Adding Narration to Powerpoint
September 05, 2005
Tutorials | Applications | Powerpoint | Video and Multimedia | Windows


  1. You will need to purchase a microphone or a headset Microphone. I recommend the Plantronics USB headset mics, LISTED HERE. I use the Plantronics DSP 400, but the less expensive ones work well also.
  2. Find a quiet room, preferably one with no air-conditioning or heating blower hum, and no other ambient noises. If you work in an older building this can be a challenge, enough so you may want to consider doing the recording elsewhere.
  3. Prepare a script for your narration. Run through it once or twice, to eliminate "umms" and "errr's" in your rendition.
  4. Plug in the microphone, and if you are using Windows, you will also need to install the software that comes with it, and restart. On a Mac, simply plug in the mic, then select System Preferences from the Apple menu or the Dock, select
  5. If you haven't already, create your Powerpoint slides.

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Posted by ellen at September 05, 2005 06:38 PM


  1. If your Powerpoint file is on a CD or a server, move it to a new folder created on your desktop, or within your documents folder. I've found that many people have difficulty figuring out where their files actually are after recording, and it helps if you put them all together to begin with. This also eliminates network slowdown issues when recording and playing back.

  2. Open the Powerpoint file. Select "Record Narration" from the Slide Show menu.
  3. Under "Sound Input device" select the Plantronics USB microphone from the pull-down menu.

  4. Recordnarration2
  5. Also select "Link Narrations" and choose the folder containing the Powerpoint file for the location of the linked narration files.

  6. When you click "Record," the presentation will start to play with the first slide. Begin narrating, and when you have finished with the first slide, click the mouse, or hit the spacebar to advance one slide. Continue with the text for the next slide. When you are done with all the slides, Powerpoint will ask you if you want to save the timings with the narration.


    To move the presentation to a laptop or CD, drag the entire project folder to the new location.

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Nice in theory but I have a USB headset and freestanding USB mike (both LabTec) that work fine in the audio set-up and in voice recognition, chat widgets, etc. However, Powerpoint doesn't seem to be allowing them to narrate which is a real pain. I hit "narrate slide" and I get bupkus. Adjusting volume does NOTHING.


Great post......thank you for posting this, and in such great detail. I know you answered a lot of questions that many people are uncomfortable asking!

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