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How to Add Voice-Over to Google Slides


By Dylan de Koning | 19th November 2021

Between Remote Working and Globalisation, there has never been a better time to add voice-over to Google Slides.

Whether you are looking to spruce up a lacklustre presentation, or add an audio element to an exportable slideshow so viewers can have a "presenter" no matter where or when they view. We will show you how to add voice-over to Google Slides to amplify your message for any audience.

Visual media and audio improve the learning of new ideas and concepts; the heart of a presentation. The Google Slides presentation itself is the visual aspect covered - voice-over will be the audio side. Adding voice-over to Google Slides offers a new experience, voiced presentation guides audiences, walking beside them, rather than expecting them to read slides of text.

Covid-19 showed how much we need to maximise exportable presentations, remotely. You might not be present to present after all! Adding voice-over to Google Slides allows you to immortalise your presentation to be viewed anytime, anywhere.

Now, let’s talk about recording & how to add voice-over to Google Slides. 


First Things First: Write a script

Thinking about recording your voice-over off-the-cuff? Think again. Adlibbing your slides is almost guaranteed to offer dismal results. A well written, appropriately structured piece of content is certain to outperform when compared to the "uhm"s and "ahh"s offered by spontaneous impromptu.

Remember, your voice-over is there to enhance the slides so your conversation should accompany the information you are offering visually. 

Always get feedback. If you are used to presenting, you might have an upper hand with what to say but always ask those around you for feedback on what you have written in your script. Reading your script out loud can also help at this stage. It will let you establish a tempo to deliver your lines and pick out where you want to insert a pause to allow your audience to process the information. 

The script stage is the perfect time to work out the kinks. The more finalised the script, the more perfect the recording, the less editing is needed. If you feel like you need more tips on writing your script, read 'How to write a voice-over script' for the 5 voice-over scriptwriting methods explained.


Recording software - Audacity

Google Slides do not offer an audio recording feature as part of the program so you will need to use a digital audio workstation (DAW). In this case, we will be using Audacity as it is free and easy to use. 

Audacity also allows you to record, edit and add effects to your voice-over so you won’t need to use multiple programs. 

There are some other options you might like to try: Garageband, Adobe Audition, Avid Pro Tools. But for our purposes, Audacity is fine.

First, download Audacity & select the option for your operating system. 

 

Select the 64-BIT INSTALLER link.

 

Select this file from your downloads once it has finished downloading.  

Continue pressing NEXT/ FINISH until Audacity has fully installed. 



How to record a voice-over on Audacity

Don't stress, the technical part is way less complicated than you'd think. 

First, you need to select the hardware that you will be using. Most likely you will be using a microphone as your recording (input) device and speakers as your playback (output) device. 

Select these devices by following this: EDIT > PREFERENCES > DEVICES. This will then allow you to select the input and output devices you will be using. 


Press OK to save these preferences.

To start a new recording, press TRACKS > ADD NEW > STEREO TRACK. Stereo recordings are usually the standard for most projects. 


It’s time to record, so grab that script and warm up your voice. 

Press the round red button to begin recording. You can pause the recording if you want to take a break or stop the recording when you are done with that slide. 

Remember to intentionally leave gaps in the audio between the points you make to allow your audience to process what you have said. It's also better to speak slow and clear as you don't want them having to restart the audio because they missed something.

Your recording will appear to you as a waveform so you can see where in the recording is audio and where is silence. 

Once you have stopped the recording, this will be your first audio file ready for editing. 


Editing: Keep it simple

Audacity gives more options for editing but the main three tools you will use are SELECT (F1), ZOOM (F4) and CUT (Ctrl + X). You don't want to go too far with the effects, it'll only distract from what you're saying. 

Before editing your audio, you will need to use the select tool to specify which part of the recording you want to edit. Any changes you make will then only apply to this section.

Use the CUT tool to completely remove this section of audio. This will then paste the non-selected audio on either side of this together as if that section had never been there. This is good if you make a mistake, repeat yourself or don’t end the recording immediately after speaking. 

To be as precise as possible when cutting parts of your audio, use the ZOOM tool. This will extend the audio waveform and allow you to see the visual representation of audio in clearer detail. 

I've described the most simple variation of editing your voice-over, however, if you need more help with editing, Try '7 Tips & Tricks for editing voice-over' for more ways to perfect your audio. 


Exporting

After you have recorded your audio file and you’re happy with how it sounds, you’re ready to export and save the file. 

To do this, click FILE and then hover over EXPORT. You will then be faced with a drop-down list of file types. 

EXPORT AS WAV is more likely to be used by professional sound engineers and will result in a much larger file. 

EXPORT AS MP3 will work just fine for a project like this. Select this option and save the audio recording to your desktop. 

Remember to save each recording with a name that allows you to identify which slide of your presentation the recording is for. 


Skip the Hard Part? 

Sometimes you might not want to record the voice-over yourself. 

Maybe your voice doesn’t match the tone of the project. Maybe you would rather have a voice that specialises in B2B voice-over to best impress your potential new client. Or your slides are specifically for young students and you want to engage them with a voice-over packed with energy.

Hiring a professional voice actor will give your project the extra kick that it needs. 

Our database of professional voice actors will help you find the perfect voice-over for your project. We have a large selection of voice actors and narrators to choose from and you can narrow them down by deciding on your preferred tone, characteristics, accent, and language. 

You can also get specialised attention throughout this step and get in touch and let our expert team help find the perfect voice-over for you. Simple. 


Add a Voice-Over to Google Slides

As Google Slides is a Google program, you first must add your audio files to your Google Drive to then use them in Google Slides. Create a new folder called "Audio Files", then drag and drop your audio files from your desktop to your Google Drive. 

To add your audio file to your slide, click INSERT > AUDIO. Then choose the file that coincides with your slide. 


A small audio icon will then appear on your slide which you can move to your preferred location. You can hide this icon in the FORMAT OPTIONS section. 


At the top right of the screen is the FORMAT OPTIONS section. Here you will have the choice of having your audio play when this audio icon is clicked, or you can have the audio play automatically when the slide begins. 

If you are presenting these slides, go for the ON CLICK option. This will allow you to play and pause the audio when necessary. If these slides will be accessed online, select the AUTOMATICALLY option, so the recipient doesn’t have to press the icon on each slide. The STOP ON SLIDE option should be chosen regardless so the audio stops when the slide is changed. 

Repeat this process with the audio file on each slide.

Remember to test your presentation once all audio files are added to make sure it’s the correct file with each slide and that all are working as intended. 


There is a multitude of reasons you may want to use voice-over in your slides, like teaching students or persuading a potential new client. This process should have successfully shown you how to add voice-over to Google Slides from writing the script to inserting the audio file. 

If your voice isn’t quite right for your project or your tech skills aren’t getting the job done, feel free to get in touch with the Voquent team who can help you with both.


Find Voice-Over talents for Presentations



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Dylan de Koning

Dylan de Koning

Dylan de Koning is a narrative writer, script reader and film buff from Scotland.

About Author

Dylan de Koning

Dylan de Koning

Dylan de Koning is a narrative writer, script reader and film buff from Scotland.






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