How to Add Narration to a PowerPoint Presentation

How to add narration to a PowerPoint presentationCan a presentation be a presentation without a presenter? It’s no secret that a spokesperson’s voice and movements draw attention better than static images and text. Luckily, modern technologies let us give asynchronous presentations a human face and voice. Read this article to see how to add an audio or video narration to PowerPoint presentations.

Enhance your presentation

Audio and video narrations help turn a plain set of slides into a standalone course that is ideal for self-studying. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how to import ready narrations or record voice-overs and videos with iSpring Presenter, which works as a PowerPoint add-in. The tool combines slides and presenter video in a customizable player, and converts your video presentation to online mobile-ready formats.

With iSpring Presenter, you can add one or more audio/video narrations to your PowerPoint presentation. There are two options available:

  • Add one audio/video narration for each slide;
  • Import one or more audio/video narrations that will play over several slides.

Whether you only want to import an existing audio/video file (e.g.: background music or sound effects), or record a voiceover/explainer video, this step-by-step guide will take you through the process.

Record your audio or video narration

The first step on the road to successful audio/video recording is making sure your microphone/webcam is properly connected to your PC. Once you’ve checked it, we’re ready to go.

  1. Download iSpring Presenter for free
  2. Open your PowerPoint presentation that you wish to enhance with a narration. On the PowerPoint toolbar, click the iSpring Presenter tab.
    The iSpring Presenter 8 tab in PowerPoint
  3. To record a voiceover, click the Record Audio button on the menu bar.
    The Record Audio button on the iSpring Presenter toolbar

    On the open Record panel, choose the slide that you want to synchronize with the narration. Record Audio Narration window in iSpring Presenter

    The Narration Recorder in iSpring Presenter contains the built-in slide notes, where you can paste the script of your voiceover. It’s also possible to record the audio for one slide only. To do that, select the Process current slide only checkbox.

    Now click the Start Record button. While you’re recording your voice, the presentation will be playing, which means you can synchronize your narration with slides and animations on the fly. Whenever there’s an effect on your slide, the Start Record button will be replaced with the Next Slide/Next Animation/Skip Transition buttons that you can click in the appropriate moments.

    Once you’re done recording, click Stop and then OK.

  4. Before starting to record a video narration, we recommend you read these tips on creating captivating video presentations. The article explains what knowledge and skills are needed to make an effective video presentation that will really engage an audience.

    Now that you’re ready to move on, once again go to the iSpring Presenter toolbar, and this time click the Record Video button.The Record Video button on the iSpring Presenter toolbar

    The functional design of the video editor is just the same as that of the audio editor. You can use the slide notes on the right to paste the script of your video narration.

    To record video for one slide, select the Process current slide only checkbox.

    When you’re ready, click the Start Record button. The presentation will start playing.

    To synchronize it with your animation and transition effects, click the Next Slide/Next Animation/Skip Transition buttons that will replace the Start Record button every time there’s an effect in your presentation.

    Once you’re done recording, click Stop and then OK.

Import ready narrations

  1. To import an audio file, click the Manage Narration button on the iSpring Presenter ribbon. Download iSpring Presenter for free
    The Manage Narration button on the iSpring Presenter toolbar
  2. In the Narration Editor, you can see a second-by-second timeline of slides and audio. If you want your audio or video to start at a particular moment of the presentation, place your cursor accordingly on the timeline.
    Placing cursor on the editor’s timeline

    To import an audio file, click Audio on the Narration Editor ribbon and choose one or more files that you wish to add. To import a video file, click the Video button on the Narration Editor ribbon. iSpring Presenter supports the following audio and video formats: WAV, MP3, WMA, AVI, WMV, MPG, MP4, and MKV.

    The Audio and Video buttons on the editor’s toolbar

  3. In the Import Audio/Import Video window, specify whether the file(s) should be inserted at the current cursor position or at the beginning of the chosen slide. Note that with iSpring Presenter, you don’t necessarily have to synchronize the duration of slides and audio/video. To let the program automatically adjust each slide duration to the duration of a narration, select the Adjust slide duration option as shown in the screenshot below.

    The Import Audio window in iSpring Presenter

    The Import Video window in iSpring Presenter

    If you’ve added more than one file, they will be imported in alphabetical order. All the imported files are automatically saved in the presentation resource folder, so that they won’t get lost even if you move the presentation to another folder or computer.

Fine-Tune Your Narrations

Once you’ve inserted a narration, you can edit it right in iSpring Presenter to make it just perfect.

  1. The main part of the Narration Editor is the timeline that shows the sequence of inserted clips and the slides of your presentation. When working with the timeline, you can adjust its scale to make all slides fit it without scrolling. A quick way to zoom in and out your timeline is to use the Zoom to Slide and Show All options on the editor’s ribbon.
  2. The Zoom buttons on the editor’s toolbar

  3. To adjust the duration of slides, move their borders. If you want to move a given slide border without changing the positions of the other borders, drag a slide border while holding the Shift button on the keyboard.
  4. You can even synchronize your narration(s) with the animations of your presentation to make them more vivid and engaging. All you need to do is to move the animation effects, which are displayed as yellow bars on your timeline.
  5. Animations on the editor’s timeline

  6. To delete one of the inserted clips, select it on the timeline and press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  7. To replace the current clip with another one, right-click on the given clip on the timeline and from the drop-down list choose the Change Audio/Video Clip option.
  8. Change Clip option on the editor’s timeline

    iSpring Presenter has a built-in Audio/Video Editor that allows you to add silence, trim clips, remove noise or use fade effects, all of which can be applied to both audio and video files, except for adding silence. To access the Audio/Video Editor, select the desired clip on the timeline and click the Edit Clip button on the toolbar.

  9. To delete a part of your narration, click and drag to select the desired fragment, and press the Delete button.
  10. The Delete button on the Video Editor’s toolbar

  11. To insert silence at any place in your audio narration, place the cursor on the part you wish to mute, then click the Silence button on the ribbon. Then indicate the duration of the silence and click OK.
  12. The Silence button on the Video Editor’s toolbar

  13. Often, narrators have an extra second or two of silence at the beginning and/or end. If the silent parts seem unnaturally long, you can easily trim them off. To do that, select the part of your audio/video narration that you want to keep, then click the Trim button on the toolbar. The sections of your audio/video clip outside the selected area will be removed.
  14. The Trim button on the Video Editor’s toolbar

  15. If you notice background noise in your audio or video narration, you can easily get rid of it using the relevant option in iSpring Presenter. Select the noise part of your narration, click Remove Noise on the toolbar, and in the open window confirm it by clicking Remove Noise. If you’re already an expert at removing noise, you can select the option Don’t show this window again to skip the instructions in the future.
  16. The Remove Noise button on the Video Editor’s toolbar

  17. If the audio or video you’ve inserted is too quiet or too loud, that’s not a problem! Click the Adjust Volume button on the toolbar and increase or decrease your clip’s volume in the open window.
  18. The Adjust Volume button on the Video Editor’s toolbar

  19. To create a seamless transition from one part of your narration to another, set fade effects. Select the part of your clip that you want to fade, then click the Fade In and/or Fade Out buttons on the toolbar.

Finally, here’s what our video presentation looks like:

Conclusion

Audio and video narrations definitely help breathe life into your PowerPoint slides. In fact, silent presentations, no matter how beautiful or engaging, concede to narrated presentations that direct the learner’s attention to course material as it is shown.

In this guide, we used iSpring Presenter 8. Apart from adding multimedia, it enhances PowerPoint presentations with tests and surveys, and publishes the result to online mobile-ready formats.

Don’t hesitate to download a free 30-day trial of iSpring Presenter 8

If you have any ideas or suggestions on the topic, let us know in the comments below! We’re curious about your insights!

Posted in Presentation Tips & Tricks, Related Posts