Adding music or audio to your presentation can help your content resonate even more with your audience. Here are a few different ways to add background music or audio to your Google Slides presentation.
Why add music to Google Slides?
While not appropriate for every scenario, music and audio can enhance presentations when used strategically. Here are some examples of ways you can use music effectively in different types of presentations. Keep in mind that the key to a great presentation starts with clearly defining your goal and audience.
- Enhance retention: Music can serve as mnemonic devices, aiding in the retention of information. Think about the catchy tunes used to teach the alphabet or multiplication tables.
- Add color to a lesson: Audio can enhance topics related to science (sound waves, whale calls), culture (music from different countries), or history (audio recordings of famous speeches).
- Break up monotony: Especially for younger audiences, adding multimedia, like music, can help your students stay engaged and on task.
In general, music is less appropriate for business presentations, especially discussion-based ones, but here are some scenarios in which music and audio can work in a business context:
- Brand presentation: Companies with jingles or theme songs can embed them to reinforce brand identity, especially in the context of a creative brief or marketing presentation.
- Audio from customers: Audio is a much more emotional medium than text. Playing audio clips from customers giving feedback on a product is a great way to underscore themes when presenting feedback or research.
- Company celebrations: Internal product launches or employee milestones are opportunities to break out of the corporate presentation mold and actually have some fun. Adding music to a standard slide deck can be a great way to set the tone.
- Mood boards: When putting together a mood board for a creative project, consider the sonic atmosphere you want to create, in addition to the visual one.
- Weddings, parties, events: Nothing is more nostalgic than a blast-from-the-past song, especially if multiple attendees share a musical touchstone. Even better if it is a sing-along.
How to add music to Google Slides
Upload an audio file to Google Drive
You can embed an audio file directly in Google Slides by uploading it to Google Drive first. This method is what Google recommends and is the only way to autoplay music. It also gives you on-slide controls for your audio.
- On-slide playback controls
- Only way to autoplay music on a slide
- You have to download an audio file and then upload it to Google Drive.
- The audio icon is a little annoying to style (it is an image, not a shape.)
Link to an audio file (Spotify, Soundcloud, etc.) on the internet
If you don’t want to do that, the workaround is to add a link to an element in your presentation to another website that will open in a new tab where your music or audio will play.
You can link any music or audio file on the internet, as long as the presenter will be able to load it (if you’re not presenting, don’t use a service that requires your login) during the presentation. Keep in mind that because this method uses web links, it will not work if the presentation is opened offline.
- No need to download the audio file.
- Easier to make a custom play button that looks nice.
- Cannot autoplay music on a slide.
- The presenter must remember to log into Spotify (or other app) before the meeting.
Embed a YouTube video in Google Slides
One other option is to embed a YouTube video instead of an audio file. You don’t have to download the audio file in this case, and you can still autoplay the music track.
- No need to download a file
- Supports autoplay
- Not a great presenter experience if you don’t use autoplay
Step-by-step: Upload audio to Google Drive
This is the “official” way to add music or audio to your Google Slide presentation. This method requires an audio file that you can upload. If you don’t have one and want to play music from the internet, skip to the next section.
Step 1: Upload your file to Google Drive.
- Have an audio file you want to use ready to upload. Only .mp3 and .wav files are supported.
- Go to drive.google.com
- Click New > File upload and then select your file to upload it.
- You’ll see a success message in the bottom right.
Step 2: Add your audio file to Google Slides
- Open the Google Slides presentation where you want to add your music.
- Click on Insert > Audio.
- Then find your audio file in Google Drive. You can search for it if it’s not in the root “Your Drive” folder.
- Click on the file to select it. Then click Insert to add it to your slide.
Step 3: Configure your audio file
The audio file gets added to a small “button” element in the bottom left. You can select on it to resize it. When it’s selected, you can also use the Format options menu to configure the audio file.
Here are some settings you can configure:
- Auto-play: Click on Start playing > Automatically. The audio will automatically play when the presenter navigates to the slide.
- Hide the icon: If you have auto-play selected, you can hide the audio icon.
- Loop the track: This can be helpful especially for background music.
Step 4 (optional): Customize your audio icon
You can reposition or resize the audio icon (and hide it if your select auto-play). It is an image, not a shape, so to restyle it, you must upload a different image or icon. You cannot recolor it like other shapes in Google Slides.
To replace the icon:
- Select the icon on the slide
- Click Replace image.
- Upload an image from your computer or search the web for one.
Step-by-step: Add music from Spotify to Google Slides
If you want to use a track from the internet, the best way to do it is to add a link to an element on the slide that will open on a new tab.
This example uses Spotify, but the general process will work for any music or audio track, as long as you can access it via a URL (from Bandcamp, Soundcloud, etc).
Step 1: Select your track
- In the Spotify app (or website), find the track you want to use
- Hover over the track and find the 3-dot button on the right.
- Open the 3-dot menu, go to Share > Copy Song Link.
Step 2: Create a play button in Google Slides
You can add the link to any element, whether its a shape or an image. Create a play button and style it according to your presentation style.
To add a link in Google Slides:
- Select the element you want to use as your play button.
- Open the toolbar and click the link icon to add a link. (You can also right click and find the link button or use the Ctrl or Cmd + K keyboard shortcut)
- Paste in the link you copied from Spotify. Click Apply.
Step 3: How to present a slide with Spotify music
When presenting, you’ll click on the play button, which will open the Spotify track in a separate tab. The music will play until you close the tab.
If you’re going to be presenting, make sure you test the link ahead of time to make sure you’re already logged into the Spotify web app so you’re not caught off-guard.
If someone else will be presenting the slide, make sure they have access to Spotify and they know they should click on the link.
Step-by-step: Embed Youtube music in Google Slides
Alternatively, you can embed a YouTube video and just hide it from the slide area. This is especially a great way to add background music that should autoplay, without having to download it.
Step 1: Find the YouTube video you want to use
- Find the track you want to use and copy the link.
Step 2: Embed the YouTube video on your Google Slide
- In your Google Slides presentation, go to Insert > Video.
- Paste in your YouTube URL. Select the video, then click Insert.
Step 3: Configure the video and hide it
Once the video is added to the slide, you can use the Format options menu to configure the video. We recommend putting it on Play automatically.
Then you should hide your video. Note that if you move your video off the visible area of the slide, it won’t autoplay. Instead, create a shape and hide your video behind it:
- Create a rectangle slightly bigger than your video. You can resize your video if needed.
- Make it the same color as your slide background, no outline (we’re using a black outline here so you can see what’s going on)
- Right click on the video and then go to Order > Send to back to hide it behind the rectangle.
Step 4: Playing music when presenting
When you are in presentation mode, the video will autoplay when you navigate to this slide. It will stop playing when you advance past this slide.
How to create beautiful presentations
Now that you know how to create add music and audio to Google Slides, want some help creating a presentation that’s worth of adding music to? Check out our guide on how to make slides look more beautiful or check out Plus AI to quickly generate and edit polished-looking slides.