How to Add Music & Sound to Google Slides Presentations PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 08:55

Music can provide just the right element of interest to your Google Slides presentation. Most people relate well to music, and the right track can help your presentation to be more memorable.

Whether you're working on a business presentation or need to submit a presentation for a class, you can add sound to Google Slides. You just need to know what to do.

Although Google Slides doesn't include an Insert Audio option, that doesn't mean you can't include music with your presentation. There are still ways to incorporate music and other sounds.

How to add sound to Google Slides presentations
Are you ready to add sound or music to your Google Slides presentations. (graphic source)

In this tutorial, we'll show you two different methods that will allow you to add sound to your Google Slides presentation if you have access to a computer with an Internet connection during the your presentation.

Find the Right Soundtrack

When choosing music or sounds for your Google Slides presentation, keep in mind three factors:

  1. Your audience
  2. Your topic
  3. Your brand

While you may be tempted to pick a soundtrack that suits your personal taste, that choice may not work well for a professional presentation.

Also, think about whether you're going to speak over the soundtrack, or whether you are going to wait for the soundtrack to finish before you speak. If you're going to use the soundtrack as background music, softer instrumental music will work better than loud vocals.

Caution: Always make sure that you own the rights to use the music or sounds that you share in your presentation. You can look for Royalty Free music, or share your own music tracks. You can also find great royalty-free soundtracks at Envato's AudioJungle marketplace.

Best royalty-free audio and music tracks on AudioJungle
Find the best royalty-free audio tracks on AudioJungle.

Method 1. Insert a Link to a Streaming Music Service

One way to add music and soundtracks to your Google Slides presentation is to insert a hyperlink in the presentation that links to a soundtrack that you have the rights to use on a streaming music service. There are many streaming music services available. Here are just a few examples:

This method of adding sound works best on an opening slide since you can start the soundtrack as the audience is coming into the room. Also, you'll need to be present when the presentation is shown to start and stop the soundtrack. Plus, you'll need to be connected to the Internet.

Here's how to use a streaming music service with your Google Slides presentation: 

Step 1. Open Your Presentation

To start, open the presentation you are going to add sound to on Google Drive. In this instance, we'll use this short sample presentation, which is based on the Swift Minimal Google Slides template:

Open your Google Slides Presentation
Start by opening your presentation in Google Slides. 

Go to the slide where you want to insert sound. For this example, I want to open the presentation with a soundtrack, so I will work with the opening slide.

Step 2. Open Your Music Service

The next step is to open your music service and find the track that you have the rights to use.

In this case, I'm going to use SoundCloud's streaming service, so I type in the URL: https://soundcloud.com. The main SoundCloud screen appears:

SoundCloud Screen
Open SoundCloud.

Log in to the service. If you own the rights to use a soundtrack, you can upload it to SoundCloud. If you are not the original author, be sure to honor any licensing arrangements you have made. You can also set the privacy on SoundCloud to Private Sharing. This limits who has access to the soundtracks you upload. Learn more about Private Sharing on SoundCloud.

Locate the soundtrack you wish to use in your presentation on SoundCloud. Click the title of the soundtrack. A screen opens featuring the selected track:

SoundCloud Music Tracks
A list of music tracks on SoundCloud.

Note: You can purchase a license to the tracks in the illustration through AudioJungle, including the Happy Children track.

Click on the sharing tool beneath the track you want to use to get the link to include in your presentation. The SoundCloud Sharing screen displays:

SoundCloud Sharing Screen
The URL link to the selected track.

At the bottom of the screen you'll see the URL of your sound track. We'll return to this screen in a minute, but first we want to insert a graphic to attach the link to and to help hide it.

Step 3. Insert a Graphic

For this example, we're going to hide the link to the soundtrack with a graphic. For this presentation, we'll use a clever media icon from GraphicRiver that looks like a radio button.

Media sound and music icons on GraphicRiver
Media sound and music icons, available from GraphicRiver.

Start with your slide open:

The Insert Drop-Down Menu in Google Slides
Click the Image option on the Insert drop-down menu.

Click Insert > Image. The Insert Image dialog box displays:

Insert Image Dialog Box
Choose an image to upload.

Click the Choose an image to upload button from the center of the screen. File Explorer opens. Find your image in File Explorer and click on it to select it. Then, click the Open button. Your image is inserted onto the slide:

Slide With Image in GoogleSlides
Your graphic image appears on the slide.

Drag the image to where you want it to be on the slide. For this example, I want the graphic to appear in the lower right corner:

Positioning the Image
The small graphic image has been moved to the lower right corner.

If you want to, you can use the blue handles to resize the graphic. If you don't want your audience to notice the graphic, you can make it really small.

You're now ready to attach a link to the graphic in your presentation.

Step 4. Insert a Link

Return to the Sharing screen of your streaming music service (from Step 2). Highlight the URL you want to insert into your presentation and press CTRL + C to copy it to your clipboard. Return to your presentation.

With the graphic selected (the blue handles will be visible), click Insert > Link. The system prompts you to insert the link:

Link Prompt in GoogleSlides
At the prompt, insert a link.

Click in the prompt and press CTRL + V to copy the link from your clipboard into the box. Click the Apply button when you are finished. Your soundtrack is now linked to the graphic.

If you don't want to attach your music link to an image, you could also link it to text instead. Highlight the text and then click Insert > Link. Copy the music link at the prompt:

Link Prompt for Text
You can also link a soundtrack to text in your Google Slides presentation.

Click Apply when you are done. Make sure the text color is set to be noticeable, so that you can readily see the text with the link applied.

Step 5. Click the Link to Play

To play the soundtrack during your presentation, click the Present option in the right of the screen to start the presentation:

Google Slides Present Option
Presenting your Google Slides presentation with music.

The presentation takes up the entire screen. Click the icon with the link to your soundtrack. Or, if you linked your soundtrack to text, click on the linked text.

Another tab opens in Windows. Your streaming audio tool, in this case, SoundCloud, opens to your linked soundtrack:

Streaming Audio Tool
Click the Play icon.

Click the Play icon in the streaming audio tool. Your track begins to play. Leave the Windows tab with your streaming audio tool open, but switch to the Windows tab showing your presentation. Your Google Slides presentation now has a musical accompaniment.

To end the music, return to the tab with your streaming audio tool and click the Play icon again to turn the soundtrack off.

Note: If you use this method, be aware that the music does not automatically end when you advance your slide. You have to turn it off through the streaming audio tool.

There's a second way to add music and sound to your Google Slides presentation. Let's take a look.

Method 2. Insert a Video With Sound

In this method, you'll embed a YouTube video with a soundtrack. You'll minimize the video so that it isn't obvious to your audience. When you play the video, the effect is that your Google Slides presentation has a soundtrack.

Note: Always make sure that you have the rights to use any third-party media, such as a YouTube video, when including them in your presentation.

The advantage to this second method of adding music and sound is that Google Slides includes an AutoPlay setting. This means that you do not need to be present when the presentation is shown. You could use this method for a presentation accessed by your audience online. You will, however, need an Internet connection.

Here's how to use a video to add sound and music to your Google Slides presentation, step by step:

Step 1. Open Your Presentation

To start, open the presentation you are going to add sound to. For this example, we'll use the same short sample presentation:

Open your Google Slides Presentation
Open the presentation you want to add sound to.

Go to the slide where you want to insert sound. In this case, I still want to open the presentation with a soundtrack, so I leave it on the opening slide.

Step 2. Insert Video

Select Insert > Video from the main menu. Here's where to find those menu options:

Insert Dropdown Menu
The Video option on the Insert drop-down menu.

The Insert video dialog box displays:

Insert Video Dialog Box in GoogleSlides
Use the Insert Video dialog box to link to a video.

You can choose to insert a video by searching YouTube, by URL, or from Google Drive.

Since I know the URL of the video I am going to insert, I click the By URL option. The Insert Video dialog box prompts me to enter the YouTube URL:

Insert URL in GoogleSlides
Paste the URL of the video with the soundtrack you which to use into the dialog box.

Paste the URL of the YouTube video you want to insert into the prompt and click the Select button in the left corner to insert your selected video.

You'll see a thumbnail of your selected video on the slide:

Google Slide with Inserted Video
The video is inserted on your slide.

Make sure that the video is selected (you'll see eight blue handles around the edges of the video). Then, drag the video to the location where you want it to be on your slide. In this case, I want to put it in the lower right corner of the slide.

Step 3. Size the Video

Your video is in place on your Google Slide, but it is still quite large:

Positioning the Video in Google Slides
Drag the video where you would like it to be on your slide.

The size of this video could be quite distracting for the audience. You may want to minimize it so it's barely visible to your audience. Click one of the blue handles on the corner of your video diagonally to minimize it. Your cursor should look like a double-headed arrow:

Sizing a Video Thumbnail
Use the blue handles around the video thumbnail to change the size.

You can make the video quite small. Once you get it to the size you want, you're ready to set up autoplay. You'll do that using Video Options panel in Google Slides.

Step 4. Define Video Options

Select the video on your slide and right-click. A drop-down menu displays:

Dropdown Menu in Google Slides
Select Video options from the drop-down menu.

Click the Video options selection. You'll see the Video Options side panel on the right of your screen:

Video Options Side Panel in Google Slides
Click in the check box next to the Autoplay when presenting option.

Towards the bottom of the Video Options panel, there is a check box to the left of the Autoplay when presenting option. (The box is hard to see because it's nearly clear, but it will become visible when you click in it.) Click in the check box to select this option.

You can also define the length of time that your video plays by using the Start at and End at fields. However, the length of time you spend on the slide with the embedded video is what ultimately determines how long the video plays. The video will stop playing as soon as you advance to the next slide.

When you have finished defining video options, close the panel. To close the Video Options panel, click the white X in the upper right corner.

You are now ready to make your presentation play.

Step 5. Play Your Presentation

To play the YouTube video during your Google Slides presentation, use the Present option in the right of the screen to start the presentation:

Google Slides Present Option
Presenting your Google Slides presentation.

The presentation plays. When the presentation reaches the slide with the embedded YouTube video, the music plays automatically for as long as that slide is on the screen.

Reminder: The video is tied to the slide where you have embedded it. When your Google Slides presentation moves to the next slide, the music stops playing.

Conclusion

If you've wondered how to put music on Google Slides, now you know two ways to do it quickly. Adding music to a Google Slides presentation can be tricky, but it is quite possible to hack a solution together.

You can add music by linking to a streaming music service from within your presentation. Or, you can embed a YouTube video with music into your presentation.

Adding sound or music to your Google Slides presentation helps engage your audience and attract their attention. A good sound track can also make your presentation more memorable and help you to create a more professional presentation. 

Discover more of Google Slides powerful presentation tools. Or, learn additional ways you can creatively engage your presentation audience: 

How do you grab your audiences attention? And, keep them interested throughout your presentation?

Read more: Envato Tuts+ Business