Adding Sounds, Music or Narration to PowerPoint Slide Shows

A pair of headphones on a stand along with an iMac on a desk.

Michael/Unsplash

Sounds of all sorts can be added to PowerPoint presentations, as music, narration, or sound bites. Your computer must have a sound card as well as a microphone and speakers in order to record and hear audio in slideshows.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; PowerPoint for Mac, and PowerPoint for Office 365.

Add Audio from Your PC

If you have music or sound bites downloaded to your computer, you can add it to your slideshow.

  1. In Normal view, select the slide where the music or sound will play.

  2. Go to Insert.

  3. In the Media group, select Audio.

  4. Choose Audio on My PC. The Insert Audio dialog box opens. On a Mac, select Audio Browser to insert audio from iTunes or Audio from File to use a clip from your computer.

    Screenshot of Audio on My PC in PowerPoint
  5. Navigate to the folder that contains the audio file you want to add.

  6. Choose the file and select Insert. PowerPoint adds the file to the slide you are currently on.

Record Sounds or Narration

Embed recorded narrations into your PowerPoint presentation. This is a wonderful tool for presentations that need to run unattended, such as in a business kiosk at a trade show. Narrate your whole speech to accompany the presentation and sell your product or concept when you are unable to be there.

  1. Display the slide where you want the sounds or narration to start.

  2. Go to Insert.

  3. In the Media group, select Audio.

  4. Choose Record Audio. The Record Sound dialog box opens.

  5. In the Name text box, enter a name for the recording.

    Screenshot of recording audio in PowerPoint
  6. Select Record and begin speaking.

    Your device must have a microphone enabled in order to record audio.

  7. Select Stop and then select Play to review your recording,

  8. Select Record if you want to rerecord your clip. Select OK if you're satisfied.

  9. To move the audio icon, drag it to where you want it on the slide.

Change Playback Options

Choose how you want the audio to play during your slideshow using the options on the Playback tab under Audio Tools. The Audio Tools option appears when you select the audio icon on the slide.

  1. Select the audio icon and go to Audio Tools Playback.

  2. In the Audio Options group, select the Start dropdown arrow and choose one of the following options:

    • In Click Sequence plays the audio file automatically with a click.
    • Automatically plays automatically when you advance to the slide that the audio file is on.
    • When Clicked On plays audio when you click on the icon.
    Screenshot of audio file Start options in PowerPoint
  3. Choose how the audio plays in your presentation. In the Audio Options group, place a check next to one or both of these options:

    • Play Across Slides plays the audio across the entire presentation.
    • Loop until Stopped plays the audio file on loop. Stop it manually by selecting the Play/Pause button.

    Select Play in Background to play the audio continuously across all slides in the background.

  4. Select Volume and choose the volume setting you prefer.

    Screenshot of volume options in PowerPoint
  5. To remove sections of the audio and make it shorter, select Trim or Trim Audio and then drag the red and green sliders.

    Screenshot of Trim Audio tool in PowerPoint
  6. Change the number in the Fade Duration text boxes if you want the audio to fade in and out.

    Screenshot of Fade In and Fade Out in PowerPoint
  7. In the Preview group, select Play to preview your changes.