

Step 3: Search for a Timer

In the search bar, type a duration like “5 minute timer”. Choose a simple countdown timer video to embed.

YouTube Timer Search

Step 4: Resize and Position the Timer

Use the corner handles to resize the video box. Drag it to the desired spot on your slide.

Step 5: Set Playback Options

Right click the video and choose “Format options” to set it to autoplay and loop.

The embedded YouTube video will now act as a countdown timer when presenting the slide. Click the video to manually start the timer as needed.

Method 2: Use the Slides Timer Extension

For more control over countdowns, use the Slides Timer Chrome extension.

Step 1: Install the Extension

Go to the Chrome Web Store and click “Add to Chrome” to install Slides Timer.

Step 2: Open Google Slides

Open or create your Google Slides presentation.

Step 3: Add Timer Syntax

Type your timer duration between double angle brackets in a text box. For example:

<<00:05:00>> – 5 minute timer

<<00:01:00->> – 1 minute countdown

<<00:01:30+>> – 90 second count up

Slides Timer Syntax

Use plus + for counting up and minus - for counting down.

Step 4: Present Your Slides

When presenting your slides full screen, the Slides Timer extension will detect your timer syntax and display live countdowns and timers!

Tips for Using Timers Effectively

Here are some best practices for taking advantage of timers in Google Slides:

  • Place timers at the start or end of discussion prompts to control pace.
  • Use large font sizes and contrasting colors for visibility.
  • Verbally inform your audience when starting a countdown.
  • Hide inactive timers off-screen by placing them outside the slide frame.
  • Test your timers beforehand to ensure proper functionality.

Strategically adding timers creates structure for your presentation flow and timing. Both methods above provide an easy way to integrate visible timers within your Google Slides.

Give one a try for your next presentation! Let us know in the comments if you have any other Google Slides timer tips or tricks.