Adding an audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint or Keynote

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Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint or Keynote Are you looking for a way to transfer some of your lectures completely or partially into videos in order to make them available to students, for example in a Learning Management System such as Stud.IP or ILIAS? Do you want to work independently and at your own pace to create the videos on your PC?

Since Powerpoint 2010 was released, it has been possible to create videos with audio commentary of presentations from within the program itself. We have also provided instructions for Keynote for macOS.

Please note: Before recording your presentation, please make a short test recording to check that all settings are correct. Please also refer to the table of potential errors below. After recording your audio, save the entire presentation before exporting it as a video.

Video tutorials

Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint 2010
Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint 2016
Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint 2019
Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with a keynote

Step-by-step text instructions with screenshots

Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint 2010

With PowerPoint 2010 the creation of audio commentary for presentations is possible in just a few steps.

  1. In a previously created PowerPoint presentation you start recording the slide show under the "Slide Show" tab. You can choose whether the recording starts at the beginning of your presentation or from the current slide. (Figure 1)

  2. A window will now open in which you must tick the two boxes "Slide and animation timings" and "Narrations, ink, and laser pointer" in order for them to be recorded. The laser pointer corresponds to your mouse pointer. Now start the recording by clicking on the corresponding button. (Figure 2)

  3. Now you have the possibility to add audio commentary to the individual slides by presenting your prepared text. When you are finished with a slide, click on the small arrow in the upper left corner to move on to the next. (Figure 3)

  4. If you need a break, it is always possible to pause the recording by clicking the pause button. In the same window you will see the running time of the current slide as well as the total running time. (Figure 3)

  5. After you have recorded the text of your last slide, end the recording by clicking on the close icon of the small control window. (Figure 3) You should now save your presentation so that your recordings are stored. Note that you should save the presentation in .pptx format to keep the audio recordings. The old .ppt format does not support this!

  6. An overview of all your slides will show you the time required for the audio recording. (Figure 4)

  7. To export as video, select: "File" -> "Export" -> "Create Video". There you select the quality level (we recommend saving in HD). Also make sure that you have selected to use the recorded timings and comments. With a click on "Create Video" you can produce the final video. (Figure 5) Finally, select a location on your computer to save your file and confirm with "Save". (Figure 6)
Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint 2016

With PowerPoint 2016 the creation of audio commentary for presentations is possible in just a few steps.

  1. n a previously created PowerPoint presentation you start recording the slide show under the "Slide Show" tab. You can choose whether the recording starts at the beginning of your presentation or from the current slide. (Figure 7)

  2. A window will now open in which you must tick the two boxes "Slide and animation timings" and "Narrations, ink, and laser pointer" in order for them to be recorded. The laser pointer corresponds to your mouse pointer. Now start the recording by clicking on the corresponding button. (Figure 8)

  3. Now you have the possibility to add audio commentary to the individual slides by presenting your prepared text. When you are finished with a slide, click on the small arrow in the upper left corner to move on to the next. (Figure 9)

  4. If you need a break, it is always possible to pause the recording by clicking the pause button. In the same window you will see the running time of the current slide as well as the total running time. (Figure 9)

  5. In the lower right corner you will find another control panel that allows you to add additional annotations to slides. (Figure 9)

  6. After you have recorded the text of your last slide, end the recording by clicking on the close icon of the small control window. (Figure 9) You should now save your presentation so that your recordings are stored. Note that you should save the presentation in .pptx format to keep the audio recordings. The old .ppt format does not support this!

  7. To export as video, select: "File" -> "Export" -> "Create video". There you choose the quality level (we recommend saving in "presentation quality"). Also make sure that you have chosen to use the recorded timings and comments. With a click on "Create Video" you can produce the final video. (Figure 10) Finally, select a location on your computer to save your file as well as the file format (we recommend MPEG4) and confirm with "Save". (Figure 11)
Adding audio commentary to presentation slides with PowerPoint 2019

With PowerPoint 2019 the creation of audio commentary for presentations is possible in a few steps.

  1. In a previously created PowerPoint presentation you start the recording of the slide show under the tab "Slide Show". You can choose whether the recording starts at the beginning of your presentation or from the current slide. (Figure 12)

  2. By clicking on "Record" you trigger a 3-second timer. ou then have the possibility to add audio commentary to the individual slides by presenting your prepared text. When you are finished with one slide, click on the arrow on the right to move on to the next. (Figure 13)

  3. In the lower bar you have the possibility to add further notes to your slides. (Figure 13)

  4. If you need a break, it is always possible to pause the recording by clicking the pause button. (Figure 14)

  5. If your PC has a camera, you can also record and integrate a video of yourself. (Figure 14)

  6. If you are not satisfied with a recording, the audio track for a single slide or for the entire presentation can be deleted. (Figure 15)

  7. After you have recorded the text of your last slide, end the recording by clicking on the Exit icon and close the recording window. (Figure 16) You should now save your presentation so that your recordings are stored. Note that you should save the presentation in .pptx format to keep the audio recordings. The old .ppt format does not support this!

  8. To export as video, select: "File" -> "Export" -> "Create Video". There you select the quality level (we recommend saving in maximum "Full HD"). Also make sure that you have selected to use the recorded timings and comments. With a click on "Create Video" you can produce the final video. (Figure 17) Finally, specify a location on your computer and the file format (we recommend MPEG4) and confirm with "Save". (Figure 18)


Potential errors

Problem Operating system / PowerPoint version Solution
No sound when playing the slides as video Windows & macOS This problem can have several causes:
  • You are trying to export a presentation in the old PowerPoint (.ppt) file format. Slide dubbing is only supported in the new .pptx format. It may not be sufficient to save an old .ppt presentation in the new format. In any case, please check whether a recording with a completely new presentation works and, if necessary, transfer the contents of the old presentation into the new one in the .pptx format.
  • Your microphone does not transmit sound. Please check with an alternative program (Windows 10: Voice Recorder | macOS: Voice Memos) whether an audio signal is received at all.
  • Your operating system is set to deny PowerPoint access to the microphone. You can check this in Windows via Settings -> Privacy Settings -> Microphone. With macOS this can be done via System settings -> Security -> Privacy -> Microphone. PowerPoint must be allowed to use your microphone here.|}


Further information

You will find detailed instructions on | this website for recording a slide show in PowerPoint.


Distribution of recordings

If you have created a recording, you have the following options for making it available to students.

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