The Best Way to Add Voice Over to PowerPoint

The Best Way to Record Voice Over for PowerPoint

Many people think of Microsoft PowerPoint as live presentation software.

But using a slide deck can also be a great way to make an educational or informational video. By adding voice over to your PowerPoint slides you can share your presentation with a much wider audience.

Of course, PowerPoint has a built-in presentation recorder and, while it works in a pinch, it has some pretty serious limitations.

So, what’s the best way to record a voice over for your PowerPoint presentation?

I’ll show you.

The Easiest and Fastest Way to Record and Edit Voice Over for PowerPoint!

Audiate makes recording and editing your voice as simple as editing text in a document.

Try Audiate for Free

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Why record voice over for PowerPoint?

Remote work, at-home schooling, Zoom meetings until we can’t see straight — 2020 changed everything we thought we knew about work, education, and training.

And, 2021 looks to be much the same.

All of those in-person meetings, workshop sessions, employee trainings, classroom lectures, and presentations will almost certainly be remote.

But that’s not the only reason to record your presentations.

At some point, we will return to some semblance of what we knew before. When that happens, many experts believe at least some of the changes may be more permanent. The advantages of a recorded presentation with audio narration will remain.

So recording your PowerPoint presentations just makes sense, and the reasons to do it go beyond the unavoidable necessities of this year or next. 

Recorded PowerPoint presentations are more flexible

While live meetings and educational sessions have their place, they require everyone to be in the same place at the same time (even if the place is virtual). That’s fine if all your employees, students, or other audience members are in the same or relatively close time zones. 

But what if your company has employees all over the world? That 2 p.m. ET meeting at your company’s headquarters happens at midnight for your employees in Sidney, Australia. 

What if your company has employees all over the world? That 2 p.m. EST meeting at your company's headquarters happens at midnight for your employees in Sidney, Australia.

And, what about employees, students, or others who have to share technology or who may not always have access to high-speed internet or the privacy necessary to meet at the appointed time?

By offering your presentation asynchronously (just a fancy word for “on-demand”), you give people the flexibility to consume your content when it’s convenient or easier for them. Plus, because they can consume it at their own pace, they have more opportunity to absorb and understand the information.

That doesn’t mean that synchronous (just a fancy word for “live” or “in-person) meetings, training sessions, classes, etc. aren’t important or useful. It just means that giving your audience more options gives them more ways to consume and get value from your content.

Forget PowerPoint’s built-in recorder — there’s a better way

The first thing you’ll probably notice when you decide to record voice over audio for your PointPoint slides is that PowerPoint has a built-in recorder. Just click the record presentation button and you’re off to the races.

Sure, that works to an extent. But it’s not the BEST way to do it. And, later when you want to make small edits or changes, you’ll be really sad you did it that way.

PowerPoint’s built-in recorder doesn’t allow you to edit mistakes or verbal flubs. All you get is that single-take, live recording of your presentation. You have to remember what you want to say, advance your slides, and do your best to avoid stumbling — just like if you were doing it in a meeting or in front of a live audience.

Quick-and-dirty recordings work in some casts, but for others you want to show something a little more professional.

But creating on-demand recorded presentation content offers you the opportunity to create something that has a little more polish on it. 

Quick-and-dirty recordings work in some cases, but for others — especially anything that will be consumed outside your company or organization —  you want to show something a little more professional.

By recording your voice over separately, you can ensure that your recordings are professional and more engaging.

The Easiest and Fastest Way to Record and Edit Voice Over for PowerPoint!

Audiate makes recording and editing your voice as simple as editing text in a document.

Try Audiate for Free

How to record voice over for PowerPoint

So, if we’re not going to use PowerPoint’s built-in recorder, what ARE we going to use?

Let me introduce you to TechSmith Audiate — the easiest way to record and edit voice over.

When I say Audiate is easy, I mean it’s almost ridiculously easy. 

Here’s how you do it.

1. Start with a script

Whether you’ve created a new presentation or you’re recording one you’ve given a thousand times, creating a script ensures you know what you want to say exactly when you want to say it. It helps you avoid meandering off your topic or forgetting important points. 

If you already have your slide deck, you can use that as the outline for your script. Then, just fill in with what you would normally say to your audience if you were presenting live!

If you don’t want to write a full, word-for-word script (which, I highly recommend you do), even having a bulleted list of your talking points is much better than trying to do it without anything at all. And, it’ll save you a ton of editing time later.

Learn more about writing great scripts here.

2. Record your audio

It wasn’t that long ago that the thought of using an audio recorder/editor seemed pretty daunting to most people. 

It’s not hard to see why. Even the easiest ones can be clunky and difficult to use. They can have all kinds of tricky settings and the user interfaces can be overwhelming to anyone who’s not a professional audio producer.

But that all changed with TechSmith Audiate. Audiate is, quite simply, the easiest way to record a voice over and edit the audio.

It has an intuitive and easy-to-understand interface that will have you recording your audio in seconds.

Just select record and you’re on your way.

And, it transcribes your audio as you record, so you can edit your audio files just like editing a text document.

When you’re done recording narration, just click Stop and Audiate will finish up your transcription.

3. Edit and export your recording

As noted above, now you can go through and edit out your mistakes and any hesitations. 

No more hunting through a waveform to find that flubbed word. Audiate shows you exactly what you said and where you said it. You just highlight the word or words you want to delete, and Audiate does the rest.

Audiate also lets you quickly and easily find and remove all your umms and uhhhs. It can even remove them automatically.

If you plan to add captions to your video (which you should for so many reasons), go through your transcribed audio and correct any mistakes or anything that Audiate may have misheard so that the text matches what you actually said.

I’ve been making videos with voice overs for a long time and I’m quite comfortable with more complicated audio recording software. But when I’m recording voice over, I will always choose Audiate. It’s just so simple and powerful.

You can cut and paste single words or whole sections of your audio to move them around as needed. 

If you want to add more or re-record a section that didn’t come out the way you wanted, you can do that right in the same file. Just click Record again and Audiate will add your new audio to the end of your current file. Then, just cut and paste it where you need it to go.

That’s it. You’ve successfully recorded your voice over audio! 

Click the Export button to save your recording as a .WAV file and you’re all set.

Oh, and don’t forget to click File and then Export Script. That will let you save your text file as an .SRT file, which Camtasia can use to add captions.

Now it’s time to add the audio to your video.

Pro tip: Edit your video in Camtasia (you’ll thank me later)

TechSmith Camtasia is a powerful, but easy-to-use video editor. Even if you have never made video, you can quickly learn to create professional-quality videos.

But that’s only part of why you should make your PowerPoint slides video with Camtasia.

Import your slides

Click Import Media to find and select your media to import.

Camtasia can actually import PowerPoint slides for your use and insert the audio after. No more recording your screen while you run through your slides.

Just click File > Import > Media or, in the Media tab, click the Import Media button and navigate to select your PowerPoint files.

While Camtasia can’t pull in slides from Google Slides or Apple Keynote, if you built your slides in either of those applications, you can save your file as a PowerPoint presentation and Camtasia can import that file.

To import your PowerPoint file, choose the Media tab in Camtasia and then Import Media. Select your PowerPoint file and import it. 

Then, do the same thing for your audio recording. 

Add your slides to the timeline

Select your slide or slides and drag them to the timeline.

Once your slides and audio are in the media bin, add the audio to your timeline. 

Then, just add your slides to the timeline where appropriate. You can adjust the slide timing and the amount of time they’re visible to ensure they make sense of what’s being said in your audio. 

Once everything’s in place, you’re ready to produce. 

Take your video a step further

But, you can do more if you want. Use Camtasia’s callouts and other features to add arrows, highlight important information, or otherwise enhance the video experience for your viewers. That’s something you definitely can’t do in PowerPoint.

When you’re ready to add your captions, click Modify and Add Captions to import your captions file. Drag it to the timeline and Camtasia will automatically put the captions in the right spot in your video. 

When you’re satisfied that your video is done, you can save the file locally or upload it to any of Camtasia’s huge array of destinations, including YouTube, Google Drive, Vimeo, Screencast.com, and more. 

And now your video is ready to be shared with the world.

AND, if you ever need to edit or update your video, you can just go back into Camtasia, replace whatever slides need to change, import whatever new audio you need to use, and you’re ready to go. If you had recorded in PowerPoint, you’d have to do the whole thing over again. 

That’s not a huge deal if your presentation is five minutes or less, but what if it’s 30 minutes? An hour? Being able edit portions of your video rather than the whole thing will be a lifesaver.

Tips for getting great audio

Unless you’re a professional audio engineer, getting good audio can seem intimidating.

Check out this post on recording voice overs for a whole bunch of great information on ensuring your voice over is great.

But, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Start with a script. You’ll speak more confidently and you’ll stay on point.
  • Use a better mic. Your computer microphone will work in a pinch, but if you really want the best audio (or, if you plan to make more videos), invest in a decent USB microphone. You can get a nice one for way less than you probably think and it’ll make a huge difference.
  • Hydrate. Your voice sounds better when your vocal chords are nice and hydrated. Plus, you’ll reduce off-putting mouth noises, etc. And no, coffee doesn’t count. 
  • Similarly, keep water handy while you’re recording. Take a sip when you need to. You can edit out that part later.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. I know that when I’m nervous, I tend to race through whatever I’m trying to say. Whenever I record voice over audio, I have to remind myself to slow down and enunciate.

Recording PowerPoint voice overs is easy — with the right tools

Sure, PowerPoint has a built-in recorder, but as my grandfather used to say, always use the right tool for the job.

By using TechSmith Audiate and then editing your finished video in Camtasia, you can create a better overall experience for your viewers. 

And, because you’re using the right tools for the job, you’ll have better control over what they see and hear.

The Easiest and Fastest Way to Record and Edit Voice Over for PowerPoint!

Audiate makes recording and editing your voice as simple as editing text in a document.

Try Audiate for Free

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to do voice over for PowerPoint?

Not at all. With the right tools you can easily add voice over to PowerPoint slides and turn your presentation into a truly engaging educational or informational video!

What tools do I need to record voice over for PowerPoint?

Not much! A decent microphone and a quiet place to record will go a long way in ensuring your recording sounds great.

Should I record my voice over using the PowerPoint presentation recorder?

While the PowerPoint’s built-in recorder works in a pinch, you’ll save your self a lot of time and hassle by using a standalone audio recorder like TechSmith Audiate.

What software should I use to edit my presentation video?

We highly recommend TechSmith Camtasia. It’s super easy to use and can import PowerPoint slides directly!

Ryan Knott

TechSmith Marketing Content Specialist. Geek. Science Enthusiast. Retired roller derby coach. On a mission to pet all the dogs. He/him. A few things about me ... 1. Mildly obsessed with the movie Alien, 2. Two pibbles: Biggie and Reo, 3. Friend of ducks everywhere.

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