Voice-over audio—a piece of narration not accompanied by an image of the speaker—can be a very effective tool in your presentation. It can allow an audience to hear your presentation when you’re not there to give it, and can even turn your PowerPoint into a simple, yet effective, animated video.

In PowerPoint 2013, you can record narrations and adjust the timing of when to advance slides and animations, which allows you to turn your existing presentations into self-contained content that can be viewed by an audience without you there. There are endless possibilities to using voice over in PowerPoint!

1. Equipment – You’ll need a microphone to record your voice and a working sound-card or integrated audio (which are included on most modern computers). A laptop computer will have a microphone built in.

2. New/open presentation – Start a new PowerPoint presentation or open an existing one.

3. ‘Record Slide Show’ tool – In PowerPoint, on the Slide Show tab, in Set Up, select Record Slide Show. Select whether to start your recording from the beginning or from the current slide, then you can choose what elements you want to record: Slide animation and timings, and/or Narrations and laser pointer.

record1

record2

14-0101-record-slide-show2

4. Recording – When you’re ready to record, click Start Recording on the Record Slide Show dialog box. Your presentation will begin in Slide Show mode with a box in the upper right corner indicating that you are recording. If you checked Slide animation and timings in Step 3, PowerPoint will record the length of time between each time you click—to animate a slide or to move on to the next slide. If you checked Narrations and laser pointer in Step 3, PowerPoint will record the audio coming through your microphone and connect it with the slides.

14-0101-record-slide-show3

Note: You can take a break while recording at any time, by selecting the pause button in the upper left-hand dialog box of your slide show. You can then resume recording whenever you are ready.

5. Finish recording  – When you are finished recording, hit the Escape key. This step may take a moment as PowerPoint saves your timings, audio, and/or laser pointer movements. PowerPoint will now display your timings under each slide when viewing the Slide Sorter, and will put an audio icon on any slides that have audio recorded.

record3

6. Play back your recording – You can play back the audio on each slide by viewing your presentation in Normal view (editing mode), then clicking on the audio icon at the bottom right of any slide that has audio attached to it.

7. Run slide show with timings and narrations – Now your presentation can run automatically based on your rehearsed timings, and can play your recorded narrations. On the Slide Show tab, in Set Up check the boxes next to Play Narrations and Use Timings. Now select From Beginning in Start Slide Show. Your presentation will advance through the animations and slides based on your timings, and your narrations will play back.

8. Adjust timings and narrations – After viewing your presentation, you can adjust the timings and narrations: if you want to redo the entire presentation, select Record Slide Show > Start Recording from Beginning. You will overwrite earlier timings and narrations. If you want to redo just a section of slides, select the slide you want to start with and choose Record Slide Show > Start Recording from Current Slide.

To delete timings or narrations, select Record Slide Show > Clear. You may then choose to clear timings or narrations from the current slide (if they already exist) or from the entire presentation.

Be sure to save your presentation when you are finished!