Record a slide show with narration and slide timings

Older Windows Versions – Office 2007

Learn more about using narration in a slide show

You can either record a narration before you run a presentation or record a narration during a presentation and include audience comments in the recording. If you don’t want narration throughout the presentation, you can record comments only on selected slides or turn off the narration so that it plays only when you want it to play.

Once you insert a narration to a slide, a sound icon Icon image emerges on the slide. As with any sound, you can either select the icon to play the sound or set the sound to play intuitively. Voice narration is prioritised over other sounds, and only one sound can play sequentially in a presentation. As a result, other sounds that are set to play autonomously in a presentation are discounted by a narration and will not play. However, sounds that are set to play once clicked will still play when you click them.

To record and hear a narration, your computer must be equipped with a sound card, microphone, and speakers.

Automatic slide timings and narration

As you record your narration, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 promptly records the amount of time that you take on each slide. You can decide to save these slide timings with the narration once you are requested to do so, or you can set the slide timings manually. Slide timings are notably helpful if you want the presentation to run autonomously alongside your narration. You can turn the slide timings off when you seldom your presentation to integrate them.

Embed or link a narration

You can either link or embed a narration.

  • Anytime you embed a narration, the narration sound file merges with the presentation and accompanies it, effectively enlarging the presentation’s file size.
  • After you link a narration, the file size of the presentation shrinks, because the sound file is stored externally to the presentation. You specify a location on your hard disc drive for the narration, and the sound file plays with the presentation. If you deliver the presentation on a different computer, you must move the linked sound file to that computer. The optimal way to move a presentation and its linked files is to use the Package for CD feature. Or you can manually update the links on the second computer by deleting the narration and then adding back the narration sound file before you deliver your presentation.

In addition, when you link narrations, you can go back later and edit the sound files by using a sound editing programme.

Tip: Accompany the narration with slide notes. Because audiences have different needs and computer equipment, consider accompanying your narration with notes. Notes can benefit anyone who is hearing impaired or whose computer lacks a sound card. If you save your presentation as a Web page (.htm) file, the notes will appear beneath each slide as it is displayed. If you save the presentation as a presentation (.pptx) file, the audience can print the notes, or you can print the notes for them.

Record a narration before a presentation

When you record a narration, you run through the presentation and record on each slide. You can pause and resume recording.

  1. In Normal view, click the slide that you want to start the recording on.
  1. On the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, select Record Narration Button image .

Slide Show tab image

  1. Press Set Microphone Level, follow the directions to set your microphone level, and then pick OK.
  1. Do one of the following:
  • To embed the narration, choose OK.
  • To link the narration, select the Link narrations in checkbox, press Browse, choose a folder in the list, and then select Select.

Tip: To prevent possible problems, use the same folder that your presentation is saved in.

  1. If you selected the first slide to begin the recording on, go to step 6.
    If you selected a different slide to begin the recording on, the Record Narration dialogue box appears. Do one of the following:
  • To start the narration on the first slide in the presentation, pick First Slide.
  • To start the narration on the currently selected slide, press Current Slide.
  1. In Slide Show view, speak the narrative text into the microphone, and then select the slide to progress to the next slide. Repeat this process for each slide that you want to insert narration to.

Tip: To pause or resume the narration, right-click the slide, and then on the shortcut menu, click either Pause Narration or Resume Narration.

  1. Select the black Exit screen.
  1. The narration is automatically saved, and a message appears asking if you want to save the timings for the presentation too. Do one of the following:
  • To save the timings, press Save. Your slides appear in Slide Sorter view, with the slide timings shown below each slide.

Note: Voice narration takes precedence over other sounds, and only one sound can play at a time in a presentation. As a result, other sounds that are set to play automatically in a presentation are overridden by a narration and will not play. However, sounds that are set to play when clicked will still play when you click them.

Preview a narration

  1. On the slide, select the sound icon Icon image .
  1. Under Sound Tools, on the Options tab, in the Play group, press Preview, or double-click the sound icon.
Sound Tools Options tab image

Re-record part of a narration

  1. In Normal view, pick your desired slide to begin re-recording on.
  1. On the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, choose Record Narration Button image .
Slide Show tab image
  1. Do one of the following:
  • If you already tested your microphone, press OK.

  • To test your microphone, select Set Microphone Level, obey the steps to set your microphone level, and then press OK.
  1. If you picked the first slide to begin recording again, go to step 5.
    If you selected a different slide to begin recording again, the Record Narration dialogue box appears. Do one of the following:
  • To start the narration on the first slide in the presentation, press First Slide.
  • To start the narration on the currently selected slide, press Current Slide.

  1. In Slide Show view, record the narration for the slide, and then do one of the following:
  • To stop re-recording, press ESC.
  • To keep re-recording, select the mouse to advance to the next slide, speak the narration on the slide, and then press to the next slide to continue re-recording.
  • To end the re-recording before you run through all the slides, press ESC.
  • To re-record through all the slides, when you come to the black Exit screen, select it.

  1. The narration is autonomously saved, and a message launches requesting if you want to save the timings for the slides as well. Do one of the following:
  • To save the timings, select Save.
  • To cancel the timings, choose Don’t Save.

Record a narration during a presentation

If you want to capture your own comments, the comments of your audience, or both during your presentation, you can turn on narration before you begin your presentation.

  1. In Normal view, click your desired slide to commence the recording on.
  1. On the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, press Record Narration Button image .
Slide Show tab image

  1. Select Set Microphone Level, follow the directions to set your microphone level, and then press OK.
  1. Do one of the following:
  • To embed the narration, press OK.
  • To link the narration, choose the Link narrations in checkbox, select Browse, pick a folder in the list, and then press Select.
  1. If you chose the first slide to begin the recording on, go to step 6. If you picked a different slide to begin the recording on, the Record Narration dialogue box displays. Do one of the following:
  • To start the narration on the first slide in the presentation, click First Slide.
  • To start the narration on the currently selected slide, click Current Slide.

In Slide Show view, add your speaker comments along with any audience comments, and then click the slide to advance to the next slide. Repeat this process for all the slides in your presentation.

Tip: To pause and resume the narration, right-click the slide, and then on the shortcut menu, click either Pause Narration or Resume Narration.

  1. Select the black Exit screen.
  1. The narration is saved by default, and a message emerges asking if you want to save the timings for the presentation as well. Do one of the following:
  • To save the timings, press Save. Your slides display in Slide Sorter view, with the slide timings shown under each slide.
  • To cancel the timings, press Don’t Save.

Record comments on a slide

  1. In Normal view, select your ideal slide to add a comment to.
  1. On the Insert tab, in the Media Clips group, press the arrow under Sound, and then choose Record Sound.
Insert tab image
  1. To record the comment, select Record, and start talking.
  1. Once you are finished recording, press Stop.
  1. In the Name box, write a name for the sound, and then select OK.

A sound icon Icon image appears on the slide.

Set the slide timings manually

Office PowerPoint 2007 will intuitively record your slide timings after you insert narration or you can manually set the slide timings to join your narrations.

  1. In Normal view, press your sought slide to set the timing for.
  1. On the Animations tab, in the Transition To This Slide group, under Advance Slide, click the Automatically After checkbox, and then type the desired number of seconds for presenting the slide on the screen.

Animations tab image

Repeat the process for the specific slides that you want to set the timing for.

Tip: If you want the next slide to appear either when you click the mouse or automatically after the number of seconds that you enter — whichever comes first — choose both the On Mouse Click and the Automatically After checkboxes.

Turn the slide timings off

Turning off the slide timings does not erase them. You can switch the timings back on at your own convenience without recreating them from scratch. However, when the slide timings are turned off, your slides will have their progression settings stopped so you must manually advance the slides.

  1. In Normal view, on the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, select Set Up Slide Show.
Slide Show tab image
  1. Below Advance slides, pick Manually.

Tip: To turn the timings back on, beneath Advance slides, choose Using timings, if present.

Recording tips

  • Recordings are added to the presentation on a per-slide basis, so if you want to change a recording, you only have to re-record the affected slide or slides. Also, you can rearrange the order of slides after recording without having to re-record anything. This also means it’s easy to pause for a break while recording a presentation.
  • PowerPoint doesn’t record audio or video during transitions between slides, so don’t speak while advancing the slide. Also, include a brief buffer of silence at the beginning and the end of each slide to make the transitions smooth and ensure that you don’t cut off audible narration while transitioning from one slide to the next.
  • You can’t record narration in PowerPoint for the web. Use a desktop version of PowerPoint to record your narration.
  • You can adjust and edit the size of video and ink in edit view.
  • If it’s possible that your audience may use PowerPoint for the web to experience the recording, use the transitions that are supported by PowerPoint for the web (Cut, Fade, Push, Wipe, Split, Random Bars, Shape, Morph).
  • Presentation recording works best with touch-screen PCs that have a web camera.
  • Use video preview to make sure everything is set up correctly before recording.
  • For slides that you want to record gestures (such as ink) on, make multiple copies of the slide so that you can easily record multiple takes. Then delete the extraneous slides when you’re done.
  • Record a few seconds of silence by turning off audio and video to advance after a set time.
  • For higher quality, use an external web cam and/or microphone.Built-in cameras and microphones are suitable for most tasks. But if you want more professional-looking video, consider using an external web cam, if you’re able. If you’re using PowerPoint on a tablet or laptop and you’re inking with a stylus, an external camera and microphone allows you to minimise stylus noise.
  • As soon as you finish your first slide recording, play it back.Before you get too far down the road of recording your presentation, make sure your audio and video sound and look the way you expect.

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