How to Add Audio to PowerPoint

Adding audio to your PowerPoint slides is a great way to make a dull presentation more lively. It can also help the audience relate more to the points you’re making. This article will show you how to add audio files to all versions of  PowerPoint.

How to add audio to a slide

Option 1: Import an audio file

  1. Select the PowerPoint slide you would like to add an audio file.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Slide panel
    Choose a slide to add audio.
  2. Select Insert on the ribbon bar.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Insert tab Ribbon bar
    Select the Insert tab to access more tools.
  3. Click Audio in the “Media” section and select Audio on My PC.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Media Section Audio on my PC Tool
    Click on Audio to view the drop-down list. Select Audio on My PC.
  4. A dialogue box will pop up, prompting you to locate an audio file on your computer. Select the audio file you want to add and click on Insert.

    Microsoft PowerPoint dialog box Insert Audio
    Click Insert to import the audio file into PowerPoint.
  5. A speaker icon on the slide will represent the audio file.

    Microsoft PowerPoint audio on a slide
    The audio is successfully attached.

Option 2: Record your audio

Note: Ensure that your computer has a sound card installed and you have a working microphone for this option.

  1. Select Insert on the ribbon bar.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Insert tab Ribbon bar
    Click Insert
  2. Select Audio in the “Media” section, then click Record Audio.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Media Section record audio tool
    Click Record Audio.
  3. A dialogue box will launch. Give your audio file a name and click on the Record button. Begin speaking to your microphone to record your voice.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Record Audio dialogue box tool
    Click the record button.
  4. When done recording, click the Stop command, then click Ok.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Record Audio dialogue box tool stop button
    Select Stop and click OK to save the audio.
  5. The audio file will appear on the slide.

    Microsoft PowerPoint audio tool in slide
    You can forward and listen to the audio.

How to listen to an audio file

  1. Click on the play button on the audio to listen to it.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Audio Tool Play command
    Click play to listen to the audio.
  2. You can also listen to the audio in a slide show. Click on the Slide Show tab.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Show Tab on the ribbon bar
    Select Slide Show to access more tools.
  3. In the “Start Slide Show” section, selecyt the option From Beginning.

    Microsoft PowerPoint start slide show with From Begining option
    Click From Beginning to launch the slide show.
  4. While in the slide show, click on the Play button to listen to the audio.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Show Play Audio
    Select Play.

Change the appearance of the audio tool

Let’s look at a few ways to make the audio tool look better in a slide show. Primarily I will focus on two methods:

  • How to change the position of the audio tool.
  • How to change the color of the speaker icon.

Changing its position

The audio tool is movable on the slide. Click and drag the speaker Icon to move the audio to a new location.

Microsoft PowerPoint Cross Cursor
The cursor will change to a cross, enabling you to click and drag the icon.

How to change the colour of the speaker icon

  1. You can edit the speaker icon to a different colour or size. Select the speaker icon and click Format on the ribbon bar to change the colour.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Format tab Ribbon bar
    Click format to access editing tools.
  2. Click Color in the “Adjust” section and select any colour of your choice.

    Microsoft PowerPoint colour tool under format tab
    Choose a colour in the “Recolor” section.
  3. The speaker icon will change to the colour selected.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Audio change colour in speaker icon
    Select a colour that matches your presentation theme.

Editing your audio file in PowerPoint

Let’s look at how to edit an audio file within PowerPoint. Here are some of the ways to edit the file:

  • Trimming the audio file.
  • Applying fade-in and fade-out effects.
  • Remove the option to hide, loop, and play the audio on all slides.

How to Trim the Audio

  1. Click Playback on the ribbon bar.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Playback tab on the ribbon bar
    Click Playback to view editing tools.
  2. In the “Editing” section, select Trim Audio.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Trim Audio tool
    The Trim Audio tool will specify the beginning and end of the audio.
  3. A “Trim” Audio dialogue box will pop up. Click Play, then pause the audio to identify where you want the audio to start.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Trim audio dialog box play button
    Click play to listen to the audio.
  4. Drag the green marker on the left side to the chosen starting point to trim the audio.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Trim audio dialog box green marker
    Move the green marker to the paused point of the audio.
  5. Drag the red marker to a new stop point for the audio, then click OK.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Trim audio dialog box red marker
    Move the red marker to the left.
  6. Preview the trimmed audio on the slide by clicking Play on the audio tool.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Audio Tool Play command blue speaker
    Click play to listen to the new audio.

Adding fade-in and fade-out effects

  1. Select the audio and select Playback on the ribbon bar.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Audio Tool Playback tab
    Select the Playback tab.
  2. Click the up arrow of the Fade In option. Choose between 04:00 to 08:00 seconds to have a gradual fade-in effect.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Fade In tool
    The Fade-in effect applies to the start of the audio.
  3. Next to Fade Out, click on the up arrow to choose how long you want the audio to fade.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Fade Out Tool
    Click and hold the arrow to the preferred number of seconds.
  4. Click on Play to preview your audio. Microsoft PowerPoint preview audio Play commandPlay the audio.

How to hide, loop, and play the audio on all slides

The audio tool is hidable during the slide show. If the audio happens to be background music, it can be looped to play throughout the presentation. The audio also has to play across all the slides to enable this function. Follow these steps to apply the effects to the audio file:

  1. Select the audio and go to Playback on the ribbon bar.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Playback tab on the ribbon bar
    Click to access more tools.
  2. Click Play in Background in the “Audio Styles” section.

    Microsoft PowerPoint Play in Background tool
    Select Play in Background.

Note: The Play in Background option will automatically hide the speaker icon during a presentation. It will also loop and play the audio across all slides.

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