PowerPoint in the Classroom

with Sue Special UNIT 6
Adding Sound

  • Sound Start
  • Taped Talk
  • Prompt Play
  • Tooting Tunes
  • New Noise
  • Vivid Videos
  • Cool for School

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Sound Start

Okay. Let me throw you a softball question: How does sound add to a presentation?

It's exactly the same as when sound was first added to silent film. It engages a whole new sense. For example, if you have a banner flying onto the screen, it's really cool to give it a flying sound.

A flying sound? Kind of like a "whoosh"?

You've got it. Here, let me show you how to add sound effects to animation.

Note: To hear the sound effects, make sure you have a sound card installed in your computer.

Adding sound to animations
Some of the animations in PowerPoint, for example, the Flying Effect, already have sound built into them. But most of the animations do not have sound effects.

In PowerPoint you can add sound to any animation. You can also replace the current sound effect on an animation with a new one.

Try adding a sound effect to an animation.

    1. In Slide View, select the animated object you want to add the sound effect to by clicking it.

    2. Click the Slide Show menu, then click Custom Animation. You can also click the Custom Animation button on the Animation Effects toolbar.

Custom Animation

    3. Under Entry animation and sound, select a sound effect from the drop-down list.

Choose your sound

    4. If you want to preview the sound effect, click the Preview Button.

    5. Click OK to add the sound to the animation. The sound is added to the animated object.

Incredible! Dare I say madcap! How about a transition? Can we add sound effects to that too?

Yeah, like the "Boop" sound from those old slides shows in school that told the teacher to go to the next slide.

Most of the people in your studio audience are probably too young to remember those days. Nevertheless, adding sound to a transition is easy and effective.

Adding sound to transitions
Spice up your transitions by adding sound effects to them. Here's how:

    1. In Slide Sorter View, click the slide with the transition you are adding sound to.

    2. Click the Slide Show menu, and then click Slide Transition. The Slide Transition dialog box will appear.

Slide Transition command

    3. Select a sound effect from the Sound drop-down list, then click Apply. The sound is added to the transition.

If you want the sound to continue playing until the next sound in your presentation, click the check box next to 'Loop until next sound'. But use this feature sparingly. Some sounds may lose their effect if they are played too long. Or, they may interfere with other elements of your presentation.

Taped Talk

Next question. Can you bring in your own sounds? Like, suppose I want to do a presentation at school of my Uncle Nestor reciting poetry, but he doesn't want to come to the school himself.

Not a problem. I'll tell you how to use your own recorded sound files in a PowerPoint presentation. Your Uncle Ned's poetry will be echoing through the school!

Maybe that isn't a good idea after all.


My uncle isn't a very good poet.

Recording your own sound files
To record sound files, you need to plug a microphone into the mic jack on your computer's sound card.

The following steps show you how to record a narration for a slide.

    1. Go to Slide View and display the slide you want to add a recording to.

    2. Click the Insert menu, point to Movies and Sounds, then click Record Sound.

Selecting Record Sound option

    3. When the Record Sound dialog box appears, type a name for your recording in the Name box.

Record Sound dialog box

Below the name box are three buttons. The first button, with the arrow, is the Play button. The middle button, with the square, is the Stop button. The last button, with a red dot, is the Record button.

Control buttons

    4. To start recording, click the Record button, then begin talking into your microphone.

    5. When you finish talking, click the Stop button.

    6. Click the Play button to play back your recording.

If you want to add another segment to your recording, simply click the Record button and start talking again. When you're finished, click the Stop button. The new segment will be added to your previous one.

What if you're not happy with the recording? What if someone flubs a line or mumbles? Can you re-record it?

That's a silly question.

Now, Sue, there are no silly questions. Here's how to rerecord sound files:

Re-recording sound files
What if you're not satisfied with the recording after you've listened to it? Maybe it's too quiet, you've spoken too quickly, or there's too much background noise. It's simple. Cancel the recording and begin again.

    1. In the Record Sound dialog box, click the Cancel button. The Record Sound dialog box closes.

Cancel button

    2. Click the Insert menu, point to Movies and Sound, then click Record Sound. The Record Sound dialog box opens again.

    3. Start recording.

    4. When you're satisfied with your recording, click OK. The Record Sound dialog box will close, and a speaker icon will appear in the middle of your slide.

Speaker Icon

Resizing the Speaker Icon tip

Prompt Play

Once you’ve inserted a sound file in a slide, how do you play the sound?

With just a simple click of an icon.

I wish playing playing guitar was as easy as playing a sound file. Then I could join your band, PowerPoint.

Well, we can always make room for a tamborine player. Ha ha.

Playing your sound files from the slide
You've added some snazzy sound files to your presentation, now try playing them directly from the slides.

    1. In Slide View, double-click the speaker icon. The sound file will begin to play.

If you want to stop the sound file before it finishes playing, click anywhere on the slide.

What about objects? Can you attach sounds to objects? For example, if I have a picture of my fans in a slide, I want to hear them cheering.

Don't you mean booing. Oh, I'm just teasing.

Ouch! You better watch it Sue or this might just become "The Jim Jingle Show" and you're back to waiting tables.

When you two are finished joshing I'll show you what to do.

Attaching your sound files to objects
PowerPoint lets you attach your recordings to objects on your slides. However, the objects must be animated before you can attach a sound file to them.

Let's say that you want to add your narration to a cartoon on your slide. Here's what you do:

    1. In Slide View, display the slide you want to add the sound file to.

    2. Record your narration.

    3. In Slide View, click the object that you want to add the recording to. For example, the cartoon.

    4. Click the Slide Show menu, then click Custom Animation. The Custom Animation dialog box will appear.

    5. Click the Effects tab.

    6. If the object isn't animated yet, click an effect in the Effect drop-down list.

    Animate object list

    7. Next, find your recording in the Sound drop-down list and click it.

    Choosing your sound file

    8. Click OK. The sound file is now added to the object.

Tooting Tunes

Let's say I want to add music from a CD.

Great idea. Music really jazzes up a presentation. Maybe you want to add music from my band, the Swingin' Sultans of Software?

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of the Smashing Pumpkins. I want to do a presentation on the history of Halloween. You know, pumpkins, Halloween.

Not to mention their lead singer, Billy Corgan, he can look pretty ghoulish... Heh heh.

Adding music from CDs
If you have a CD ROM drive installed in your computer, you can add CD music tracks to your PowerPoint presentations. However, you can only add the music tracks to slides. The track will not attach to objects, animations, or transitions.

Here's how you add a CD music track to your slide.

    1. In Slide View, display the slide you want to add the music track to.

    2. Click the Insert menu, point to Movies and Sounds, and then click Play CD Audio Track. The Play Options dialog box will appear.

Choosing to Play an Audio CD

    3. Under Play CD Audio Track, enter the music track number in the Start and End Track boxes provided. For example, to add the second track of the CD, type 2 in the Start Track box and in the End Track box. If you want to play just the first 10 seconds of the track, type 10 seconds in the End Track At box.

CD Track options

    4. Then click OK.

A CD icon appears in the middle of your slide. You can resize this icon or move it to other parts of the slide.

    5. To play the CD track, double-click the CD icon. But make sure the CD is in the drive. Otherwise, the music won't play.

CD icon

You can use the Windows CD Player to determine the start and end times of a portion of music on a CD. To open the Windows CD Player in Windows 95, go to your Windows desktop and click the Start button. Point to Programs, point to Accessories, then Multimedia, and click CD Player.

Windows CD player

If I'm giving a slide presentation, it seems really awkward to have to click on a CD icon. Is there a way to make it automatic?

What are computers for? Automatic is my middle name.

Power Automatic Point. Odd name.

It's a figure of speech. My middle name is actually Bartholomew.

Making music play automatically
You can make the music play automatically if you give the CD icon an animation order.

The following steps show you how to add an animation effect and an animation order to your CD icon.

Note: It's not necessary to add an animation effect to make the CD music play automatically, but it certainly adds visual interest. Especially when the CD icon "makes an entrance" before it starts playing.

    1. In Slide View, click the CD icon to select it.

    2. Click the Slide Show menu, then click Custom Animation. The Custom Animation dialog box will appear.

    3. Click the Play Settings tab, and then click the check box beside Play using animation order. The CD file appears in the Animation order box.

Adding a track to your animation order

4. Next, click the Effects tab, and then select an animation effect from the Effect drop-down list. For example, Crawl From Right.

5. Click OK to close the Custom Animation dialog box.

During the Slide Show, the audio track will start to play when the CD icon comes in from the right of the screen.

New Noise

Just to cover all the bases here, can you talk about some other ways to bring sound into a presentation? You know, if you can use WAV files and all that computery stuff.

Can do!

Adding sound files from other sources
You can add sound files to your presentations from a variety of sources. For example, you can add sound files you find on the Internet or special sound effects CDs. However, PowerPoint does not recognize all sound file types. WAV and MIDI are two of the types it does recognize.

Let's say you've downloaded some WAV sound files from the Internet to your hard drive. Here's how you would add one of the sound files to your slide.

    1. Click the Insert menu, point to Movies and Sounds, then click Sound from File.

Selecting Sound option

    2. In the Look in box, specify the drive and folder where the sound file is located.

    3. In the file list, click the sound file you want, then click OK.

Selecting a WAV file

PowerPoint will add a speaker icon to your slide.

Adding Sound Files tip

Vivid Videos

Oh yes, before I forget. My kid brother is a budding video director. He wanted me to ask you if you can handle video.

Your brother asked a good question. I sure can. I have a library of video clips to choose from. You can also grab video clips from the Internet or create your own clips using a video camera and video capture board. It's a great way to enhance a presentation.

Incredible. A mini-film festival! Move over, Hollywood.

Adding a video clip
If you want to add a video clip to your presentation, you can search for one in PowerPoint's Microsoft Clip Gallery. You can choose from 21 video clips. However, to access the clips you must place the Office 97 CD in your CD ROM drive.

To add one of these video clips to your presentation, follow these steps:

    1. Click the Insert menu, point to Movies and Sounds, and then click Movie from Gallery.

Selecting Movie from Gallery

    2. In the Microsoft Clip Gallery dialog box, click the Videos tab, then click the video clip you want.

Choosing a video

    3. Click the Insert button. The video clip icon, a blacked-out video screen, will appear on your slide.

Movie Screen

You can also add video clips from other sources such as CDs or the Internet. Let's say you've found a cool video clip on the Internet that you want to add to your presentation. Here's what you do:

    1. Click the Insert menu, point to Movies and Sounds, and then click Movie from File. The Insert Movie dialog box will appear.

Selecting Movie from File

    2. In the Look in box, locate the drive and folder where you have saved the video clip.

    3. Select the video clip file from the file list, then click OK. A video screen icon is added to the slide. You can resize the icon or move it to other areas of the slide.

You mentioned earlier that I can click your Speaker Icon to play a sound. So, let me guess...to play a movie, do you have some sort of Video Icon?

Jim, I think you're catching on.

I can't take all the credit. You're very user-friendly.

My mom taught me to have good manners. While I'm at it, let me show you how to make the video play automatically...

Playing video clips
The default way to play a video clip during a slide show is to click the video screen icon. However, the video clip will play automatically if you give it an animation order.

The following steps show you how to add an animation effect and an animation order to the video screen icon.

Note: Although it's not necessary to give the icon an animation effect to make it play automatically, the Slide Show looks better when the video screen makes a grand entrance.

To set up the video clip so that it plays automatically, follow these steps:

    1. In Slide View, click the video screen icon to select it.

    2. Click the Slide Show menu, then click Custom Animation.

    3. Select the video clip in the Animation order list.

    4. Click the Play Settings tab, then click the check box beside Play using animation order.

    Playing your video automatically

    5. Click the Effects tab.

    6. In the Effects drop-down list, choose an effect. For example, Crawl from Top.

    7. Click OK to close the Custom Animation dialog box.

Try running your slide show. The video clip will start once the animation stops.

Cool For School

Unit 6: Adding Sound

Dear Blabby: I love the idea of using sound in my PowerPoint presentation, although I'm just not sure how to apply it. I really want to impress my students and their parents with this extra multimedia effect - but I've never tried it before. I need your opinion. Please help!!!

    -Keener in Kansas

Dear Keener: Tell your audiences to just hold on tight and get ready for a big surprise. Let them know they will be treated to the finest in information presentation. To help you out, I will reprint some of the past letters I have received about this issue.

Here's one from Recording Roy on Rhode Island:

1) Portfolios for Teacher-Parent Meetings

Dear Blabby: I just want to share my experience with other teachers who are getting ready for parent-teacher meetings. Parents have been so impressed with this little trick of mine. Ever since I first did it, I can barely find room for all the apples that end up on my desk every day. If my writing this helps just one person, then it's worth it!

Set up a PowerPoint presentation called "Teacher to Parent" - and dedicate one page of the presentation to each student. Then do the following for each student:

First, take a photo of the student with a digital camera, or use a regular, old-fashioned camera and scan the print.

Second, make a sound recording of the student's voice. You can get them to read poems or stories they've written, or ask them to explain what they think about school or what they want to be when they grow up. Attach this sound file to the image, and play it for the parents when they come in to see you.

Parents will be impressed that you have given so much special individual attention to their child. It will also teach them something new about their kids - it may even encourage them to learn more about computers. This way, you'll be helping parents to learn as well.

    -Recording Roy

Here's another gem from Language Lilly in Louisiana:

2) Language Flash Cards

Bonjour Blabby! Hola! Hidy-ho! I just have to tell you how excited I am about all the fascinating languages dancing through my mind. I want to share my ideas on how readers can teach languages to their classes using PowerPoint flash cards. Ever since I tried this, I've been seeing great improvements in my students. I think anyone could really benefit from giving this a try - especially people who are teaching English as an additional language. This multimedia effect makes it all the more fun for students.

First, record your students pronouncing various words or phrases.

Second, find images of these words. For example, if you record the phrase "barking dog " you can attach the sound file to an image of a barking dog. The image can be a photo, a piece of clip art or even a drawing by you or one of your students. You can also use this method for entire sentences. It's usually easier to find the image and then record the sound file, though. It may be tough to find an image to go with "The queen licks the green xylophone." Then again, you never know what you'll find in this crazy world of ours.

    -Language Lily

And another from Musical Martin in Manitoba:

3) Music Class Showcase

Dear Blabby: Let's face it. There's nothing quite like the sound of a classroom full of Grade 2 students playing "Baa-baa black sheep" on their recorders. Nor is there anything like little Mary's kazoo solo or the first performance of the Grade 4 band. If you want to showcase these unique sounds, you can do it by creating a musical performance in PowerPoint. Don't worry - you can always adjust the volume!

You can take a picture of the group or solo performers using a digital camera or you can use a regular camera and scan the print image. Attach the sound files to these images and - voila! You have a fabulous little multimedia presentation of musical… talent? Perhaps you might want to call it New Age interpretive sound. Whatever you call it, your students will love seeing their own performances, and this can be a great item to show parents during parent-teacher meetings.

    -Musical Martin

And finally, this tidbit from Historical Harriet in Hartford:

4) Music Appreciation Project

Dear Blabby: I write in response to your reader who was having trouble getting his students interested in musical composers from the Baroque Period. In my experience, it's not always easy to transmit my love of Bach, Handel and Pachelbel to my young Puff Daddy and Spice Girls fans. If you want your students to listen to music that is new to them, you have to go about it very carefully.

You can use PowerPoint to make a multimedia presentation on composers from different time periods. For each composer, collect some biographical information your students will find interesting. Composers who started young may be especially intriguing. Write a short presentation on each one - or get your students to do it - then record it. You can also collect samples of the composer's more famous works, find pictures of the composers, and a picture of the instruments their music is usually played on. Just attach the sound files to the images and you'll have a lively presentation, ready to go.

It's also a good exercise to get your students to sit in a relaxing position while listening to the samples. Ask them to lay back, close their eyes, and listen to the music. Then, when the piece is over, ask them to tell you what it reminds them of. You can even record their responses and add them to the presentations.

    -Historical Harriet