How to Insert Audio to PowerPoint

Adding audio to your PowerPoint presentations can make them more dynamic, engaging, and memorable for your audience. Whether you want to add background music, insert a sound effect, record narration, or include audio commentary, PowerPoint makes it easy to incorporate audio files.

In this guide, you’ll learn the different ways to insert audio into PowerPoint, including:

  • Adding existing audio files from your computer
  • Recording narration directly in PowerPoint slides
  • Changing audio playback options
  • Converting presentation to video format

Follow the steps below to start enhancing your PowerPoint decks with audio.

Add Audio Files from Your Computer

Importing existing audio files like MP3s and WAVs into your presentation slides is a breeze.

Follow these quick steps:

  • Select the slide you want to add audio to
  • Go to the Insert tab
  • Click the Audio dropdown and choose Audio on My PC
  • Browse your files and select an audio file to insert
  • The audio file will appear as a speaker icon on the slide

You can drag the speaker icon around on the slide to position it wherever you like.

Supported audio formats include:

  • WAV
  • MP3
  • WMA
  • MIDI
  • M4A
  • AAC


  • For best compatibility, use common formats like WAV, MP3 or M4A
  • Keep file sizes reasonable to avoid slow load times

Record Narration in PowerPoint

Recording a voiceover narration directly in PowerPoint is handy for adding commentary to your slides.

To add narration:

  • Go to the slide you want to narrate
  • Select the Insert tab
  • Click Audio > Record Audio
  • Choose recording settings like audio quality
  • Click Record, speak your narration, and click Stop when finished
  • The audio icon will appear on the slide

You can replay your recording to review it or re-record if needed. This allows you to easily edit and perfect your narration.

Change Audio Playback Options

There are various playback settings you can adjust for audio files added to your PowerPoint presentation:

  • Start: Choose to start automatically or when clicked
  • Play across slides: Play audio file for multiple slides
  • Loop until stopped: Repeat audio indefinitely or a set number of times
  • Hide during show: Mute audio and hide icon during slideshow
  • Trim: Cut the start or end of an audio file
  • Fade in/out: Gently transition volume at start/end

To change audio options:

  • Select the audio icon on the slide
  • Go to Playback tab
  • Adjust the settings as needed

Experiment with these options to control the audio behavior in your presentations.

Export Presentation as a Video

To share your PowerPoint presentation complete with audio, you can export it as a video file.

To convert to video:

  • Go to File > Export > Create a Video
  • Choose video quality and resolution
  • Select to include slide timings and narrations
  • Save exported MP4 video file

The video version of your deck can then be easily shared and viewed by anyone. This method also embeds your narration and audio files right in the video, allowing for seamless playback.

Audio Ideas to Enhance Slides

Need some inspiration for adding audio elements to your next presentation? Consider these creative ideas:

  • Background music: Set the mood with subtle, unobtrusive music
  • Sound effects: Punch up transitions or key points with zany sounds
  • YouTube clips: Embed short educational or entertaining YouTube videos
  • Voiceovers: Record a complete narration script to guide your slides
  • Interviews: Insert quotes and excerpts from audio interviews
  • Atmospheres: Use ambient background audio like office noise or crowd chatter

The options are endless! Add audio touches strategically to keep your audience engaged.

Tips for Better Presentation Audio

Follow these tips when working with audio files in your PowerPoint slides:

  • Check compatibility: Ensure common audio formats like MP3 work on your playback systems
  • Watch file sizes: Keep audio files reasonably small to prevent laggy loading
  • Mind slide transitions: Add a gap after audio files before slide changes to prevent abrupt cuts
  • Test, test, test! Review your presentation with audio in real usage scenarios before the big day!

Present with Confidence

Adding complementary audio can take your ordinary PowerPoint slides to extraordinary new heights. Use audio files judiciously to enhance your message and captivate audiences. With the techniques above, you’ll be ready to present with confidence!