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How to Add Audio to PowerPoint Presentations

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Do you need to learn how to add audio to PowerPoint? Ready to add sound to transition PowerPoint between key ideas? This tutorial has you covered.

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Let's learn how to add sound effects to PowerPoint, including recording audio right inside the app.

Microsoft PowerPoint offers many great ways to add music and audio to your slides. In this tutorial, you’re going to learn how to add sound effects to PowerPoint. Think of sounds as the perfect complement to your existing slide content. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Use Audio in PowerPoint

As you learn how to insert audio in PPT, you’ll see how easy it is. But you may be asking yourself: why should I add audio to PowerPoint? How will it benefit me? If you’ve never used PPT audio, it’s an opportunity that’s easy to forget. 

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Once you know how to add sound effects in PPT, you might be surprised by the usefulness. (Image generated via Placeit.)

But in fact, you’ll enjoy many benefits from adding music and audio to your slides. Let’s look at several key reasons to try audio:

  • It helps you transition between subjects. Starting a new song or audio clip can signify that you’re moving into a new area of discussion. It helps your slide deck flow seamlessly as you present. Add sound to transition PowerPoint designs to introduce them in style.
  • It helps you add new voices. When you add words from other speakers, you can broaden the perspectives shared in your presentation. Plus, you can give your voice a break if you’re narrating!
  • You can record presentations for later. With a recorded narration, you can prepare slides for sharing in the future. You can add your voice without having to be physically present to share in real time.
  • You can share your work. Are you an audiovisual content creator? Or a musician? Consider using PowerPoint to share your portfolio, thanks to the ability to add audio. 

As you can see, when you know how to add sound to PowerPoint, you’ll enjoy many benefits. In fact, it’s a feature that you'll find yourself using every day!

How to Add Audio to PowerPoint

To learn how to add sound to PowerPoint, launch the Almanac template that we just downloaded. Then, navigate to any slide inside. This shows off the beauty of premium templates. You can add audio to any slide in a premium deck, thanks to PPT’s built-in features. You’ll be working with amazing sound effects in no time.

Now, let’s learn how to add audio to PowerPoint slide decks fast. The best way to begin is with a premium PowerPoint template from Envato Elements. For a flat rate, you've got access to unlimited downloads of millions of creative assets. With thousands of options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect PPT slide deck for your next project.

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Download the beautiful premium Almanac - Business PowerPoint Template from Envato Elements now.

For this tutorial, we’ll work with the beautiful Almanac – Business PowerPoint Template from Envato Elements. Inside, you’ll find a total of 39 slides to add audio to. Download the template today to follow along.

PowerPoint offers many ways to add and edit audio. Let’s look at each one in turn to decide which one works best for your next project.

The tips in this tutorial were written using Windows and Office365. If you’ve got a different operating system or a different version of PowerPoint, your steps may be slightly different.

1. Insert Audio in PPT From Your Computer

One way to add PowerPoint audio is to insert an audio file that you've saved on your computer.

This may be a spoken voiceover, a clip of music, or any other recorded sound. PowerPoint supports an array of audio file formats, including .mp3, .aiff, and many more. If you’re unsure whether your audio works, click here to check Microsoft’s handy guide.

When you've got an audio file to add to your slide, begin by navigating to the Insert tab. You’ll find it in PowerPoint’s ribbon, the list of menu tabs across the top of the screen. Click on Insert, and its options appear.

On the Insert tab, you’ll see an array of buttons that help you add new content to your slide deck. Here, you’ll want to click on the Audio drop-down arrow. This one is found on the right side of the Insert tab, in the Media group. On the drop-down, choose Audio on My PC.

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To add an audio file to PowerPoint, go to Insert > Audio > Audio on My PC.

When you click Audio on My PC, a file browser window appears. Browse to an audio file that you’ve downloaded or have stored on your computer. Click to select it, then choose Insert.

PowerPoint instantly imports the selected audio. You’ll see a speaker thumbnail (with attached playback controls) appear on your slide.

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Move the audio clip around your slide by clicking and dragging.

Like other imported content, you can move this thumbnail around the slide to place it into an empty position. Just like that, you’ve learned how to add sound effects to PowerPoint!

2. Find the Best PowerPoint Audio for 2023

We’ve learned how to add sound to PowerPoint using quick, easy steps. As you can see, it’s a great way to bring new life and style to any slide deck that you’re working with. But you may not have any audio or music that you want to use. 

Fortunately, Envato Elements has you covered! As a subscriber, you've got unlimited access to thousands of custom sound effects - over 600,000 and counting! These span many categories, like nature sounds, game sounds, transitions, and more. Each one can be fully licensed for use in your next PPT audio presentation.

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Envato Elements includes thousands of royalty-free sound effects and music tracks.

And that isn’t all. Elements also includes royalty-free music for your presentations! This way, you can add stunning and engaging music to your slide designs. And with fully licensed tracks, you won’t have to worry about intruding on the rights of others. 

Join Envato Elements and start downloading sound effects and music today! Then, add them to your next slide deck using the steps we just learned above.

3. Record Audio for a Slide

Now, imagine that you don’t want to add pre-built sound effects to your slides. Instead, you want to record narration or a voiceover. Again, PowerPoint has you covered.

You really have two options here. First, you can record audio for a single slide. This is useful if you’re not recording the full slide deck, but only a portion. Or you can record narration for the entire slide deck. Either way, be sure that you've got a microphone working on your computer. Otherwise, no audio will be captured.

First, let’s add audio to a single slide. Navigate to the slide where you want to record audio. Then return to the Insert > Audio drop-down. But this time, click on Record Audio. 

A control menu called Record Sound opens. Here, you can name your recording. Press Record to capture audio, then click it again to stop the recording.

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Click Record on the Record Sound menu to capture narration or newly recorded audio for a selected slide.

When you’re finished, click OK. PowerPoint adds your recorded sound to the slide you chose. 

Now, let’s learn how to record a full narration in PowerPoint. This is the best way to record slides if you want audio on every slide. To do this, go to the Record tab on PowerPoint’s ribbon.

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Go to the Record tab if you need to capture audio for an entire slide deck at once.

In the Record section, you’ll see several options. For a complete slide deck recording, click From Beginning. The Record overlay opens.

Here, you can produce a full audio (and video) recording of your slide deck in PPT. To capture audio, ensure that you’ve clicked the red Record button in the upper center. Navigate through your presentation, speaking and recording audio as you go.

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Press Record, then navigate through your slides, narrating as you go.

When you’re finished, end the audio recording and export the finished file. Now, you've got a shareable copy of your slides to share with the world - full audio narration included!

Audio Playback in PowerPoint

We’ve learned how to insert audio in PPT. This can be done by recording audio or adding audio files to slides.

But that isn’t the end of the process. By using a few quick steps and features, you can customize audio in PowerPoint. This ensures that your music and sound effects perform just how you want them to.

Let’s learn more about working with audio in PowerPoint using the app’s handy features:

1. Edit Audio in PowerPoint

When you’ve added audio to PowerPoint slides, you may want to make edits after. For example, it’s often useful to trim audio to a specific section. In other words, you can play only selected parts of the clip that you added to your slides.

To edit audio in PowerPoint, find a slide where you've got audio added. Click on the speaker thumbnail to select the audio clip. On the ribbon, you’ll see a new tab appear: Playback. Choose Playback.

The Playback menu opens, with assorted choices and options available. The section we want to use now is called Editing, and it’s found on the left side of the menu bar. Here, you can trim the audio by clicking on the Trim Audio button.

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Click Trim Audio and select a section of your audio for playback by moving the green and red bars.

When you select this, the Trim Audio menu pops up onscreen. To trim to a specific section, pull on the green (start) and red (finish) bars. Think of this as cropping audio, just like you would adjust a photo. 

Any audio outside the bounds of the trim bars will be deleted. Press the Play button as you work to ensure that you’re capturing the desired clip. When you’re finished, click OK, and PowerPoint trims the audio.

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Use Fade effects to gently start and stop audio playback in PowerPoint.

Finally, you can add Fade In and Fade Out effects. This helps your audio start and stop playing with gradual changes in volume. It’s a good idea to use. Music suddenly starting at full volume can be jarring and distracting.

Set fade durations in the Editing section using the Fade time menus. Your settings will apply automatically.

2. Audio Options and Styles

With trims and fades added, you still have style choices to make. These are found on the Playback tab, in the Audio Options group. 

For example, you can change how audio starts to play. By default, audio begins In Click Sequence. You'll trigger playback by clicking your cursor or clicker as you present. This can be changed on the Start drop-down menu, with options to begin Automatically or When Clicked On.

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Make changes to audio playback behavior by using the settings in the Audio Options group of the Playback tab.

You can also check boxes that control playback behavior. These include the ability to Play Across Slides and Loop until Stopped.

Keep in mind: these are purely optional features. Consider how you want your audio to perform in playback. These options are totally up to you as you learn how to add sound effects in PPT. Then, come to the Playback tab to make these key adjustments - fast.

Envato Elements (Design Without Limits)

This tutorial has just scratched the surface of the depth of Envato Elements. The unlimited, all-you-can-download service gives you everything you need.

Sign up for Envato Elements for unlimited access to creative assets. That includes PowerPoint presentation templates, audio, and so much more. You'll incur no extra cost thanks to the flat rate model.

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Your subscription to Elements gives you unlimited access to PowerPoint templates, an audio library, and so much more.

If you want to build your best presentation yet, you need Envato Elements. The stock audio library works perfectly as you learn how to add sound effects in PPT. Join today for unlimited access to everything you need.

5 Top PowerPoint Templates from Envato Elements

Elements has a massive library of PowerPoint templates. These work great with your new knowledge of how to add sound effects in PPT, as they support the feature. Let's check out five of the top choices:

1. Gravidient Creative Tempalte

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Gravidient includes stylish gradient designs that are in vogue for 2023. You'll get over 50 slides with ideas for infographics to explain even complex ideas. Remember, templates like these work with the technique you learned for how to add sound to PowerPoint.

2. Aura PowerPoint Template

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The best presentations are easy-to-customize. Aura certainly fits the bill with easy placeholders that adapt to your images. With over 450 icons, you can spice up any slide with no extra downloads needed.

3. Kula PowerPoint Template

The best templates give you options. Kula embodies exactly that with 90 slides to choose from. Whether you use the photo galleries, charts, or infographics, it's got you covered. Never reuse the same slide twice with this powerful pack.

4. B2B Marketing and Sales PowerPoint

Sales and marketing is an art. It's helpful when you've got a template that gives you the cues while you're still learning. This template has the slides you need as you make a first presentation to a potential client.

5. Toetiec PowerPoint Presentation

Choose from a light or dark style starter in this hip template. With over ten color schemes, the download adds up to over 1800 slides! Use the vector icons, graphics, and maps for practically any presentation you need.

More Top Templates for Microsoft PowerPoint

There's a PowerPoint template for every occasion. We've shown you five of our favorites, but it's just the beginning. As you learn how to add sound effects in PPT, explore even more designs.

We stay up to date with the best designs for PowerPoint. Check out even more options for PowerPoint templates below:

Make Great Presentations (Free eBook Download)

We've got the perfect complement to this tutorial, which walks you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.

Download our eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation

You Just Learned How to Insert Audio in PPT-Try It Today

We’ve learned how to add sound effects to PowerPoint. You've seen the many options for how to insert audio in PTP and customize how it plays.

Now, it's your turn! Download a template and practice how to add sound effects in PPT with a current presentation. Look for an opportunity to hold your audience's attention as you add sound to transition PowerPoint.

Editorial Note: This post was originally written by Bob Flisser in April of 2014. It's been completely rewritten for accuracy and relevancy.

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