Flipped Teaching Tools, Resources, How-Tos

5 Easy Steps for Adding Voice-Over to PowerPoint Presentations

Adding voice over to existing PowerPoint slides can be a great way to turn slides you’ve used for years into stand-alone flipped content

The basic functions of PowerPoint are pretty easy to use, but it has many features that can really take your presentation to a new level. The ability to supplement a presentation with voice-over or other audio is one such function.

Adding your voice to PowerPoint slides is a pretty easy process, and it can turn a presentation from a plain set of slides into a self-contained instructional asset that stands alone and can be used by students to self-teach. This can be a great way to test the waters with flipped content delivery.

Here’s a video covering the basics in PowerPoint 2007. In 2010, the concept is pretty similar but they’ve renamed and moved things, so you have use a slightly different process (here’s Microsoft help page for doing this 2010).

The Basic Steps are as Follows:

1. Have the Right Equipment – You’ll need a microphone to record your voice and a working sound-card or integrated audio.

2. Create a New Folder and Presentation File – Create a new folder on your computer and name it something you’ll recognize that start a PowerPoint presentation (or open an existing one) and save it to the folder you created. As you record narration, sound files will get created as part of the presentation, and having them all in one folder will help you manage them.

3. ‘Record Narration’ tool – Open PowerPoint and find the “Slideshow” command in the top bar. Once you click on “Slideshow”, a menu will appear – select “Record Narration”.

4. Set Sound Levels and Properties – In the “Record Narration” dialog box that appeared after clicking the previous command, click the “Select Microphone Level” button and use the slider to adjust the microphone’s level to ensure your microphone is recording at optimal sound levels.

5. Recording – To record, simply click “Record Narration” on the Slide Show menu. In the bottom left corner of the “Record Narration” window is a check box for “Link Narrations In” – click this box to check it on (you will need to do this each time you start recording a section of voice-over). You can build out your voice-over gradually from the beginning (in other words, you don’t need to do it all in one take). As you record new sections, you will be prompted each time as to whether you wish start on the first slide or on the current slide.

Note that if want to record over a section you are not happy with, just record over it and your new content will replace your old content (as long as you save it). Once you are done recording a part, hit the “Escape” key and PowerPoint will ask you if you want to save the timings on the slides. Always choose yes. As you complete each section of narration, save your PowerPoint presentation.

Once you have completed part or all of your narration, play your presentation to watch and hear it. You will probably have to experiment with these steps and the overall process to get through your first voiced-over presentation, but once you’ve done it once, you will know what it takes to repeat the process.

There are few formats you can to save this for playback and you may want to try different approaches (like a web page format versus a PowerPoint show, for example) depending on where you want to deliver it. One nice advantage of PowerPoint 2010 is that you can export your enhanced slide deck in WMA format so it play as a video.



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