You will need
- A PC or Mac running the latest version of PowerPoint
- A PowerPoint presentation saved as a .pptx file
If your slides are saved in the older .ppt format, upgrade the file to .pptx before attempting to record audio.
For the best sound quality, you may want to use an external mic (for instance, a USB headset). If you are using a headset, check that it is not muted.
Students and staff at Edinburgh can download the latest Microsoft Office software here.
If you’re a staff member creating lecture content, please use the R(D)SVS PowerPoint Template.
How to add audio to your presentation
In PowerPoint, click Slide Show:
Record Slide Show > Start Recording from Beginning…
In the window that pops up, leave both boxes ticked and click Start Recording
Do a one minute test recording before you continue to record your whole presentation. In some cases, users have reported audio recordings in PowerPoint failing to record audio after 40 seconds. If this happens on a computer at R(D)SVS, contact the Digital Education Unit for assistance.
Check the quality of the audio. Listen back to your test recording with the computer’s volume at 50% and check that your voice is audible.
Recordings are added to the presentation on a per-slide basis, so if you want to change a recording, you only have to re-record the affected slide or slides. Also, you can rearrange the order of slides after recording without having to re-record anything. This also means it’s easy to pause for a break while recording a presentation.
PowerPoint doesn’t record audio during transitions between slides, so don’t speak while advancing the slide. Also, include a brief buffer of silence at the beginning and the end of each slide to make the transitions smooth and ensure that you don’t cut off audible narration while transitioning from one slide to the next.
If you make a mistake
To re-record a single slide, select that slide in PowerPoint before starting to record the narration. Click the drop down arrow under ‘Record Slide Show’ to choose Start Recording from Current Slide.
If you want to re-record one slide only, do the recording and stop the slideshow without moving on to the next slide. To stop the slideshow, press the Esc key.
You can record a single slide or a series of slides in this manner.
Please note: if you start re-recording, every slide you open during the narration will have the pre-existing narration scrubbed. Keep saving a backup and do not move on to a slide which you do not want to re-record or you will scrub the sound.
When you’re done
To finish the recording, either:
- Run through to the last slide
- Close the recording pop-up menu at the top right of the screen, or
- Press the ‘Esc’ key
Then save the presentation.
Send us the presentation
A PowerPoint file with audio narration attached can be quite large. Read our guide to reducing the size of a PowerPoint file.
If you’re a student, you will most likely need to submit your file through Learn. Please see the relevant information in the Assessment section of your course.
If you’re a staff member sending us lecture content, please send us your file via one of the following three ways:
More detailed instructions
You can find more detailed instructions (and video instructions) for recording a PowerPoint with audio on the Microsoft website: