October 4, 2023

How to add music to Google Slides: A step-by-step guide

Want to spice up your Google Slides presentations? Learn how to add music to your Google Slides in this step-by-step guide.
October 4, 2023

How to add music to Google Slides: A step-by-step guide

Want to spice up your Google Slides presentations? Learn how to add music to your Google Slides in this step-by-step guide.
October 4, 2023
Elsier Otachi
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When you make presentations, you probably spend most of your time deciding on fonts, arrangements, and images. Heck, maybe you’ve spent 30 minutes just aligning and adjusting objects on a single PowerPoint slide. We’ve all been there. 

Obviously, these are important for a compelling presentation, but to really take your project to the next level, you’ll want to add music. Not only does music make presentations more fun, but it can also set a specific mood so your message gets through in the right way and sticks in people’s minds. 

Luckily, Google Slides makes inserting audio files into your presentation as painless as possible.

This tutorial explores the benefits of including audio in a presentation and how to add music to Google Slides to make your content shine.

3 benefits of adding audio to your Google Slides

Audio works wonders in a presentation. Here’s an overview of some of the top benefits.

Enhanced engagement

Adding the right audio clip to your presentation sets the tone for your audience, piquing their interest and even hinting at what information you’ll share.

Take Apple, for example. The company is well known for using excellent music and video presentations that captivate its audience, keeping them engaged to the end. In one of its WWDC keynotes, Vera Carr, Apple’s Special Projects Group director, played upbeat music to showcase the improved Workout app.

Clarification and emphasis

You want your audience to focus on your words and your slides. A complex topic, for example, might be hard to explain without media elements. 

Audio can capture your audience's attention and spark interest, so they don't get bored reading text-heavy slides. Moreover, listening requires less effort than reading, making your content easier to understand.

Emotional impact

Studies show that music affects how we perceive the world and how we form memories. Adding music, sounds, and voices to a presentation can evoke different emotions, making it more immersive, lively, or appealing for your audience. 

For example, upbeat music can shift the atmosphere to be more optimistic and exciting, while slower, gentle background music makes your audience more contemplative. 

Next, let’s look at a few different ways you can add music to Google Slides.

How to add music to Google Slides: 4 ways to do it

Whether you’re preparing for a large conference or just a one-on-one sales pitch, you can add audio elements like background music, voiceovers, or sound effects to give your presentation a little extra oomph.

Here are four different methods for adding audio files to Google Slides.

Insert audio from Google Drive

When adding music to Google Slides, you need to upload the file to Google Drive before inserting it into your slide deck. 

Step 1: Prepare your music file

You can use your own audio in a presentation or pick royalty-free audio tracks from sites like Pixabay, YouTube Audio Library, or the Free Music Archive

Step 2: Upload and save audio file to Google Drive

Next, sign in to your Google Drive account, then select New (+) at the top left side of your My Drive screen.

Adding a new file to My Drive

Choose File upload

Selecting File upload from Drive menu options.

Find your audio file and select Open. Your file should start uploading to Google Drive.

Choosing an audio file from Mac computer

Step 3: Share your audio

Once the audio file is uploaded to Google Drive, right-click the file then select Share > Share

Sharing audio file from My Drive

⚡TIP: If your mouse’s right-click function is disabled or not working, you can either select the file then click on the Share icon, or select the file, click on the ellipsis (three dots) on the right and select Share > Share

Change the access settings from Restricted to Anyone with the link.

Changing file sharing settings in My Drive

Set the sharing permissions to Viewer.

Changing file to Viewer access

Select Done.

Step 4: Add the audio file to Google Slides

Go to Google Slides and select an existing presentation or select New (+) to create one. 

choosing-a-presentation-to-add-audio-to

Select the slide you want to add the audio file to then choose Insert > Audio from the toolbar.

Selecting insert audio from Google Slides menu

Choose your audio file from your Google Drive, then select Insert.

Inserting file from My Drive

A speaker icon will appear on the slide you selected along with a menu with formatting options on the right-hand sidebar. Here, you can choose whether the audio will play on click or automatically, increase or reduce the volume level, or change the icon color, and more.

Showing the audio playback icon on Google slide

Click on the audio playback icon to play the file or drag it wherever you want it to appear on the slide.

Insert audio from a URL

You can also add music to Google Slides using a URL or link to the file’s location on the web or streaming services like SoundCloud, YouTube Music, Apple Music, or Spotify, though this method is pretty cumbersome.

Note: For this guide, we’ll insert music using a link or URL from a SoundCloud file. Make sure you’re connected to the internet to play the audio during your presentation.

Here’s how to make a slideshow with music:

Step 1: Find the soundtrack you want to use

Open SoundCloud in a browser window and find the page with the soundtrack you want to use. Before using the file, check to make sure it’s not copyrighted, it has a Creative Commons license, and/or it’s public domain content. 

Finding an audio file link on SoundCloud

Step 2: Select Copy Link to copy the URL of the soundtrack.

Copying a link on SoundCloud

Step 3: Insert the URL in your Google Slides presentation

Select the slide you want to add the URL or link to, then choose Insert in the menu bar.

Choosing the Insert menu in Google Slides

Select Link.

Choosing the option to insert a link in Google Slides

Paste the link in the blank link text box then select Apply.

Adding the link to Google Slides presentation

Select Slideshow to test whether the audio file will play during your presentation.

Adjusting the content associated with music link in slide

Click on the area containing the link. It will open in a new browser tab or window with the page you picked the audio file from. Select the Play button then minimize the browser to return to your presentation.

SoundCloud interface with play button highlighted

To stop the audio, go back to the web page and click on the Pause or Stop button.

Record your own narration

Most slide presentations consist of chunks of disconnected text in bullet points. Without additional explanations, your audience might not make sense of the presentation.

Adding narration to the presentation strengthens your message. It also: 

  • Allows you to provide instructions or emphasize key points
  • Makes it a standalone resource that people can view any time
  • Makes it more accessible to different members of your audience
  • Creates a different mood in your audience
  • Changes the pace or tone of your presentation
  • Boosts viewers’ ability to absorb and retain the content better 

Here’s how to add narration to Google Slides.

Step 1: Record your narration

Record your narration before adding it to your presentation. A quick way to do this is using Descript’s voice recorder, which lets you record your voice with studio-quality sound and save or export it as an MP3, AAC, or WAV file. 

image

Step 2: Upload your file to Google Drive and share

Repeat the steps for uploading an audio file to Google Drive. Then share the file, setting the access permissions to “Anyone with the link can be a viewer.”

Step 3: Add the narration to Google Slides

Select the slide you want to add your narration to then select Insert > Audio. You’ll see a speaker icon on the slide indicating the audio has been added to your presentation. 

Inserting audio link to a slide

Step 4: Preview your presentation

Select Slideshow to preview your slide in presentation mode and test whether the narration plays as it should. 

Highlighted audio playback button

Use YouTube videos with audio

Another way to add audio to your Google Slides presentation is to embed a YouTube video. Note that some video owners copyright their YouTube content, so you can’t share it via Google Slides. 

Step 1: Open YouTube and find the video you want to use

Open YouTube and play the video, noting the start and end time timestamps for the section you want to add to your presentation. You can also create a video and upload it to your YouTube channel, then add its URL to Google Slides.

Still image of of YouTube video

⚡TIP: Descript’s YouTube video editor can help you set the portion of the video you want by adjusting the text in the generated transcript—just like editing a Word document. 

Step 2: Copy the YouTube video link

Select Share or copy the link to the YouTube video.

Copying the share link of a YouTube video

Step 3: Add the link to your Google Slides presentation

Open your presentation in Google Slides, select the slide that will play the file, then select Insert > Video.

Adding a YouTube video link to Google Slide

Select YouTube then paste the YouTube video link you copied earlier. 

Adding link to YouTube video uploader

Next, select the video and click Insert.

Clicking on YouTube video to add to Google Slides

A thumbnail preview of the YouTube video will appear on the slide. You can hide the video behind a picture or resize it and move it to a new location in your presentation.

Adjusting YouTube video embedded on Google Slide

Note: Google Slides updated the playback options for videos. By default, the video will play on click as you go through your presentation. You can change the playback mode using the “Video playback” drop-down settings to autoplay when presenting.

Video playback options in Google Slides

Elevate your Google Slides with Descript

Descript is an all-in-one, AI-powered tool for creating and editing audio and video files. 

You can create an audio recording and add transitions like fade in, fade out, or crossfade. Alternatively, you can extract audio from other audio files or record yourself while screen sharing your slides to create a slideshow video.

Descript also enhances voice recordings with AI, leaving you with ready-to-edit audio you can use in a presentation or podcast. The software automatically transcribes your audio, then identifies and removes annoying filler words so your recordings sound rehearsed.

You’ll save tons of time and create quality presentations that leave a lasting impression.

FAQs

How do you add Spotify songs to Google Slides?

You can add Spotify songs to Google Slides by copying and inserting the link to the song you want to add to your presentation. However, Spotify doesn’t play songs in a presentation like your local audio file would. Instead, it will open the Spotify web or desktop app to play the song.

How do you add music from Apple Music to Google Slides?

To add an Apple Music track to Google Slides, copy the song link, then insert it into a slide in your presentation. The song will open in the Apple Music web-based player. In some cases, it will play a preview of the audio file, depending on your location, whether you’re signed in to your account, or whether you’re using the web player and desktop app concurrently.

What audio file formats are supported in Google Slides?

Google Slides supports WAV and MP3 file formats. If you’re struggling to add audio to Google Slides, check whether the audio file is in the correct, acceptable audio format and that you’ve set sharing permissions so anyone with the link can be a viewer, before trying again.

Elsier Otachi
Elsier is a freelance SaaS and eCommerce writer. When she’s not hard at work, she's reading, listening to music, or spending time with family.
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How to add music to Google Slides: A step-by-step guide

When you make presentations, you probably spend most of your time deciding on fonts, arrangements, and images. Heck, maybe you’ve spent 30 minutes just aligning and adjusting objects on a single PowerPoint slide. We’ve all been there. 

Obviously, these are important for a compelling presentation, but to really take your project to the next level, you’ll want to add music. Not only does music make presentations more fun, but it can also set a specific mood so your message gets through in the right way and sticks in people’s minds. 

Luckily, Google Slides makes inserting audio files into your presentation as painless as possible.

This tutorial explores the benefits of including audio in a presentation and how to add music to Google Slides to make your content shine.

Remove all your “ums” and “uhs” with a click, correct your voiceover by typing, and get studio-quality sound wherever you record. Check out our
Tools that work for creators.

3 benefits of adding audio to your Google Slides

Audio works wonders in a presentation. Here’s an overview of some of the top benefits.

Enhanced engagement

Adding the right audio clip to your presentation sets the tone for your audience, piquing their interest and even hinting at what information you’ll share.

Take Apple, for example. The company is well known for using excellent music and video presentations that captivate its audience, keeping them engaged to the end. In one of its WWDC keynotes, Vera Carr, Apple’s Special Projects Group director, played upbeat music to showcase the improved Workout app.

Clarification and emphasis

You want your audience to focus on your words and your slides. A complex topic, for example, might be hard to explain without media elements. 

Audio can capture your audience's attention and spark interest, so they don't get bored reading text-heavy slides. Moreover, listening requires less effort than reading, making your content easier to understand.

Emotional impact

Studies show that music affects how we perceive the world and how we form memories. Adding music, sounds, and voices to a presentation can evoke different emotions, making it more immersive, lively, or appealing for your audience. 

For example, upbeat music can shift the atmosphere to be more optimistic and exciting, while slower, gentle background music makes your audience more contemplative. 

Next, let’s look at a few different ways you can add music to Google Slides.

How to add music to Google Slides: 4 ways to do it

Whether you’re preparing for a large conference or just a one-on-one sales pitch, you can add audio elements like background music, voiceovers, or sound effects to give your presentation a little extra oomph.

Here are four different methods for adding audio files to Google Slides.

Insert audio from Google Drive

When adding music to Google Slides, you need to upload the file to Google Drive before inserting it into your slide deck. 

Step 1: Prepare your music file

You can use your own audio in a presentation or pick royalty-free audio tracks from sites like Pixabay, YouTube Audio Library, or the Free Music Archive

Step 2: Upload and save audio file to Google Drive

Next, sign in to your Google Drive account, then select New (+) at the top left side of your My Drive screen.

Adding a new file to My Drive

Choose File upload

Selecting File upload from Drive menu options.

Find your audio file and select Open. Your file should start uploading to Google Drive.

Choosing an audio file from Mac computer

Step 3: Share your audio

Once the audio file is uploaded to Google Drive, right-click the file then select Share > Share

Sharing audio file from My Drive

⚡TIP: If your mouse’s right-click function is disabled or not working, you can either select the file then click on the Share icon, or select the file, click on the ellipsis (three dots) on the right and select Share > Share

Change the access settings from Restricted to Anyone with the link.

Changing file sharing settings in My Drive

Set the sharing permissions to Viewer.

Changing file to Viewer access

Select Done.

Step 4: Add the audio file to Google Slides

Go to Google Slides and select an existing presentation or select New (+) to create one. 

choosing-a-presentation-to-add-audio-to

Select the slide you want to add the audio file to then choose Insert > Audio from the toolbar.

Selecting insert audio from Google Slides menu

Choose your audio file from your Google Drive, then select Insert.

Inserting file from My Drive

A speaker icon will appear on the slide you selected along with a menu with formatting options on the right-hand sidebar. Here, you can choose whether the audio will play on click or automatically, increase or reduce the volume level, or change the icon color, and more.

Showing the audio playback icon on Google slide

Click on the audio playback icon to play the file or drag it wherever you want it to appear on the slide.

Insert audio from a URL

You can also add music to Google Slides using a URL or link to the file’s location on the web or streaming services like SoundCloud, YouTube Music, Apple Music, or Spotify, though this method is pretty cumbersome.

Note: For this guide, we’ll insert music using a link or URL from a SoundCloud file. Make sure you’re connected to the internet to play the audio during your presentation.

Here’s how to make a slideshow with music:

Step 1: Find the soundtrack you want to use

Open SoundCloud in a browser window and find the page with the soundtrack you want to use. Before using the file, check to make sure it’s not copyrighted, it has a Creative Commons license, and/or it’s public domain content. 

Finding an audio file link on SoundCloud

Step 2: Select Copy Link to copy the URL of the soundtrack.

Copying a link on SoundCloud

Step 3: Insert the URL in your Google Slides presentation

Select the slide you want to add the URL or link to, then choose Insert in the menu bar.

Choosing the Insert menu in Google Slides

Select Link.

Choosing the option to insert a link in Google Slides

Paste the link in the blank link text box then select Apply.

Adding the link to Google Slides presentation

Select Slideshow to test whether the audio file will play during your presentation.

Adjusting the content associated with music link in slide

Click on the area containing the link. It will open in a new browser tab or window with the page you picked the audio file from. Select the Play button then minimize the browser to return to your presentation.

SoundCloud interface with play button highlighted

To stop the audio, go back to the web page and click on the Pause or Stop button.

Record your own narration

Most slide presentations consist of chunks of disconnected text in bullet points. Without additional explanations, your audience might not make sense of the presentation.

Adding narration to the presentation strengthens your message. It also: 

  • Allows you to provide instructions or emphasize key points
  • Makes it a standalone resource that people can view any time
  • Makes it more accessible to different members of your audience
  • Creates a different mood in your audience
  • Changes the pace or tone of your presentation
  • Boosts viewers’ ability to absorb and retain the content better 

Here’s how to add narration to Google Slides.

Step 1: Record your narration

Record your narration before adding it to your presentation. A quick way to do this is using Descript’s voice recorder, which lets you record your voice with studio-quality sound and save or export it as an MP3, AAC, or WAV file. 

image

Step 2: Upload your file to Google Drive and share

Repeat the steps for uploading an audio file to Google Drive. Then share the file, setting the access permissions to “Anyone with the link can be a viewer.”

Step 3: Add the narration to Google Slides

Select the slide you want to add your narration to then select Insert > Audio. You’ll see a speaker icon on the slide indicating the audio has been added to your presentation. 

Inserting audio link to a slide

Step 4: Preview your presentation

Select Slideshow to preview your slide in presentation mode and test whether the narration plays as it should. 

Highlighted audio playback button

Use YouTube videos with audio

Another way to add audio to your Google Slides presentation is to embed a YouTube video. Note that some video owners copyright their YouTube content, so you can’t share it via Google Slides. 

Step 1: Open YouTube and find the video you want to use

Open YouTube and play the video, noting the start and end time timestamps for the section you want to add to your presentation. You can also create a video and upload it to your YouTube channel, then add its URL to Google Slides.

Still image of of YouTube video

⚡TIP: Descript’s YouTube video editor can help you set the portion of the video you want by adjusting the text in the generated transcript—just like editing a Word document. 

Step 2: Copy the YouTube video link

Select Share or copy the link to the YouTube video.

Copying the share link of a YouTube video

Step 3: Add the link to your Google Slides presentation

Open your presentation in Google Slides, select the slide that will play the file, then select Insert > Video.

Adding a YouTube video link to Google Slide

Select YouTube then paste the YouTube video link you copied earlier. 

Adding link to YouTube video uploader

Next, select the video and click Insert.

Clicking on YouTube video to add to Google Slides

A thumbnail preview of the YouTube video will appear on the slide. You can hide the video behind a picture or resize it and move it to a new location in your presentation.

Adjusting YouTube video embedded on Google Slide

Note: Google Slides updated the playback options for videos. By default, the video will play on click as you go through your presentation. You can change the playback mode using the “Video playback” drop-down settings to autoplay when presenting.

Video playback options in Google Slides

Elevate your Google Slides with Descript

Descript is an all-in-one, AI-powered tool for creating and editing audio and video files. 

You can create an audio recording and add transitions like fade in, fade out, or crossfade. Alternatively, you can extract audio from other audio files or record yourself while screen sharing your slides to create a slideshow video.

Descript also enhances voice recordings with AI, leaving you with ready-to-edit audio you can use in a presentation or podcast. The software automatically transcribes your audio, then identifies and removes annoying filler words so your recordings sound rehearsed.

You’ll save tons of time and create quality presentations that leave a lasting impression.

FAQs

How do you add Spotify songs to Google Slides?

You can add Spotify songs to Google Slides by copying and inserting the link to the song you want to add to your presentation. However, Spotify doesn’t play songs in a presentation like your local audio file would. Instead, it will open the Spotify web or desktop app to play the song.

How do you add music from Apple Music to Google Slides?

To add an Apple Music track to Google Slides, copy the song link, then insert it into a slide in your presentation. The song will open in the Apple Music web-based player. In some cases, it will play a preview of the audio file, depending on your location, whether you’re signed in to your account, or whether you’re using the web player and desktop app concurrently.

What audio file formats are supported in Google Slides?

Google Slides supports WAV and MP3 file formats. If you’re struggling to add audio to Google Slides, check whether the audio file is in the correct, acceptable audio format and that you’ve set sharing permissions so anyone with the link can be a viewer, before trying again.

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