Slideshows don’t have to be boring, and making them doesn’t always need to feel like a chore. There are a few ways you can spice up a slideshow — you can add images, use an interesting color palette, embed a video, or add some audio.
You can include a voiceover with your presentation. Alternatively, you can improve your presentation and storytelling with some sound effects. And if you really wanted to, you could even add some background music to make things more interesting.
Ready to learn how to add audio to Google Slides? Check out our in-depth guide below!
A Few Things to Remember Before Adding Audio to Google Slides
There are some helpful tips you learn and remember before we show you how to embed audio in Google Slides. These tips can help make your life easier, so give them a quick read:
- Audio files must be .mp3 or .wav format to be uploaded into Google Slides. If you need to convert your files to these formats, you can find plenty of free online converters for this purpose.
- In most cases, such as for personal presentations or presentations meant for small audiences, you won’t need to worry much about copyright issues. However, if you intend to get your slideshow out to a wider audience, you’ll need to concern yourself with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, more commonly known as DMCA. You can get in legal trouble if you keep getting DMCA takedowns, especially if you upload your slideshows to platforms like YouTube, etc. The best way to avoid this problem is to look for copyright-free music and sound effects. Luckily, there are plenty of free options available — just give it a Google!
- You can get your audio files from YouTube videos. First you need to download your YouTube videos. Then, you can discard the video portion and convert your YouTube video file to an MP3. Once converted, you can follow the instructions in our guide below.
- Wondering how to create audio for Google Slides? You can record your own audio using some free software like your phone or tablet’s voice recorder, GarageBand, Audacity, and more. You can even record your iPhone’s phone calls and use those files in your slides.
When to Add Audio to Slides: A Few Helpful Tips
Before we show you how to insert sound into Google Slides, check out these helpful tips on when to add audio to your slideshow.
- Add non-distracting background music (at a reasonable volume) to slides when you know you or your viewers will be spending a lot of time there. For example, if you know you’ll need to talk a lot, or if there is a lot of text to read.
- Add voiceovers when you feel it may be necessary to help the audience digest or retain the information in your slide more easily.
- Sound effects can be used to punctuate certain words or sections in your presentation to add interest, interactivity, emphasis, or engagement.
Be careful about going overboard if you do choose to add sound effects, voiceovers, or background music to your slides. Too many sound files can quickly feel overwhelming! Ready to learn how to upload audio to Google Slides? Let’s get to it!
How to Add Audio to Google Slides with Google Drive
If you’re asking, “how do you add audio to Google Slides?,” you’ll be happy to know that you can do it within Google Drive itself. Here’s how:
- On Google Drive, upload your .mp3 or .wav audio file.
- Then, open your presentation on Google Slides. Navigate to the slide you’d like to add audio to. On the top menu bar, click Insert > Audio.
- Choose the audio file you need and click Select.
- Once you’ve clicked Select, your audio file shows up in your slide. You’ll see it as a small speaker icon.
Clicking the icon will select it and bring up the blue transformation bonding box as you see above. It’ll also bring up the playback bar (note that hovering your mouse over this icon will also make the playback bar appear). On this playback bar, your’ll be able to play, pause, or even fast-forward through the audio.
A Word on Audio Format Options
We’ve showed you how to insert audio on Google Slides. Once you’ve added your audio file to your slide, you can make a few adjustments to it.
Select the speaker icon in your slide and drag it wherever you want on your slide. And, as long as the object is selected, you’ll be able to click Format Options in your toolbar.
Clicking on Format Options will bring up the side panel below.
Using this panel, you can change how the audio playback behaves and make a few other adjustments to the speaker icon itself.
How to Add Music to Google Slides with Spotify
You’ve learned how to add audio in Google Slides using Google Drive. But what about Spotify?
Using this method is a great method for how to add background music to Google Slides, though it can be quite cumbersome and adds an extra step to your presentation. Nevertheless, here’s how to add music to a Google Slide presentation using Spotify:
- Open Spotify’s web player (or its desktop application) and hunt for the perfect song.
- Once you’ve found what you want, click on the three-dots icon next to the track. Then, click Share > Copy Song Link. You can see this demonstrated in the screenshot below (by the way, this playlist on Spotify contains copyright-free music you can use!).
- Go to your presentation on Google Slides and find the slide you want the music to start playing from. Follow the next instructions on how to add songs to Google Slides using Spotify.
- On your slide, click on any element such as an image or text box. Then, right-click > Link. In the pop-up that shows up, paste the link and click Apply.
Now that you’ve followed the guide on how to put music in Google Slides from Spotify, you’ll need to do something during presentation day.
Right before your presentation, you need to click the linked item to bring up the song in your Spotify app or web player. If you aren’t logged in, remember to do so. Then, you’ll have to click play (within Spotify) when you need the song to start playing.
Using this method is convenient, but you’ll need a Spotify account and internet access (or you must have downloaded the track for offline listening prior). If you don’t want to go through the hassle of the extra step during your presentation, consider adding your background music using the Google Drive method above.
How to Play Audio in Your Slides
We’ve answered the question, “can you add audio to Google Slides?” Now, let’s look at how you can play the audio in your slide.
Once you’ve added your audio file, you can hover your cursor over the speaker icon or click on it to bring up the playback bar. On this playback bar, you can click to play or stop your audio. You can also fast-forward as needed.
If you want the audio to play automatically once you transition to the slide, you can select the speaker icon, go to Format Options, then change Audio Playback to “Automatically.” You can also configure other options such as whether you want the audio to loop, the sound’s volume, and if you want to stop the audio when you change the slide.
How to Embed YouTube Videos into Google Slides
Want to add a YouTube video into your slideshow? Follow the instructions below.
- Open your presentation on Google Slides and navigate to the slide you want your video in. Then click Insert > Video.
- In the next pop-up window, you can search for YouTube videos to embed. Alternatively, you can also upload a video using the YouTube share URL. Or, if you download the video from YouTube, you can upload it into Google Drive and insert it in your slide that way.
- Once you’ve added your YouTube video, it will look like the screenshot below:
Like inserted audio, clicking on the video will allow you to then select Format Options, where you can make a few changes where neede. You can alter the playback behavior and add a drop shadow, for example.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Add Voice Audio to Google Slides?
Yes you can! You can follow the instructions on how to insert audio into Google Slides in our guide above. Just remember that your audio file needs to be in .WAV or .MP3 format for it to work. You can use voice audio from your phone’s voice recorder or any other audio software you have such as Audacity or GarageBand on macOS.
Can I Add Music to a Google Slideshow?
Yes. There are many ways you can add music to your slideshow, including by uploading your audio file to Google Drive and inserting it into your Slides. You can also add music via Spotify, although this method is more cumbersome and requires an extra step when you present your slideshow.
Creating slideshows (and, let’s admit, watching them) can feel a bit tedious. Adding audio, whether a voice-over, a sound clip, or music, helps make your presentation a bit more exciting and engaging — as long as you don’t go overboard!
We hope that this guide on how to add audio to Google Slides has helped! What kind of audio do you want to put in your presentation? Let us know in the comments below!
- How to Convert PDF to Google Sheets
- Create a Heat Map in Google Sheets
- How to Convert YouTube to MP3
- How to Download YouTube Videos Without Any Software
Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, but she's a geek at heart. When she isn't busy writing, she spends her time streaming video games and learning new skills.