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Sound Slides: A PowerPoint Tutorial on Music and Sound Effects

Your presentation audience makes use of their visual and auditory senses the most during your pitch.

Because we often emphasize the importance of visuals in PowerPoint design, it’s time we consider audio, especially if you’re planning to share your presentation online.

Sometimes, it’s not enough to enhance your PowerPoint deck with eye-catching pictures and illustrations. There are moments when you need to add another dimension to your presentation design. A careful mix of visuals and audio can really add life to your slides and take your presentation further.

Add life and sound to your slides in three easy steps:

Step 1: Insert audio file

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using PowerPoint 2010.

Get started by looking for the Media group under the Insert tab.

From there, choose the Audio icon and select what type of audio file you’d like to insert into your PowerPoint presentation. You can choose an audio file that’s saved in your computer, record your own, or use a file from the Clip Art gallery.

powerpoint tutorial audio 01

If you’re going to use something that you already have saved or that you downloaded from the Internet, make sure the file is compatible with PowerPoint. They have to be in any of the following formats:

  • Windows Media Audio (.wma)
  • Windows Audio (.wav)
  • MP3 (.mp3)

Step 2: Preview selected audio file

After successfully inserting your chosen audio file, you will see a sound icon appear on the slide you’re currently working on. When you select it, a toolbar will appear. This is where you can press Play to preview your audio.

powerpoint tutorial audio 02

Always check to see if the music or sound effects you’ve chosen are working properly. If the audio skips or lags, you might want to use a file with a smaller size.

Step 3: Select playback option

Lastly, choose a play back option for your audio file. After selecting the sound icon, go to the Playback tab under Audio Tools. Among the following options, choose the one that’s most applicable to how you envision your PowerPoint deck.

powerpoint tutorial audio 03

  • Automatically – The audio file will start to play as soon as you reach the current slide
  • On Click – Play the audio on demand by clicking the icon
  • Play Across Slides – The audio file will play throughout the entire PowerPoint deck
  • Loop Until Stopped – The file will play loop unless you move on to a new slide

You can also opt to hide the sound icon if you don’t want it cluttering the look of your slide. After you’ve selected the playback option that suits your presentation, tick the box for Hide During Show that’s under Audio Options.

It’s easy to take a simple PowerPoint presentation and turn it into an experience that the audience won’t soon forget. This PowerPoint tutorial is perfect for anyone looking to make sure their presentations are a little bit better than before.

Sprinkle a few sound effects to add impact to your presentation. For online presentations, use these steps to integrate a voice over to your slides. Contact our PowerPoint experts to learn how else you can improve your PowerPoint designs and presentation outcomes.



Add and Play Sounds in a Presentation.” Office Support. Accessed March 5, 2015.
Visual Simplicity Is Captivating in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 30, 2014.Accessed March 5, 2015.


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