Monday, August 29, 2011

Incorporating Audio into a PowerPoint Presentation

Any time you convert a PowerPoint in Unison you have to check your PowerPoint presentation settings to make sure that all the components of your original presentation get converted when you upload it to Unison. Converting presentations with audio can be extra tricky. Here are two ways to incorporate audio in a way that will convert without problems:

  1. Importing audio clips: If the audio you want to incorporate is prerecorded, follow the steps below to ensure that the audio files are correctly embedded into your presentation.
  2. Narrating your presentation: This is a great option if you want to record yourself narrating the PowerPoint.

How to Import Audio Clips

  1. First of all, make sure the file is in.wav format. PowerPoint will not embed .mp3 files.
  2. Browse for your .wav audio file.
  3. Click Insert, Sound, and then select “Sound from File.”
  4. Make sure that the sounds settings are set to play “Automatically.”
  5. Check the Max Sound File Size setting is set to 50000K the maximum allowable size. This will ensure that the audio file is actually embedded, and not just linked, to your presentation. Linked audio files are stored outside of the presentation and are lost during conversion in Unison.

Where to look for the Max Sound File:

PowerPoint 2007 (PC version): this setting is found by selecting the icon for your audio file on your PowerPoint page, and adjusting the Max Sound File Size located at the top of the PowerPoint window.

PowerPoint 2003 (PC version): this setting is found by selecting the icon for your audio file on your PowerPoint page, selecting Tools; Options, and under the General tab, adjusting the number where it says “Link sounds with file size great than”

On a Mac, you adjust this setting by entering the PowerPoint Preferences, and under the General tab, change the number where it says “Link sounds with file size greater than:”

By default these amounts should be set to 100. It is suggested that you set this number to the 50000 maximum size to ensure your files embed properly.

Powerpoint 2010 for Windows and Powerpoint 2011 for Mac do not require you to change the file size, this is done automatically for you after bringing the audio file into the ppt slide. As long as the audio file is in a .wav format, just drag and drop.

How to Narrate a PowerPoint

  1. After you have created all the slides, go to the Slide Show tab and click on “Record Slide Show.”
  2. Click on “Set Microphone Level” to adjust microphone settings. Then hit OK.
  3. Click through your presentation, narrating like you would for a live audience.
  4. When you are finished recording, push the ESC key and when the prompt appears asking you if you want to save the timings, hit YES.


  1. One tip to add here is that when the PowerPoint converts in Rapid Intake it converts each slide as a separate swf/page in the Rapid Intake course. This means that for best audio results, when you are narrating in your PowerPoint, make sure there is a clear break in your narration when you navigate between slides so that PowerPoint doesn't cut a word in half during the conversion.

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