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How to Add Audio to Google Slides

Based on our research, there are two interpretations of “adding audio” to Google Slides. They are:

  1. Inserting audio files, including music clips, into one or more individual slides
  2. Recording voiceovers on top of Google Slides presentations

In this post, we’ll focus on the first interpretation.

Embed an audio file in Google Slides

In Google Slides presentation mode, a presenter or a viewer can click an icon to play an audio file. It’s also possible for the sound to start playing automatically on a slide change.

One use case is that an embedded audio file can be used to verbally expand on the information that’s visible on the slide.

Another use case is, while collaborating on the development of a business presentation, an audio file is a way to verbally describe the intent of a slide to a collaborator or reviewer.

Steps for adding audio

Adding an audio file to a Google slide is a multi-step process.

  1. Record a voice annotation on your desktop

    Use a free program such as Audacity to record your voice and save the recording to a .mp3 or a .wav file.

  2. Upload the audio file to Google Drive

    Add the audio file to the same folder as your presentation, so that anyone you share the folder with can both view the presentation and hear the audio.
    Folder with Presentation and Audio

  3. Insert the audio file into a slide

    From the menu, select Insert > Audio. Locate the file on your Google Drive and click the Select button.

    Google Slides Insert Audio

  4. Position and format the audio icon

    Using click & drag along with formatting options, you can reposition, resize, and color the sound icon.
    Audio Icon in a Slide

Under Format options for the audio icon, there is an Audio playback section.

Google Slides Audio Format Options

In the Audio playback section, you can set an audio file to start playing automatically. You can adjust the playback volume. You can also set the audio to loop.

Presentation Tips

If you are presenting to a live audience, make sure to connect the audio from your laptop to an external speaker, using Bluetooth if possible.

If you are presenting online, you may need to loop your “audio out” into the same feed as your microphone.

If you’re interested in adding YouTube or Google Drive videos to Google Slides, we have a separate article on that topic.


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