I just worked on a recent client project for an advertising pitch where they wanted to have various audio clips play automatically after one click per slide and not have the icons on the screen. This was a new one for me and frankly I didn’t think it could be done. But dear readers, it can be! So you can avoid the moment of letting a client down, only to send them an email 30 minutes later with the correct answer, I will give you the steps:
- Get your audio clips edited down to exactly the right sounds you want. Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not have the capability of selecting just the part of your audio file you want to play (Keynote, however, does!)
- Name your audio clips something that will make it obvious which PowerPoint slides you’re pulling those clips into. Do not change those files names after you’ve embedded them! If you do, PowerPoint won’t be able to find them.
- Save all of your audio clips in the same folder as your PowerPoint, and make sure they stay in the same folder. PowerPoint looks for external files like video and audio in it’s own folder. If it’s in another folder, PPT may not find them and you’ll have a mess on your hands
- If on a MAC, just pull the little icon for the audio file to where you want it on the screen. If on a PC, go up to the menu and click on Insert, then Audio.
- Move the little speaker icon to where it make sense on your page, this will help you keep your audio clips sorted in your mind. I would put the little speakers next to whatever content your audio links to. Shrink them a bit if you like. You can’t make them invisible from this screen, though.
- If you’ve got more than one audio clip on the page, you’ll then want to treat them like animation objects. After you’ve got them all in for that page, switch up to the Animations ribbon at the top of the page. There will be audio controls in the center that you can work with. Go ahead and select play, or whatever else you want your audio clips to do. You will then be able to work with them like other animations from the animations menu. Go ahead and select commands like “On Click” and “Play after previous” and set whatever appropriate delays make sense. The first in the series should be “On Click”
- After you’ve set up the order of the various clips, go back to the “Format Audio” ribbon. On the left side of the ribbon there will be a drop down menu for playback options, select “Hide icon during show” and you’ll be able to avoid seeing the little speakers during your actual presentation.
- Don’t forget to test it!
Happy audio clip playing!