Google Slides has, over time, become a worthy competitor to PowerPoint. It is easy to use, allows for seamless collaboration, and offers a vast selection of templates, add-ons, and extensions.
While Google Slides is a robust application used by all types of people, it is missing one critical thing: a voice recorder.
There will be times when you want to do a recorded presentation rather than doing a live one, and for that, you need the ability to add audio to Google Slides.
Moreover, adding a voice over to your presentation can be a great way to create a video for your online training or workshop.
So, we have created this step-by-step guide to show you how to add voice over to Google Slides. We’ll cover two different approaches here, and you can choose whatever works best for you.
In the end, we’ll also share some pro tips on how you can level up your voice over and make your video presentation more engaging.
Let’s get started.
Option 1: Adding Narrations & Voice Overs To Google Slides
To add audio recording to Google Slides is quite straightforward. It involves recording using an external voice recorder and inserting an audio file from your Google Drive into your slides.
NOTE: This first option will be ideal for those who are looking to create a presentation with voice overs, but if you want to create a video using Google Slides, you can go directly to Option #2.
Now, if you have your audio ready, you have already won half the battle. Otherwise, you’ll need to record the voice overs using a third-party recording app.
Just follow the steps below, and you should be up and running fairly quickly.
Record Your Voice
If you want to add narration to a slideshow, begin by writing a script for each slide in your slide presentation.
It goes without saying that your audio quality could make or break your presentation, so make sure to record in a quiet place and use a quality microphone.
There are numerous audio recording applications that you can use, with sophisticated options such as Audacity, which have a bigger learning curve.
There are simpler tools that fit the purpose, such as Voice Recorder on Windows and Voice Memos on Mac.
Once you find the application and microphone that’s best for you, record your voice over and while exporting, make sure the audio format is either MP3 or WAV to be compatible with Google Slides.
Upload Audio Files To Google Drive
Once you have your audio files ready, open Google Drive, choose New from the Tools menu, locate the File Upload option, and select the audio file(s) you want to upload.
Once it gets uploaded, right click on the filename and select the Share option.
Remove any restriction on its use by allowing access to everyone with a link. This will make sure anyone who receives the presentation can listen to the audio files as well.
Insert Audio into Google Slides
First, open the Google Slides presentation you want to add the voice over to and select the slide in which you wish to insert the audio file.
From the Insert menu, select Audio and pick the audio file from Google Drive.
Once you click on the Select button, a tiny speaker-shaped icon will appear on your slide.
Clicking on this icon will play the audio file, and you can change its placement by dragging it to a different location on the slide.
While working with the slides, you can preview the audio you just inserted from the Drive by clicking on this speaker icon and then clicking the Play button.
Configure Your Audio Settings
After adding the audio file, you can make some basic audio adjustments to control how the audio plays during the presentation.
Click on the Format Options from the toolbar while keeping the audio icon on the slide selected. A window with default settings and adjustment options opens up.
You can adjust the audio playback volume and whether the audio file should play automatically or need a click to start playing.
If you decide to play the audio on clicking, the viewer can choose to listen to the audio during the presentation, and it won’t play automatically.
If you set the audio to start playing automatically, you can hide the mini-player icon as it is no longer needed.
There is a Loop option you can select if you want the audio to repeat continuously. To keep the audio playing for just one slide, select the option to stop on slide change. If you don’t check this option, your audio will keep playing on the next slide as well.
Now, you can repeat these steps for each of your slides and test the presentation to ensure everything works as intended.
Option 2: Record Your Video Presentation with a Screencast Tool
The second option to add voice over to your Google Slides is to use a screen recording solution. With this approach, you record everything on your screen, including your presentation and your microphone feed.
If you want to make a standalone video for any purpose rather than just add an audio file in Google Slides, you should take this approach, and this will work very well for most people because:
- Making a screencast is pretty straightforward.
- You can record your webcam if you want.
- With certain tools, you have the option to edit and enhance your video.
While there are many screencast software in the market, and you can use whatever you prefer, we’ll cover two solutions in this guide: Zoom and Camtasia.
While Zoom is an online meeting app that allows you to record your session, Camtasia is a specialized screen recording and editing software.
Record Using a Free Tool Like Zoom
The cheapest and the easiest way to record your Google Slides is to join a Zoom call, turn your mic on, share your screen, and press the record button.
It also lets you record your webcam, and once the call is over, Zoom will save the recording on your computer.
This method is great for doing a quick screen recording and works very well if you have to record just a few slides and a short narration.
Moreover, Zoom recording is ideal for when your presentation involves conversations with more participants or has multiple people explaining the different aspects of the presentation.
Record Using a Screencast Software Like Camtasia
So that you know, Zoom doesn’t have any video editing or enhancement capabilities, and you need to get the recording right in one shot.
Say you’re recording a video for an online course and want a highly professional final product, Zoom won’t be the best option for you, and in this case, you should use specialized software like Camtasia.
Camtasia is an all-in screen recording software that gives you more flexibility while recording and comes with a powerful video editor.
Using Camtasia is straightforward, and you’ll need to download its Windows/Mac desktop app.
Once you launch the Camtasia recorder, you need to select the screen area you want to capture, select the right microphone, and then hit the Record button.
You can pause and resume during the recording, and you can stop the recording when you’re done.
However, the real power of Camtasia comes into play in the post-production phase. Here are some popular edits people do in Camtasia:
- Remove unnecessary portions or mistakes
- Add background music and insert external recordings
- Remove background noise
- Add audio effects like compression, adjusting clip speed, etc.
- Add annotations and callouts
- Apply animation & zoom effects
- Remove video background using green screen
Overall, this option gives you maximum flexibility while recording your video using Google Slides presentation and is best for professional video creators.
Bonus Tips: Take Your Video Presentation to the Next Level
In this section, I’ll share some pro tips on how you can take your video presentation to the next level. You may or may not need everything that’s included here, so decide accordingly.
Record High-Quality Voice Over
Audio quality can make or break your presentation/video. So when you’re planning to do a voice over, the first consideration should be recording quality audio.
Ensuring that your narration sounds smooth to the listener will enhance the presentation’s appeal and avoid unnecessary distractions.
However, recording clean audio and getting rid of background noise can be a challenge.
So, here are some simple tips you can use to make sure your Google Slides voice over is clear, crisp, and without any background noise.
Optimize Your Recording Environment
The best way to avoid noise in your recording is to keep the recording environment as quiet as possible:
- Pick a quiet room with as little background noise as possible.
- Close all the doors and windows to avoid any external noise.
- Make sure to turn off the fan, air conditioner, etc.
- Cover your walls and other hard surfaces with curtains and blankets.
I like to do a test recording of the natural sound in my room (without speaking) for about 10-20 seconds. Then I listen to the recording and try to identify the source of the noise to eliminate them.
Use A Noise Cancellation App
Another effective way to remove background noise while doing a voice over is to use a noise cancellation app like Krisp.
Krisp is an AI-powered noise cancellation app that adds a virtual filter between the microphone and your recording application to avoid background noise.
It works with all the recording tools, including Zoom, Camtasia, Audacity, etc., and you can use it on both Windows as well as Mac.
Remove Noise Using a Video Editor
When you record your narration and sound with a video editing tool like Camtasia, it is easy to get rid of background noises. It comes with built-in noise removal to help you get clear audio.
Camtasia lets you remove unwanted noise from your audio file by simply adding its Noise Removal effect onto the track containing background noise.
You can either automate noise removal with its Analyze function or adjust the sound quality manually with Amount, Reduction, and Sensitivity settings.
Record Audio and Video Separately
When you add voice to Google Slides presentation, its appeal increases, but you must create a narration that is in sync with the content presented on the screen.
The strategy that has worked very well to achieve this is to record the video and the audio separately.
The first step in this process is to write a script for your entire presentation. Then run the slideshow and practice reading the script until you can speak perfectly.
Once you’re ready, record the audio using the script in a single take as it is easy to work with one audio file vs multiple.
Finally, record your screen while going through the slide presentation and save it separately as a video file.
Now, you can easily sync the audio and the video using Camtasia. Its timeline feature and multi-track editing capability make it easy to work with multiple files like these.
Add Background Music to Google Slides
While a high-quality voice over can make your presentation engaging, adding subtle background music can crank it up a notch. The key is not to overdo it and instead use it carefully.
If you want to add background music with narration to your presentation, you need to work your way around some third-party apps.
The first option is to use an audio editing tool like Audacity to create a mix of narration, music, and sound effects before uploading the audio file to Google Drive and inserting it into your Google Slides.
Another workaround is to embed a video in the slides to not be visible during the presentation.
- To integrate narration with background music, use a free tool like Audacity to convert the audio into a video file.
- You can add your background music and any sound effects to this file before conversion. Then, upload the video to YouTube or Google Drive.
- Next, choose Video from the Insert menu of Google Slides and select the file from the Drive. You can alternatively switch to the By URL option and paste any YouTube video link to use a pre-existing sound.
- Once you embed the video into the slide, right click on the video and select Options. Find the setting for auto-play to adjust it to match the slide presentation. You can also set the video start and end time to synchronize the sound with your narration.
- As you want to play the video in the background, you should hide the player from the slide. To do this, select the video and use the resize handles to make the player too small to get noticed.
Use AI Text-To-Speech Voiceover
In certain scenarios, you may not want to add your voice for recording the narration, and in this case, you may consider using an AI-based Text-to-Speech app for your voice over.
Such tools were once considered tacky, but the technology has improved significantly over time, and they can provide an almost human-like voice for your recordings.
My favorite AI voice over tool is Murf.ai, as it makes it super easy to create a voice narration.
You can either type the script or upload your own voice recording to get a studio-quality recording for your video with this app.
Murf.ai simplifies matching the timing of your voice with the slides. You can add pauses, change the pitch and speed to time the voice over perfectly with the presentation, and eliminate any need for post-processing.
Just keep in mind that you can’t expect a 100% natural AI voice, but if you’re unwilling to use your voice and don’t want to spend more money on a voice over artist, Murf.ai can be of great help.
While it’s not possible to record audio on Google Slides natively, adding a voice over is pretty simple. Based on your use case, you can choose one of the two methods covered in this guide.
If you want to do a regular presentation with some audio content, you should follow the first approach. In this case, you record the audio separately and insert it into your Google Slides presentation.
On the other hand, if you want to record a standalone video using your presentation, you should take the second approach of using a screencast software.
Regardless of the method you use, adding voice over to Google Slides can turn it into an engaging experience for your audience.
And once you get better with the process, you can elevate your content to the next level by following some of the tips shared in the last section.
I hope this guide helped you learn how to add voice over to Google Slides. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
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