:Creativity / DIY video production

How to do a voice-over on Google Slides

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Google Slides, PowerPoint presentations, and similar software are invaluable tools for creators and teachers such as online instructors. With a voice-over, you can provide additional context to the educational content on a viewer’s screen, guide them through an in-depth presentation, and elevate the learning experience for everyone involved.

However, adding voice-over files to Google Slides presentations isn’t the most intuitive process. It takes a few steps and some preparation on your part beforehand. This article will discuss step-by-step how to do a voice-over on Google Slides and PowerPoint.

Why do you need to know how to add audio on Google Slides?

Put simply, because it allows you to upgrade your Google Slides and PowerPoint presentations.

Voice-over files are phenomenally helpful for educational experiences because they:

  • Bring additional context to whatever your slides present. Say that you have a chart on a Google Slide. A viewer can look at the chart, but they may not know how exactly to parse the information. A voice-over file can provide extra context or break down how the viewer should interpret the chart.
  • Enhance the quality of a Google Slides presentation. This can be very important when trying to teach lots of students or, on the other side, trying to create a presentation that will impress your teacher.
  • Allow your courses to be more interactive and accessible to more students. Some students, for example, may be colorblind. A voice-over file can explain what a colored chart indicates so that even colorblind students can follow along with your remote lecture.

Adding audio to Google Slides presentations is simply too valuable to pass up, whether you have a couple of online courses or are a full-time distance educator. Plus, adding voice-over files to Google Slides, PowerPoint, and similar software is not too difficult.

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How to add voice-over to Google Slides

Google Slides makes adding audio to your presentation very easy, especially because it’s free for everyone. However, voice-overs aren’t built into the app by default. So let’s explain how you can add audio to your Google Slides presentation step-by-step.

1. Write a script and create slides

First, you need to have a script and slide presentation worth narrating over. That means writing a script you can easily read on paper or a Microsoft Word document you can put up on the computer screen simultaneously.

For the best results, you should write your script with clear designations of where each bit of text goes. For example, marking paragraphs as “slide 1”, “slide 2”, and so on will help you know when you should start and stop speaking while recording your audio.

This is doubly important because Google Slides requires you to record a separate audio file for each slide in your presentation. To make things easier, you can put a digital script in the speaker notes section at the bottom of your screen. Just remember that whatever you type in that section will be visible to those who read your Google Slides file when you share it! 

2. Record audio using voice recorder or other software

Next, you’ll need to record the audio for each slide using a dedicated voice recorder. PCs have access to the Voice Recorder app. Alternatively, you can use Voice Memos if you use a Mac computer. Or you can find a third-party voice recorder app.

Whatever you use, make sure the software works perfectly and that you have a suitable microphone. A basic headset with a mic will be enough for most presentations. But if you purchase a separate dedicated microphone without headphones, you’ll enjoy better audio quality, and your presentation might turn out better too.

Once you have your equipment, simply hit the red record button, which begins the recording process. Be sure to record your script one slide at a time. You can always tell whether your audio software is recording your voice if the audio icon vibrates in real-time with your words.

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As soon as you complete each slide, click the stop button. Your software will then take you to an editing screen, at which point you can trim your audio. We recommend:

  • Getting rid of “dead air” or long pauses in between sentences.
  • Trimming the beginning and end of your recording, so the audio starts in time with your presentation and ends just before you go to the next slide.

Once your trimming is complete, click “Save” and move on to the next slide.

As you create audio files, they will show up in your computer’s download folder. They should be numbered sequentially, but you may wish to rename them so you can identify and organize them more easily later.

3. Upload your audio files to Slides

You’re almost done. Make a new folder in Google Drive or your computer for your audio clips. You can upload or click and drag the audio files you made to your new folder. Again, ensure they are correctly organized so you can accurately and quickly add them to your Slides presentation.

4. Add the audio clips/files to Slides

All that’s left is to open Google Slides, then open the slide you want to add an audio file to. At the top left-hand corner of the screen, click “Insert,” then “Audio.” Then just select the audio file you want to go with that slide.

At this point, a speaker icon will appear on the side of the screen. This will include a mini-player app so you can preview the audio file. Note that you can move the icon anywhere on the screen, so it’s not distracting.

A format options section will also open. Here you can adjust how the audio plays and when it starts on the slide. For example, if you’re teaching an online course, it’s a good idea to have the audio formatted, so it starts automatically when someone clicks on the chosen slide. You should also select the “stop on slide change” option, so your audio file stops playing when someone moves to the next slide.

Then repeat this process for every slide in your presentation. Don’t forget to give your Google Slides presentation a test before sharing it or sending an invoice to recipients. That way, you can go back and change anything if you run into a minor mistake.

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How to record your voice on PowerPoint

You may want to use a Google alternative. You can create a presentation on PowerPoint, which comes with a free version. It works very similarly to Google Slides, and many steps are close to the same as the process described above.

1. Develop your script

Just like when you record audio for Google Slides, you’ll need to write and develop a script for your PowerPoint presentation. The more accurate your script is, the easier time you’ll have recording the lines and matching those audio files to the appropriate slides.

With PowerPoint, you must also record your script as individual audio slides, so try to space out your script monologue into appropriate sections.

2. Record your script

Do the exact same thing as broken down above. Use free voice recording software and a decent microphone, then hit the red microphone button that appears on your screen when you turn the software on.

Record your script page by page, and be sure to save individual sections as specific audio files. Once more, it’s wise to save these files in a dedicated folder and name them so you can easily identify and organize them later.

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3. Attach the audio files to individual slides

After creating and organizing your audio files, it’s time to insert them into your PowerPoint presentation. Luckily, this is a little easier with PowerPoint than with the free version of Google Slides.

To do this, simply open PowerPoint, then select “Insert” and “Audio.” A small box will pop up, allowing you to insert audio files. Choose the audio files you want to add for the specific slide you have up at the moment, then embed them.

4. Format audio content

After inserting an audio file into a PowerPoint slide, click “Start.” This will bring up an option to set when the audio should start for the given slide. We recommend setting this to “Automatically,” as it ensures that your presentation begins with the audio file as soon as the viewer advances to each slide.

You can also set this to begin when clicked on, but this requires more input from slide viewers or students. So there’s always a chance that your audio information will be skipped or missed by accident.

At this stage, you should also move the speaker icon for your audio files anywhere you like. This will determine where the speaker icon appears when a viewer checks out your PowerPoint presentation.

All that’s left is to share your presentation. You can do this easily through the PowerPoint interface by clicking “File,” then “Share,” then “Share” again with individual people. You can send it to email addresses or upload it to your online courses, especially if you have a good online course platform like Teachable. 

Conclusion

Doing a voice-over for your Google Slides and PowerPoint presentations is quick and simple, especially after you go through the process once. After getting your first few audio files up and running, the odds are you’ll be able to speak to the rest of the process and make your entire presentation audio-enhanced. 

Remember to do this for each Google Slides presentation you create; your students will thank you!

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FAQs

Can you do a voice-over on Google Slides?

Yes. Google Slides is designed to accept audio files when those files are created using standard audio recording software and a decent microphone.

You can do a voice-over on Google Slides by recording audio, then attaching individual audio files to appropriate slides within your presentation. You cannot, at least at the moment, attach a long audio file to your Google Slides presentation and have it run throughout the entire thing. 

Odds are you won’t want this anyway since it means remote viewers might be confused or trigger audio files to play when they aren’t viewing the appropriate slide.

How do you convert PowerPoint to Google Slides?

Converting a PowerPoint file to a Google Slides file is fairly easy. You may wish to do this if your educational platform or teacher requests that you deliver a slide presentation in one file format or another.

The easiest way to convert a PowerPoint presentation is to import your file to Google Slides. To do this:

  1. Go to the main Google Slides screen and select “Blank,” which will open an untitled presentation. Then click “File” and “Import Slides.”
  2. Next, click “Upload.” You’ll see a space underneath where you can drag the PowerPoint file you want to import. You can alternatively click “Select a File From Your Device.” This allows you to browse different files on your computer.
  3. Click each slide that you wish to use in the Google Slides platform. Alternatively, you can click “All” if you want to import the entire presentation.
  4. Don’t forget to click the box at the bottom right-hand corner to maintain the original theme from your PowerPoint presentation.
  5. Once all the appropriate slides are selected, click “Import Slides.”

This saves changes automatically to the cloud, and you should be able to view your PowerPoint presentation on Google Slides.



Author: Nahla Davies, Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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