PowerPoint 2010: Inserting Audio

Adding audio to your PowerPoint 2010 presentations can make them more engaging and memorable for your audience. Whether you want to add background music, narration, or sound effects, PowerPoint makes it easy to insert audio files.

Inserting Audio Files

To insert an audio file from your computer into PowerPoint 2010:

  1. Navigate to the slide where you want the audio to be inserted
  2. Click the Insert tab
  3. Click the Audio dropdown menu
  4. Select Audio on My PC

A file explorer window will open allowing you to browse your computer and select the audio file. PowerPoint 2010 supports common audio formats like:

  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
  • M4A
  • AAC

Once you select the file, it will be inserted onto your slide as a playable audio icon.

Recording Narrations

You can also record a voice narration directly within PowerPoint. To do this:

  1. Navigate to the slide where you want to record narration
  2. Click the Insert tab
  3. Click the Audio dropdown menu
  4. Select Record Audio

A dialog box will appear allowing you to set up your microphone and start recording. When you finish, the audio will be inserted onto the slide.

Tips for Narrations

  • Speak slowly and clearly into your microphone
  • Reduce background noise if possible
  • Break narrations into chunks of 30-60 seconds
  • Practice your narration before recording

Setting Playback Options

Once your audio file is inserted, you can customize playback settings:


  • Automatically – Audio plays as soon as the slide appears
  • On Click – Audio plays when you click on the icon
  • With Previous – Audio plays with previous animation or audio

Play across slides

You can have the audio play for multiple slides, not just the slide it’s inserted on.

Loop until stopped

Sets the audio to continuously repeat playback until manually stopped.

Hide during show

Hides the audio icon during the slideshow so only the audio plays.


Sets the volume of the audio playback as Low, Medium, High, or Mute.

Adding Background Music

To add background music to your slideshow:

  1. Insert the audio file onto the first slide
  2. Check the Play in Background box (Playback Tools tab)
  3. Set when to stop the background music (Animations tab)

This will play the audio file softly in the background as you advance through the slides.

Formatting Audio

If you don’t hide the audio icon during playback, you can format how it appears on the slide using the Format tab:

  • Change the icon picture
  • Resize and position the icon
  • Apply shapes styles and effects

This allows you to customize the visible audio icon.

Converting Media Files

If you insert audio/video content into PowerPoint, it can result in very large file sizes. You can compress the embedded media to reduce file size:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click Info
  3. Click Compress Media
  4. Select compression quality

This will optimize all your media content and reduce the overall file size, making it easier to share.

Best Practices

When working with audio in PowerPoint, follow these guidelines:

  • Use common audio formats like MP3 and WAV
  • Break narrations into short segments
  • Set playback options appropriately
  • Compress media to reduce file size
  • Test audio playback before presenting

Following these tips will ensure your audio plays properly and enhances your slideshow!