Google Slides logo against a yellow gradient background.

Adding audio to your presentation, whether it’s gentle background music for a wedding slideshow or a voice recording for a remote learning session, can keep your audience interested, engaged, and entertained. Here’s how to do it with Google Slides.

How Inserting Audio in Google Slides Works

Though a seemingly simple feature, inserting audio in Google Slides hasn’t always been an option. Previously, the only way to insert audio in your Google Slides presentation was by inserting a video or linking to a site like Spotify—just inserting the audio file alone wasn’t possible. Thankfully, now you can.

The caveat here is you can’t upload the files directly from your local machine. You can only upload them from Google Drive. So unlike PowerPoint where you can record your audio directly in the application, you’ll need to record your audio separately for Google Slides, upload the audio to Google Drive, and then add it to your presentation from there.

This obviously isn’t limited to audio recordings. As long as the audio files are MP3 or WAV, you can upload any type of audio you like, including music.

RELATED: How to Convert a WAV File to MP3

Uploading Audio to Google Drive

If you don’t already have your audio file uploaded to Google Drive, head over to your Google Drive account and click the “New” button in the top-left corner of the window.

Click the New button.

Next, click “File Upload” in the menu that appears.

Click File Upload.

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File Explorer (or Finder on Mac) will open. Locate and select the file you want to upload and then click “Open.”

Click Open to upload the audio file.

How to Import Audio to Google Slides

Once the audio file is uploaded, open your Google Slides presentation that you’d like to add the audio to, click “Insert” in the menu bar, and then click “Audio.”

Click Insert and then click Audio from the menu.

The “Insert Audio” window will appear. In the “My Drive” tab, select the file you’d like to upload by clicking it.

Select the audio to upload.

Next, click the blue “Select” button in the bottom-left corner of the window.

Click Select.

A speaker icon in a grey circle will appear on the slide. You can resize the icon by clicking and dragging the handles that appear when selected. You can also rearrange the position of the icon by clicking and dragging it to the new location.

Underneath the icon, you’ll find the play/pause and volume options.

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You can also choose how and when the audio plays during the presentation. When you click the icon, the “Format Options” pane appears on the right-hand side of the window. You’ll automatically be in the “Audio Playback” group.

Under “Start Playing,” you can decide if you want the audio to play when you click the audio icon or if you want it to play automatically when you make it to the slide.

Play the audio automatically or on click.

You can also pre-set the volume of the audio during the presentation. Click and drag the slider under “Volume When Presenting” to adjust it.

Adjust the playback volume of the audio.

Underneath the slider, you’ll see these three options:

  • Hide Icon When Presenting – This option, as the name implies, hides the icon when you’re presenting. This option is only available if you selected the option for the audio to start playing automatically.
  • Loop Audio – Once your audio reaches the end, it will start over. This is ideal for background music during a wedding or graduation ceremony.
  • Stop on Slide Change – Once you move to the next slide, the audio will end.

Additional playback options.

That’s all there is to it. Adjust the playback options to fit the atmosphere of your presentation.

Now that you know how to add audio, try mastering other basic functions to create the ultimate slideshow.

RELATED: The Beginner's Guide to Google Slides

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI andĀ ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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