Not everyone is tied to the Microsoft Office suite these days, as more free cloud-based solutions are entering the market. You might be used to creating presentations in PowerPoint, but did you know Google offers
- a free presentation platform? Today we’re going to review this simple workaround to add audio to your next Google Slides presentation.
By default, Slides does not include support for audio files, but they can accommodate tracks from online audio services like Spotify or Soundcloud, or even from a YouTube video with this workaround. Let’s get started.
Add Audio with a Link
- From inside your Slides presentation select Insert > Text Box (or select the Text Box button on the toolbar) and insert a text box anywhere on the slide. (Be sure to have the copied link from the audio site you prefer).
- Paste some text into your text box (this will be visible in your presentation).
- Select the text box, from the toolbar select Add Link and paste in your audio link. The text box is now an active link.
- Move your text box to your desired location on your slide. You can also resize it to ‘hide’ it on the slide here.
- To play the audio in your presentation, head into presentation mode by selecting View > Present. While in your presentation, you can now click the link to play the audio track, it will open in a new browser tab, playing until you close it.
Cover the Link with an Image
Now, not all of us like the aesthetic a random url in a text box creates in our presentations (myself included). We can hide the url with an image to better suit the design of your presentation.
- From your Slides presentation select Insert > Image (or select the Insert Image button on the toolbar). Find your preferred image and select it to add to your presentation.
- Resize it using the arrow tool. Move it to where you want it to be in your slide.
- Select the image, select the Insert Link icon on the toolbar. Paste the track link into the prompt.
- To play the audio while viewing the presentation, click the image to play the audio track.
Add Audio with a YouTube Video
This can be achieved by pasting a YouTube url as part of the steps above, or you can insert the video onto your slide. Having the actual video in your slide allows you further control of the audio in your presentation because it will start/stop playing as you advance the slide.
- From your Slides presentation select Insert > Video.
- Browse using the YouTube search prompt that appears. Select the video you want to include in your slide.
- Resize the video by selecting it and using the arrow tool to drag it to your desired size and location.
- To play the video while viewing the presentation, simply hit next in your presentation as you transition through it. The video will stop playing when you advance the slide (giving you more control).
While Google Slides still doesn’t have all of the functionality that Microsoft’s PowerPoint has, as a free platform for basic presentations it’s pretty great. Most users don’t use a lot of the advanced PowerPoint features, so Slides might be a good fit for your next project.
Audio and video help keep your audience engaged throughout your presentations, hopefully the next time you’re in front of a crowd presenting your ideas, a little audio will keep everyone awake. Good luck!
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