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Adding Sound

The previous tutorial demonstrated some of the available options for transitions and effects. This tutorial will take you through the steps in adding sound.

Before you begin you should collect any special sound or voice-over clips you plan to use if you are wanting to use anything other than the 'built-in' sounds. Click here for a tutorial on sound editing.

Click here to see the previous tutorial.

*Windows & MAC versions of PowerPoint vary slightly. I have included images from both where needed.

Recording a Narration (Voice-over)

If you are shy about speaking in front of a group PowerPoint gives you an alternative. You can pre-record your narration and have it synchronize and save with your presentation.  All you need is a built-in or external microphone.

Make sure that your microphone is connected and working.

MAC: Go to System Preferences and select Sound. Under Input choose either Internal Microphone, or Line in for an external mike. In Windows go to All Programs Accessories Entertainment Volume Control. Make sure that the Mic Volume is not muted.

Go to Slide Show and select Record Narration.  Choose the desired settings from the window that appears next.

The small speaker icon indicates that a sound file is associated with the slide.

It might take some trial and error to get the best settings for the microphone level.

Skip to MAC version

Since you are only using one microphone there is no reason to record in stereo. Mono recording will produce a smaller file size, which will create fewer playback problems. A sampling rate less than 44100 kHz will be sufficient for voice recording, and will also lead to a smaller file size.

The Link Narrations in: button will save the sound file separately from the PowerPoint file. This will help playback for large file sizes. Once you click OK in the Record Narration window the presentation will begin, and you can start recording.

You can record the entire narration in one sitting, or you can stop at any time by hitting the Esc key.

When you want to restart recording you will get a message asking to choose between Current Slide or First Slide.

The Link Narrations: button will save the sound file separately from the PowerPoint file. This will help playback for large file sizes. Once you click OK in the Record Narration window the presentation will begin, and you can start recording.>

Hit ESC at any time to stop recording. A small speaker icon     will appear in the lower corner of each slide that has an associated recording.

Adding Sound Effects

Even if you decide to provide a 'real-time', live commentary with your presentation instead of pre-recording it, you can still add some sound effects to spice things up.

To add a sound clip go to Insert Movies and Sounds Sound from Clip Organizer....

Skip to MAC version

Click Insert, or drag the Sound Clip to the desktop. 

By default PowerPoint places the Sound Clip icon in the middle of the slide, but you can drag it anywhere on the slide.

You can choose to have the sound clip play automatically or when you click on the icon.

The second sound icon is for the voice-over/narration. You can double-click on either one to preview.

In the MAC version choose Sound from Gallery.

Select the icon for the sound clip and click Insert.  The speaker icon will appear in the middle of the screen. You can drag it to another location.

Adding Sounds to the Visual Effects
Skip to MAC version

To add a sound effect that will coincide with a visual effect select one of the lines of text. Click the drop-down arrow and select Effect Options.

In the Effect Options window click the drop-down arrow and choose a sound effect.  Click the speaker icon to change the relative volume of the effect.

Select the slide that you want to add a custom animation to.

Go to Slide Show Custom Animation. In the Custom Animation window you will see any items in the slide that currently have an effect applied to them. You can add effects to any item by selecting the Add Effect button.

Select the text that you want to add a sound effect to and select the Effect Options button.

In the Effect Options window choose a sound effect from the Sound drop-down arrow. Click OK on both windows.

That's it for the introduction. There are many more features available, but these three tutorials should allow you to get started in creating a decent presentation.