Adding Sounds

One way to incorporate sound into your presentation without creating problems with disk space is to play a portion of a CD from the computerís CD drive. (You can do this only if you are running your presentation from the hard drive or the floppy disk drive, rather than from the CD drive.)

  • Click the Insert button on the menu bar at the top of your screen.

  • Select Movies and Sounds from the drop-down menu, followed by Play CD Audio Track. This will display the Movie and Sound Options dialog box shown in Figure 17.

  • Enter the track of the CD you want to play.
  • Also note where in the track you wish to begin and end; enter this information in minutes and seconds.

  • When you click OK, another dialog box will ask if you want the sound to play automatically when the slide appears on screen or when you click the sound icon. In most cases, you should choose the second option, so you can control exactly when the CD will play.

  • After you make your selection, the dialog box closes and a sound icon appears on the screen. You can place the icon anywhere on the slide by dragging it to your desired location.

Another way to incorporate sounds into a PowerPoint presentation is to download sound clips from the Internet. You can use a clip that you have downloaded previously, or you can download one specifically for your speech. In either case, the procedure is the same for inserting the clip onto a PowerPoint slide:

  • Click Insert on the menu bar, followed by Movies and Sounds from the drop-down menu.

  • Select Sound from File to display the Insert Sound dialog box (Figure 18).

  • Find the file that contains the clip you want and click OK to add it to your slide.

If you use downloaded sounds in your presentation, be sure to follow the copyright provisions discussed in your textbook. Also be aware that unless you have sound editing software, you cannot excerpt a portion of the downloaded file to use in your speech. You have to add the entire fileówhich may take up too much space on a floppy disk if thatís what youíre using for the presentation.

Playing Sounds

Regardless of where you find your sounds, you have two ways to play them in PowerPoint. One way, as discussed earlier, is to click the sound icon that appears on screen after you insert a sound onto a slide.

A second way is to assign the sound file to a photograph, chart, graph, text box, or other object on the slide. Rather than having a sound icon appear on screen, you play the sound by clicking the object to which you have assigned it. This results in a more polished presentation and is the method preferred by most experienced speakers. Hereís how to use it:

  • Make sure the slide on which you want to insert the sound is displayed on screen.

  • Insert the photograph, text box, or other object that you want to associate with the sound.

  • Right click anywhere on the object and choose Action Settings from the shortcut menu (Figure 19).

  • Select the Play Sound checkbox in the Action Settings dialog box shown in Figure 20.

  • Click on the arrow at the right of the Play Sound box to reveal the drop-down list. Scroll to the bottom of the list and choose Other Sound. This will open the Add Sound dialog box.

  • Select the file you want from the Add Sound dialog box and click OK.

  • The sound you have chosen is now associated with the object on your slide. To play the sound during your presentation, simply click on the object.