How to Add Voice to a PowerPoint Presentation


PowerPoint includes functions to insert and link prepared multimedia files in a presentation to create a dynamic slide show. A computer microphone enables users to record voice narration and sounds for individual slides or for the entire presentation. In this way, users can quickly prepare an automated presentation that includes a voice narrative to deliver the content. Users can also activate recording a live presentation to capture the delivery and comments made to the audience to create an archived presentation.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer microphone
  • Connect the computer microphone if it is not a built-in device.

  • Launch PowerPoint, open the desired presentation and navigate to the desired slide.

  • Select "Record Narration" under "Slide Show" in the top menu bar to open a Record Narration dialog box.

  • Click the "Set Microphone Level" button to check your recording level and begin speaking to view the recording level of your voice. Note: PowerPoint for Mac doesn't have this option.

  • Click the box next to the option, "Play sound through output device" if you are using PowerPoint for Mac.

  • Select the "Link Narrations" option if you want to save the sound recording as a separate file from the presentation (i.e., it's not embedded in the slide), click the "Browse" button and select the destination file before clicking the "Select" button. This option is useful if you wish to edit the recording later.

  • Click the "OK" button and then choose whether you want to start the recording from the current slide ("Current Slide" option) or from the beginning of the presentation ("First Slide" option).

  • Begin speaking when the Slide Show View begins and press the right arrow key or mouse button to advance to the next slide.

  • Right-click the slide and select "Pause Narration" to pause recording; right-click the slide and select "Resume Narration" to continue recording.

  • Press the "Esc" key to finish recording and complete the "Record Narration" wizard.

  • Choose whether you want to save the recorded timing with each slide (select "Save" or "Don't Save").

  • Navigate to the desired slide and select "Record Narration" under "Slide Show" to record a replacement narration for the slide. Follow steps 3 to 11 to re-record narration for each slide as desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Set up the "Record Narration" function before starting a live presentation to capture your narration and any comments and questions from the audience. Use the "Pause Narration" option until you're ready to begin your presentation.
  • The recorded narration will override other sound files in the slide, unless that separate sound file is activated by a separate mouse click so that it will play after the recorded narration.

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  • Photo Credit IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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