Although Google Slides is an incredibly simple and intuitive tool for building presentations, its animation limitations mean that slides can lack oomph. An easy way to bring movement and dynamism to your slides is by adding audio or video. In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to insert audio and video into Google Slides and give you some examples where using video can enrich your presentations and increase audience engagement.

How to add audio to Google slides

If you have a local copy of the audio file you want to insert on your computer, upload it to your Drive and then use the Google Drive tab to search and locate it. Google Slides supports MP3 and WAV audio formats.

To add the audio to Google Slides, open your presentation, click Insert on the menu bar, scroll down and select Audio. A window will pop up where you can search for an audio file on your Drive. Find your file then click Select. Your audio is now embedded in your slide!

If you click on the audio icon on the slide, and then go to Format options, a panel will appear on the right side of your screen, giving you a few options. If you go to Audio playback and set your audio to Start playing and select Automatically, then you won’t have to click on the icon every time. Further down, you can select Stop on slide change, to ensure the audio doesn’t repeat on loop. Hide icon when presenting is useful if your audio is playing automatically, so the audio icon doesn’t take up space on your slide.

When should you add audio content?

Music can be a great way to help bring your recorded presentation to life and more fully immerse your audience in your message. According to researchers from the University of Groningen, the music we listen to affects our mood and may alter our visual perception. The study suggests that the right music accompaniment can help audiences engage with and so better understand a presentation’s message.

If you’re making a video presentation for people to view independently in their own time or to host on your website, recording a narration could be the ideal solution. A presenter is essential to successfully delivering a presentation’s message, and in the absence of one, viewers shouldn’t be made to rely on just text on screen. Having a voiceover throughout your presentation can bring benefits, such as engaging the audience’s focus, breaking boredom, and increasing retention. We’ve got some great resources on writing engaging video scripts you should check out before recording your narration!

How to embed a YouTube video in Google Slides:

Click Insert on the menu bar, scroll down and select Video. A window will pop up where you can search for a YouTube video. Find the video then click Select. As with any media you use in your presentation – make sure you have the rights to use the video you choose. Your video is now embedded in your slide. You can move it around or resize it like any other Slides object.

If you want your video to play automatically, here are the steps you need to follow. Click on the video and go to Format options. A panel will appear on the right side of your screen, go to Video playback and set to Autoplay when presenting. You can also select a start and end time for your video, if you only want to play a section of the video.

To watch the video, click the play button in the centre. This works in both normal and present mode.

How to insert a video by URL into Google Slides:

The By URL tab is handy if you already have a link to the video you wish to use. Paste your link into the box labelled Paste YouTube URL here. Then hit Select and the video will appear on your slide.

How to insert a video file from your Drive into Google Slides:

If you have a video saved on your drive, click Insert on the menu bar, scroll down, select Video, then select the Google Drive tab. Find your file then click Select. Your video should now be embedded in your slide. If you are sending your presentation to someone else to use, make sure that you share the video as well as the presentation, or they won’t be able to view it.

When should you add video to Google Slides?

The persuasive power of video should not be overlooked when building your presentation. Whether you’re showing a demo or an ad, a video could bring enormous value to your message.

Now that you know how to add videos and audio to Google Slides, you just need to get started! And if you want to upgrade your Google Slides skills, don’t miss out on our Google Slides productivity masterclass.

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Written by

Cecilia Croasdell

Communication consultant

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  1. Image of Ken Molay Ken Molay says:

    All great tips, and I don’t want to take anything away from them. But as an additional consideration, think carefully before applying these techniques to slides used in an online web conference/webinar. Many web collaboration platforms are unable to process embedded audio and video in slides. Technologies such as Webex and GoToWebinar prefer you to save video clips as external media files that are uploaded and presented distinct from the slide display.

  2. Image of Linda Ann Haynes Linda Ann Haynes says:

    Thank you for this great information! I’m also looking for a way to remove audio files from a Google Slides presentation … but can’t seem to find it. Would you be able to point me in the right direction? Thanks!! — Linda

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hi Linda. There should be a speaker icon somewhere on the slide. All you need to do is click on it and press delete. I hope this is helpful! Many thanks!

  3. Image of faragnaaz ernest faragnaaz ernest says:

    hi there…. i have a small issue. i’ve st up a virtual classroom… but every time i try to insert a video or audio it gives
    ‘ ERROR 5 UNABLE TO PLAY’
    So i assume its the whole wav or mp3 format. please can someone explain how to get all my videos and audios in this format?

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hello. The error could possibly be because of the file size being too big, or as you mentioned, being in the wrong format. As we mentioned on the blog post, Google Slides only supports .MP3 and .WAV audio formats and .MOV and .MP4 for video.

  4. Image of Debra Debra says:

    Hi, is there any way of inserting an MP4 movie file on slides but it isn’t seen until you click on an icon to show it? Can do it with youtube/url hyperlinks but struggling with the MP4 file

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