About recording a voice narration for a presentation

You might want to add narration to a presentation in the following cases:

  • For a Web-based presentation
  • For archiving a meeting so that presenters can review it later and hear comments made during the presentation
  • For self-running slide show presentations

Your computer must be equipped with a sound card, microphone, and speakers for you to record and hear a narration. You can record the narration before you run a presentation, or record it during the presentation and include audience comments in the recording.

If you don't want narration throughout the presentation, you can record comments on selected slides. When you're finished recording a narration, a sound icon Icon image appears on each slide where you've recorded. You can either click the icon to play the sound, or set up the sound to play automatically.

Because voice narration takes precedence over other sounds, if you've inserted another sound to play automatically in the presentation, it gets overridden by the narration.

Automatic slide timings

As you record, Microsoft PowerPoint records the amount of time you take on each slide. You can choose to save these slide timings with the narration, or you can set slide timings separately. Slide timings are especially useful if you want the presentation to run through automatically. You can turn them off when you don't want the presentation to use them.

Embed or link the narration

You have a choice to either link or embed the narration.

  • If you embed the narration, the narration sound file becomes part of the presentation and it travels with the presentation. However, embedding the narration results in a large file size.
  • If you want the file size to be smaller, you can link the narration. The file is then stored where you specify on your hard drive and plays with the presentation. If you present the show on a different computer, you must carry the linked sound file with you and install it on that computer. A linked file will also play faster.

Accompany the narration with notes

Because audience needs and computer equipment varies, consider accompanying your narration with notes. This benefits anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing or whose computer lacks a sound card. If you save the presentation as a Web page (.htm file), the notes will appear beneath each slide as it displays. If you save it as a presentation (.ppt) file, you can print out the notes and make them available to your audience.

Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003