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Words and Music: The Different Types of Audios for PowerPoint

June 5, 2014 / Blog, Features, Presentation background music, transition sound, voice narration

When talking about designing a PowerPoint presentation that stands out from the rest, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the inclusion of graphics.

While there’s no denying that graphics can indeed make an impact, there are other tools available that you can use to improve a presentation. Audio is one such tool.

Background music

Adding background music can inject life to your slides. Use it properly in combination with engaging graphics and you won’t just deliver a presentation, you’d also create a memorable sight and sound experience for your audience. Keep in mind, though, that “properly” is the operative word. Choose the right music that is appropriate for your presentation. It should reflect the core of your presentation to achieve optimal effect.

The trick is to keep it middle-of-the-road. Depending on the audience and subject matter, lively classical music, piano, or acoustic guitar music could work. Screaming guitars or loud drums, however, are definitely out of the question.

Transition sound effects

Adding subtle audio effects whenever you change slides can be beneficial to your audience. Whether they are jotting down notes or answering a text message, the transition sound would act as a cue for them that you have proceeded to the next slide.

For added effect, you may add multiple PowerPoint sounds on top of each other and play them in the order in which you have added them. You can make each sound start as you click it by dragging the sound icons off of each other after inserting them. One reminder, though: To keep the program from having problems accessing the sound files, copy those files into the same folder as your presentation before adding them.

Voice narrations

Voice narration is usually used for presentations meant for web publication such as online lectures or tutorials. It is also used for self-running slide shows that don’t have the benefit of having a presenter in attendance. Adding voice narration to existing PowerPoint presentation is also great for turning old slides into stand-alone re-purposed materials.

In any case, voice narrations can turn a plain set of slides into a self-contained instructional content that can be used by another batch of audiences to self-teach.


Whatever sound you want to add to your presentation, make sure that PowerPoint supports the file type. File types that it can run include MIDI, WAV, and MP3. Done right, the sound you add to your slides can help boost  your presentation’s impact.

Adding audio to your slides can either make or break your presentation. Bare and bland slides are bound to bore an audience, but at the same time, overdoing music on your deck can lead to a sensory overload, which defeats the purpose of engaging your audience. Make sure to balance entertainment with information and get the most out of your deck’s audio properties.



Understanding Information Overload.” Infogineering. Accessed June 5, 2014.