How To Do a Voiceover on PowerPoint?

This Hints and Tips post provides a step-by-step guide on how to do a voiceover in PowerPoint.

Did you know that PowerPoint has a voiceover or narration feature? PowerPoint's Record feature allows you to record your PowerPoint presentation with voiceover audio (and the option of video).

PowerPoint’s audio narration tools can be recorded and exported as a movie. You have two options for PowerPoint voiceovers:

  • Record voiceover slide by slide: Instead of recording audio in one continuous file, PowerPoint records voice slide per slide, allowing creators to simply re-record a section if you make a mistake or need to make an update later.
  • Record voiceover for entire presentation: You can also record audio for your entire PowerPoint presentation.  This is also great for practicing and reviewing your presentation before a meeting.

PowerPoint recognizes alternate inputs and will give you the option to use either your device's built-in microphone or an additional microphone or headset.  The process is almost identical for both PC and PowerPoint for Mac users.

PowerPoint Voice Over Recording Options

There are quite a few options available in PowerPoint! You can:

  • Record audio for single PowerPoint slide: Narrate specific slides one at a time. Great if you just need to add context to a slide, e.g. to share additional contextual information or seek review input from a colleague.
  • Record audio for entire PowerPoint presentation: record your presentation in one go. Perfect if you're well prepared with your talking points!
  • Record video and audio PowerPoint presentation, or just audio: for either the single slide or full presentation audio recording, you also have an option to record video. If you record video with Audio, on playback a small window appears in the bottom right of your PowerPoint presentation showing the video.

Getting Started: What do you need to do PowerPoint Voiceovers?

There are a couple of preparation activities to take care of before you start recording.

To record your PowerPoint voice-over, you need a microphone. Most laptops and desktops come with a built-in microphone - but a USB microphone can significantly improve the audio quality of your recording.

If you plan to record Video along with your narration, you also need a camera. Again, most computers have a built in camera, but you can also use a separate webcam. Either way, position your camera/ device before you start.

PowerPoint auto detects your microphones and cameras (both built-in and added USB devices) for recording. However if you have more than one microphone and/ or camera connected to your computer, ensure you select your preferred device(s) before starting. You do this from the Recording screen:

From the Insert tab from the PowerPoint ribbon, Click on Audio button. Next select the option Record Audio from the two options given., by clicking on the sound icon with the gear beside it (refer to the screenshot image below).

screenshot of PowerPoint record audio screen showing how to select microphone
Screenshot of PowerPoint record audio screen showing how to select microphone and camera

Presenter notes can assist you to create a successful narration. You don't want to seem like you're reading from your notecards, just as you wouldn't in a live presentation. If you use the speaker notes feature in PowerPoint, you can click the Notes icon in the Recording screen to display your speaker notes while you record.

Screenshot of PowerPoint record audio screen showing speaker notes from the PowerPoint presentation

How To Voice Over PowerPoint Single Slide at a Time?

The easiest way to voice over for a PowerPoint presentation is by narrating a single slide at a time. There are two ways to start your recording

Follow these steps to narrate your single slide with audio:

  • Click the Insert tab from the PowerPoint ribbon.
  • Click on Audio from multiple features available (Note that depending on your screen size and resolution, PowerPoint groups features on the Ribbon. If your Ribbon has grouped features, you would click the Media group, then Audio - as shown in the screenshot below).
  • Select the option “Record Audio” from the two options given.
Screenshot of PowerPoint showing button to record audio highlighted
  • Type in the title/name you would like to use for your voice-over narration.
  • Click on the start icon (with a red dot on it) to start recording the voice-over for the PowerPoint presentation.
Screenshot of PowerPoint showing Record Popup menu enter name for Recording
  • When you are done, click on the Stop icon. Now the icon of recording sound will disappear, and instead, a speaker will be shown on the slide, indicating that this slide has a voice-over for it.
  • To review your recording, simply click on the Speaker icon and click Play to hear your presentation narration.
Screenshot of PowerPoint showing speaker icon for playback and recording playback bar

When satisfied, click anywhere outside the playback speaker box to save your PowerPoint Voice over.

How To Voice Over PowerPoint Single Slide at a Time (with Video)

As an alternative to accessing via the Insert tab, you can click on the SlideShow tab on the PowerPoint ribbon

Next select

How To Voice Over Entire PowerPoint Presentation?

You can also record PowerPoint voice-over for your entire presentation in one go. This is great for rehearsing a presentation or where you already feel confident and ready to deliver!

To record a voice over for an entire PowerPoint presentation:

  • Open the PowerPoint slide from which you want to start recording the presentation.
  • Click the Slideshow tab on the PowerPoint Ribbon
  • Choose the Record feature button
  • Select either “From Current Slide” if you want to start narrating from a specific slide in your presentation or “From the beginning” if you want to start recording a voice-over from the first slide.
Screenshot of PowerPoint showing Record Audio options: From Current Slide and From Beginning
  • PowerPoint's Recording window will open, indicating the start of recording your audio. There are a number of features available in the Record window to enhance your recording, including:
    • Video: PowerPoint includes an option to record video with your audio recording. Toggle the image of the person in the bottom right to turn video recording preview window on or off.
    • Laser Pointer: you can turn on the laser pointer while recording to draw attention to specific words or diagrams on your slides
    • Ink: draw on your PowerPoint slides with either a pen (fine line) or highlighter (chunky line) to add emphasis while recording your narration. Select from a range of color options.
    • Eraser: use the eraser to erase ink marks from your slides
    • Notes: click the down arrow at the top of screen beside the word Notes to display the speaker notes for each slide as you present.
  • Click on the Red Record button at the top left corner of the screen to start recording.
  • You can control whether you want to show your face in narration by clicking the profile icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Screenshot of PowerPoint Recording window

If you need to redo your audio recording, click on the Clear button, an X at the top right of the screen (refer to the screenshot below). When you click on the X you will see two options - to clear the recordings on the current slide or to clear recordings from all slides in your PowerPoint presentation.

Screenshot of PowerPoint Recording window showing button for how to delete recordings
  • Click the Advance button (forward arrow) to move to the next slide when you are ready.
  • When you have finished recording, click the Stop icon in the top left corner.
  • Once you have returned to the standard PowerPoint editing screen, you can view the recording on any of the slides that you did a voice-over for. Simply click the sound icon which appears on the slide (or the presenter video preview, if you recorded with video). Refer to the screenshot below to see an example of the PowerPoint audio recording playback bar and presenter video preview (highlighted with a red box).
Screenshot of PowerPoint showing Record Audio playback bar and video preview

How to delete a PowerPoint Voice Over?

There are a few options for removing voiceover audio from your presentation.

To remove voiceover from a specific slide in a PowerPoint presentation:

  • Find and click on the relevant slide
  • Select the sound icon on the slide
  • Press the Delete key

To remove voiceover from all slides in a PowerPoint presentation:

  • Select the Slide Show tab from the Ribbon
  • Click the Record feature button which will display a drop down menu
  • Navigate down to Clear and then click Clear narrations on all slides to delete the voice-over from all PowerPoint slides in your presentation.
Screenshot of PowerPoint showing how to delete voiceovers in PowerPoint by selecting Clear Narrations

This how to guide for how to record voiceovers in PowerPoint was bought to you by the PPT Productivity team. PPT Productivity is a timesaving add-in for PowerPoint that makes it easier to create, refine and reuse great looking PowerPoint slides. Visit our main website to check out the features and download your free 30 day trial.

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