How to Add Audio to Google Slides

Do you want your presentation more dynamic? In case you need more audience engagement while creating a professional presentation, add audio to Google Slides. The audio can be any music, voice narration or sound effect.

However, Google Slides doesn’t have an in-built audio recorder. Hence, to add any audio to the Slides, you need to create it separately and insert the file to the Google Slides.

Google Slides is an incredible free tool to build presentations for personal or business purposes, but it had some limitations. Especially teachers had requested many times to add narration or audio to their Slides. Fortunately, Google finally listens and adds the latest feature to add audio to the Slides using desktop only. 

Before proceeding further, let’s enlighten you on how does Google Slides work. You can create, edit presentations and collaborate with everyone using different themes, layouts, hundreds of fonts, animation, embedded videos etc. Additionally, you can access the presentation anytime from mobile, tablet or computer without the internet.

So, break the silence and create the lesson plan and student projects more interestingly.

Are you wondering how to add audio to Google Slides? Go through this article to learn some quick steps.

Why Should You Add Audio Narration to Google Slides?

Music is a powerful element that helps increase the audience, even if it’s a digital presentation. You can easily tell your story. A study by the University of Groningen shows that the music affecting your mood can alter the visual perception and helps to understand the presentation’s message.

Furthermore, when you’re giving a video presentation, you want people to talk it through by explaining each slide. However, it’s impossible to do it in person if you make it for your website or want people to watch independently anytime. Your viewers cannot just rely on the texts and images on the presentation.

Therefore, you may need to add narration to Google Slides to give a new dimension to the presentation. Additionally, it helps audiences to focus and enjoy more, rather than getting bored.

A Quick Guide on How to Add Audio to Google Slides

Before adding any audio, remember not to violet copyright and other policies when using others’ audio files. You may think choosing and adding music to play during the presentation is simple, but someone can sue you for using their music without permission.

Though such risk is low, as you can download, listen or use any music from the internet. However, it still depends on the size of the presentation and its audience. So make sure you own the file or have the song’s right and license to avoid any legal punishment. Eventually, maintain good digital citizenship.

Whatever the music or narration you’re using, the file should be a .mp3 or .wav type. Also, keep in mind that you can only insert audio, not create it using Google Slides.

So how to add audio to Google Slides? There are four basic steps to do it. Let’s look into them.

1. Create a Google or Gmail Account

Google Slides is an effective alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint. User can access it all features for free as long as he has a Google or Gmail account. Particularly having a Google account benefits you to access all Google tools and cloud services.

But wait, don’t you have a Google account? No problem, as you can create it within a minute.

  • Go to google.com.
  • From the top right corner of the browser window, click Sign In.
  • Select Create account.
  • Link your existing Gmail id with it and you’re done.

However, if you already have a Gmail account, you can use it to access Google Slides. Most people have more than one Gmail account. You can use the unofficial one just to access all Google features.

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Once you establish an account, 

  • Click the tiny square icon made on the browsing screen at the upper right corner in a grid pattern.
  • You can see the list of all Google features. Scroll down to select Google Slides.

Now, either create a presentation first, then add audio or vice-versa. Otherwise, you can create each slide and add corresponding audio to it one by one. The choice is yours. 

2. Prepare An Audio Narration For the Google Slides Presentation

Let’s assume you have already made a Google Slides presentation and want to add audio. Here are some essential tips for you to prepare a matching audio narration for the presentation.

  • Write a script: Before adding, it’s better to write the script of the narration that you use to add in a continuously playing video. After that, watch it as a slide show and get the timing to match the narration with each slide.
  • Match the script with playback speed: Try to speak at a calm and understandable speed so that the script can match with playback speed. However, you can edit the script or change the speed later to match the recording with the slides.
  • Make a single audio narration: It becomes easier to insert an audio file if it’s recorded in one take without stopping. To make a successful single audio narration, practice reading the script perfectly while playing the presentation in slideshow mode.
  • Break the audio narration into sections: Is your presentation too long? Or maybe your audience may use self-pacing to watch the Slides manually. In either case, you can break your audio narration into small sections or have separate audio files for every slides to add. But keep in mind, the recordings must match in sound quality.
  • Record in the same surroundings: If you’re using two separate audio files in the same Google Slides presentation, make sure you record it in the same surroundings. Otherwise, problems occur when you record the audio sessions in different places with different sound qualities.
  • Listen to the audio before adding: Further, listen to the entire audio and asks yourself as a listener if it sounds smooth to you or not. For more clarity, omit any abrupt changes in volume or tone to avoid distraction for your listeners.

3. Create and Record the Audio in Your Voice

Since Google Slides doesn’t provide any recording option, you need to use a separate recording application. You can use your smartphone’s voice recorder for this. Though there are a few apps you can try to record audio like Audacity (PC or Mac), Movavi (PC only), GarageBand (Apple), Online Voice Recorder (for browser without sign in) etc. 

To record clear audio in your voice, follow the instructions below.

  • Record it without background noises to avoid any interference in the sound.
  • Speak in a clear and neutral voice directly into the microphone.
  • Don’t speak too loudly or too softly. Conversely, the too lower voice needs to increase the volume that may not sound nice to the listener.
  • You can test your sound in different places with different sound volumes, such as speaking close or away to the mic until you find the proper tone to add to the slides.
  • Finally, record your voice in the .mp3 or .wav file format that Google Slides support.
  • In case you want an audio mix by adding background music or sound effect, you can use audio editing software like Audacity. You may find helpful tips to create professional voiceover recording.
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Once you’ve created the audio, move to the next step.

4. Add the Audio Narration to Google Slides

Here comes the main part for how to add audio to Google Slides. Follow the necessary steps to accomplish it.

  • Save the audio file in Google drive

The first and foremost step is to save the audio file in Google Drive. Otherwise, you can’t access it through Google Slides. To upload and save files in the Drive,

  • Go to Drive from the Google Tool menu at the top right corner of the browser.
  • Click New.
  • Click File Upload.
  • Choose your audio file to upload and wait until it’s finished.
  • Share the audio file

Sharing the audio link allows the students or any Google Slides viewers to access it easily. The main point often overlooked that to play audio with the slides, you must share the audio file separately. Otherwise, they can’t hear and it will be a view-only presentation.

To share the audio file, right-click on the filename from Google Drive and select Share.

  • Insert the audio into Google Slides 

Here’s how to insert the audio file into Google Slides.

  • Open your Google Slides file or create a new one.
  • Select the slide where you want to insert the audio file.
  • From the menu above, select Insert > Audio.
  • Select the audio file to insert from Google Drive.
  • Click Select.

Now a speaker button will appear. Click the icon to play or move and place it anywhere on the slide.

5. Adjust Audio Format

Do you want to change the volume? Or would you like to play the audio automatically? Luckily, Google Slides enable you to adjust the audio format once you inserted the file. This is similar to the video options in Google Slides.

  • From the toolbar, click Format Option after selecting the audio.
  • A sidebar menu will appear with default settings and other playback adjustments.
  • You can choose to play it On Click or Automatically. For the latter case, you can hide the speaker icon from the slide.
  • Adjust the volume level if you want.
  • Further, you can choose Loop audio to play it over and over.
  • Suppose you don’t want to repeat the audio narration, select Stop on slide change. Thus, the audio will be available for one slide only. Finally, you know how to record narration for each slide.

How to Play the Audio in Google Slides?

Are you curious about the changes in the audio? You can easily preview it before finalizing. When you’re in editing mode, select the speaker icon and then click the play button to hear it. 

Similarly, if you’re in presentation mode, either hover and click the play button or click the speaker icon to play the audio in Google Slides.

Conclusion

The process of adding audio to Google Slides may seem a little hectic at the beginning. But once you adopt it, you become confident. 

Being able to add audio is much more fun as it benefits you in several ways. Narrating a slideshow has become easier and you can make an instructional presentation. Additionally, voiceover presentation creates a better learning experience for the students. It allows adding more context and information to each slide while explaining it.

However, the biggest pain is to record the audio. As Google Slides doesn’t have this feature yet, you need to record your audio separately, upload it to Google Drive and then add to the slides. But whatever software or application you use, don’t compromise with sound. With this in mind, use headphones or good microphones to improve the sound quality.

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