How to Add Sound Effects to PowerPoint

Adding sound effects to your PowerPoint presentations can make them more dynamic, memorable, and engaging for your audience. Sound effects help emphasize key points, transitions between slides, or set the mood.

This comprehensive guide will teach you how to add various types of sound effects to your PowerPoint slides.

Why Add Sound Effects

Here are some of the benefits of using sound effects in PowerPoint:

  • Make presentations more engaging – Sound effects capture the audience’s attention and make content more interesting.
  • Emphasize key points – Use sound for important points you want your audience to remember.
  • Enhance visuals – Audio complements animations, transitions and other visual elements.
  • Set the mood – Music and ambient sounds create an emotional tone for your presentation.
  • Pace the presentation – Sound cues can signal slide changes and transitions.

Types of Sound Effects for PowerPoint

Here are some common types of sound effects to use in presentations:

  • Sound clips – Short audio snippets like applause, laughter, keyboard clicks.
  • Music loops – Short repeating music bed for the background.
  • Ambient sounds – Room tone, office noise, outdoor sounds help set a mood.
  • Transition sounds – Swooshes, dings, pops act as audio cues for slide changes.
  • Animated sounds – Link sounds to animations like text or image appearances.

How to Add Sound Effects in PowerPoint

Follow these simple steps to add audio files to your PowerPoint presentation:

Step 1: Select an Audio File

On the Insert tab in the ribbon, click on Audio and choose either Audio on My PC if you want to use a locally saved audio file, or Online Audio to search and download a file from Office’s media library.

Insert Audio

Step 2: Embed or Link the Audio

You can embed the audio directly into the presentation file, which inserts it permanently and makes the file size larger.

Alternatively, link the file, which connects it from its original location so the presentation file remains smaller.

Step 3: Place and Adjust the Audio

The audio file will appear as an object on your slide. You can move, resize, or delete it like any other object.

Use the audio Tools Format tab to adjust playback options like volume and fade in/out effects.

Audio Tools Format Tab

Step 4: Set the Audio to Play Automatically

Right-click the audio object and select Start: Automatically to make the audio play as soon as the slide appears.

Step 5: Add Bookmark for Playback Position

For longer audio files, add bookmarks to allow playback to start from key points rather than the beginning every time.

Linking Sounds to Animations

You can enhance animations like text or image appearances by linking relevant sounds to them:

Step 1: Select Object and Add Animation

Click on the object and add an animation effect using the Animations tab.

Step 2: Open Animation Pane

Go to Advanced Animation > Animation Pane to view and adjust all animations on the slide.

Step 3: Link Sound to Animation

Select the animation in the pane, open Effect Options, and pick a sound from the Sound dropdown.

Tips for Using Sound Effects

Here are some best practices for working with audio in PowerPoint:

  • Choose sounds and music carefully to match the tone of your presentation.
  • Adjust audio volume so it is loud enough but does not overpower your voice.
  • Test sounds before presenting to ensure proper playback on the equipment.
  • Use audio sparingly and only when it enhances your content.
  • Keep audio files a reasonable size to prevent slowing down your presentation.
  • Provide audio controls so the audience can adjust volume if needed.


Adding sound effects can make your PowerPoint presentations truly memorable and impactful. Use this guide to learn how to insert audio files, adjust playback options, link sounds to animations, and apply best practices for presentation audio.

With the right sound effects, you can captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression!