How to Add Music to Google Slides for the Entire Presentation

Add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation
Table of Contents

How to add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation is the kind of question that most people think would have a very simple answer; something along the lines of clicking on a menu item or adjusting a setting. The reality of incorporating audio content to a Google Slides project is that it is not a native feature, but there is a clever sequence that is generally easy to follow.

Below you will find a series of steps on how to add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation. Technically speaking, we can call this a workaround or a hack, but this does not mean it is complicated; it is actually pretty easy to understand. Once you follow the steps a couple of times, it will become second nature for subsequent projects.

Why Should You Add Music to Google Slides Presentations?

There was a time when the crafting of digital presentations was limited to using Microsoft PowerPoint or creating your own video. These days, we have various options in this regard, and Google Slides has emerged as being highly recommended for many reasons. With Google Slides, your digital presentations can be as simple as traditional slideshows or as complex as a multimedia story.

Background music can make a significant difference in terms of audience engagement. With the right kind of music, a Google Slides project can be turned into a powerful multimedia presentation that can really get the point across. Think about a presentation that is centered on an infographic about the use of mobile communications for business purposes; if you really want to make this project stand out, you can add hyperlinks to statistical references and choose a musical piece that can make the information easier to digest. This is why it helps to know how to add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation. We will later explore some musical styles considered to be highly adequate for digital presentations based on various topics.

1. Add Cloud Music to a Single Google Slide

Most people learn how to add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation through the use of audio files that have been previously uploaded to internet servers that are publicly accessible, and which also offer an embedding option through their application programming interface (API). In other words, this method calls relies on your ability to link to cloud music services such as YouTube, SoundCloud, or even Google Drive.

To get started, you need to figure out on which of the slides in your presentation the music track will start playing. For most projects, this would be the first slide, but not all presentations are the same. Some people prefer to deliver a few messages and visuals before the music starts playing; to this effect, you may want to add an explanatory disclaimer that lets your presentation targets know about the upcoming audio. Once you have made this choice, there are five more steps to follow:

2. Complete Your Presentation

You always want to work with a project that has been finished in terms of written, visual, and interactive content. Adding music will always be the last step. From the Google Slides website, you need to open the presentation and set it at the slide on which the music will start playing.

Complete Your Presentation - add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation

3. Choose the Music You Want

As previously mentioned, we will be embedding cloud music files to Google Slides, so you need to visit the corresponding website. Let’s say you choose an instrumental track from SoundCloud; be sure to sign in and upload the music file if needed. You would do the same for other cloud platforms such as YouTube. Look for the option to share the media file and click or tap on it. You will see various sharing options, most of the social networks, but the one you will be using is the link or URL, which you will need to copy.

Choose the Music You Want - click on copy link on SoundCloud

4. Select a Graphic Element

The slide that will serve as a placeholder for your background music needs to have a graphic element. This can be just about any digital image such as a photograph, illustration, or icon. You can drag-and-drop the element or upload it from the Insert – Image menu actions. If you do not want the image to call up attention, you can always resize it and make it smaller so that it looks like an afterthought.

Selecting a Graphic Element on your presentation

5. Insert the Cloud Music Link

Click or tap on the graphic element mentioned above in order to edit it. You can now long-press or right-click so that the Insert – Link dialog box appears.

how to add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation - click insert and then link

This is where you should paste the link to the cloud music file we previously discussed. Tap or click on Apply, and you are almost done.

Add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation - click apply

6. Test Your Cloud Music Link

On Google Slides, you can open the project and click or tap on the Present button next to Comments to the right of the menu bar. Execute the presentation, and when the time comes for you to deliver it, simply click on the image where the cloud music link was embedded in order to let the music play.

7. Auto-Play YouTube Videos

By virtue of being a Google property, YouTube will play nice with Slides projects. Inserting a YouTube video and letting it play automatically when you get to that slide is another method. You can do this by selecting Insert from the menu bar, choosing Video, and pasting the URL. By default, the video will embed right on the center of the slide, but you can move it out of the way by dragging it to the bottom of the slide past the edge. Now you need to right-click or long-press on the video icon in order to bring up the Video Options menu, which will let you define the start and end times plus the auto-play option.

The Best Music Styles for Presentations

You should always have some type of music in your presentation because it can help set the tone and the mood. Whether you’re telling a story, explaining a point, or introducing your brand, there are five different types of music that are most often used for these situations:

Percussion Tracks

Drumming, bells, and other percussion instruments are common in almost any kind of music. If you are telling a story, you’ll want to incorporate some type of music that makes the audience listen and feel the story. A fast song can work great for a story about action, while a slow song can be a good choice for a story about something emotional. Quite a few digital presentations and how-to videos posted on YouTube feature songs from the liquid drum and bass sub-genre of electronic dance music (EDM) because they are both smooth and rhythmic, thus making them adequate for Google Slides projects.

Ambient Music

Ambient tracks are often used to set the mood of a place, or to represent a mood or idea; we can think of them as film scores or soundtracks. A song about nature, for example, is perfect for a presentation about environmental issues, or maybe about some of the great adventures you’ve had.

Relaxation Sounds

Music that helps with relaxation is perfect for a presentation where you need to have a clear mind to focus and get the point across. Relaxing music, in general, will be perfect for any presentation and setting whether you’re giving a speech at a university, giving a presentation at work, preparing for a big interview, or working on an important project; these are the reasons why this musical style is very popular among people who learn how to add music to Google Slides for the entire presentation.

Classical Music

You can never go wrong with music composed during the Classical Period. When you think about the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert, you are invariably drawn to the melodies they composed more than their entire overtures. The liberal use of melody is what sets the Classical Period apart from the Baroque Period, which tends to be heavier and more complex. You do not want to distract your audience too much from the presentation, and this is why the chamber music you select would preferably be melody-based.

Rock and Pop Music

Think about the uplifting feelings you get when you recognize the monster guitar riffs of AC/DC songs or the catchy hooks of familiar dance tunes by the likes of Chic or the EDM duo Justice. As long as you use the instrumental versions of these hit songs, having them play on the background of your Google Slides presentations can make your projects a hit, but you want to watch out for copyright issues when using these tracks.

When choosing cloud music for Google Slide presentations, you will want to make sure that you have adequate rights to use the selected track. If you do not want to pay for the track, check if it provides a Creative Commons license.

In the end, the two methods listed herein to add music to your Google Slides presentations can make your project come alive. In the future, it is possible that Google will update Slides with the functionality to add background music like a native feature; until then, we hope that you can make good use of these workarounds.

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