Music is a tremendously powerful element, which awakens our deepest emotions.
Unfortunately, it is a very little exploited ingredient when performing presentations in front of a crowd.
On the other hand, at an enterprise level and in a more private way, the sound of songs and videos is is considered important as background music in powerpoints and Google presentations. In fact, we’re going to talk about these ones throughout the article.
Now let’s go for the methods that will solve the big question:
How to put music on Google Slides?
Currently, there are not many methods to add music to Google Slides. However, the following lines will explain, step by step, the most commonly used methods.
Method 1. Insert a link to a music service
One of the most common ways to add music to Google Slides is through external links. This is to insert a link within the presentation itself that redirects to an audio track, for which you have the rights.
Adding the music in this way is especially advisable for the start slide.
In this way, the song you choose will sound in the background as the audience enters the room.
When doing this, it is common to use music streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music. However, to explain this method I will use SoundCloud, as it allows us to upload the audio tracks we have previously obtained in platforms such as Epidemic Sound or Audiojungle.
Seen the nature of SoundCloud, the need to be connected to the Internet during the presentation is clear. That said, let us take a look at the 5 steps for adding sound through a music service.
1. Open your presentation
First of all, go to the folder where we have our Google Slides document and open it.
The step of inserting music into a presentation is possibly the last step to be taken. Therefore, it is assumed that the slides are completed, in order and ready for our audience.
Once we have opened the Google presentation, we must select the slide on which we want to add the audio. For this example, as we talked about before the start slide, we will select the first one.
2. Select the audio track
The next thing we have to do is select the soundtrack we want to sound in the background. To do this, we have to go to the Internet and look for the musical service we want to use the audio. In this case, we have said that we are going to use SoundCloud, so we will go to the URL https://soundcloud.com.
In this manual, it is assumed that you have an account created in SoundCloud. If this is not the case and you want to continue with this method, I recommend you stop reading and create an account right now.
Once on the web, we will log in and then upload our audio track. To do this, click on the top right, just to the left of our profile name, where it says ‘Upload’ (in the next picture says ‘Subir’ because it is in Spanish).
Attention: To avoid copyright problems, it is very important to obtain the licenses of the tracks we are going to use and to make sure that all the agreements of those licenses are respected.
Therefore, it is recommended that once you upload your topic, you do it privately, as indicated in the image above. In this way, it will limit the access that other people have to the audio track. If you want more information on this you can go to his article about private sharing.
Once the audio has been uploaded, select it and click on the ‘Share’ button.
A new window like the one below will appear:
Here you must copy the link shown above, which you must insert later. However, it is recommended not to close this window.
3. Insert a graphic or a photo
In order to insert the link of our audio track and be able to reproduce it during the presentation, it is first necessary to associate that link to a graphic element that is in our Google slide.
Therefore, if there is no image or graphic on the slide, it will be necessary to add it on. For this example, we will use an icon downloaded from the GraphicRiver website, but you can do the same in other websites such as Flaticon.
To do this, go back to our slide, and click on Insert > Image.
When you do this, the following window will appear to add the image.
Here we should click on the button ‘Choose an image to upload’, in which case the file explorer will be opened for us to search for it. Another simpler way is to drag the image to the frame. It will automatically be added to the slide as we see below:
It is possible to change the size of the image by touching the blue borders around it. Once we have it to our liking, we will go to the next step.
4. Insert the audio link
Remember the link we had copied to the clipboard from step 2? Well, it is time to use it. If at that moment you did not copy it, it is necessary to go back to step 2, copy it and then go back to the presentation.
Once this is done, select the image you had inserted before and, by right-clicking on it, we press Insert > Link. There we should paste the link of our audio track uploaded to SoundCloud.
You only have to click on ‘Apply’ and the audio has already been inserted in the image.
Note: In the same way that you have inserted the audio in the image, you can also insert it in a piece of text following the same steps.
5. Play the music in the presentation
To play the soundtrack during your presentation you first need to click where it says ‘Present’. This button at the top right serves to start the presentation.
Once pressed, the presentation will go into ‘full screen‘ mode.
Next, click on the image where we insert the link to the soundtrack. Another tab will open in our browser with the SoundCloud page.
We will click on the ‘Play’ icon for the track to start playing. Immediately after, we go back to the slide to start the presentation.
Now your Google presentation has background sound!
To finish the music, go back to the SoundCloud tab and pause the soundtrack playback.
Now let’s go to the next method to put background music to your Google Slides.
Method 2. Insert a YouTube video with music
In this method, you will learn how to insert a YouTube video into a slide. You will also learn how to do it in a subtle way so that it is not so obvious to your audience.
Important: We already commented at the beginning of the article that we are not worth any youtube video due to copyright. Please make sure you have the rights to use any third-party media such as a YouTube video.
It would be best to purchase royalty-free music on platforms such as Audiojungle or Epidemic Sound mentioned above and then upload it to YouTube through a private video. This way, you will have no copyright problems and you will be complying with the law.
One of the most noticeable advantages of using this method to add music to Google slides is that they include an autoplay setting. In other words, it will not be necessary to be present during the presentation, which is a good way to make a presentation with an online audience.
However, this method has one drawback to mention. The video to be inserted in a specific slide has a limited duration, which will be the time we spend on that slide. That is to say, once we change the slide, the audio of the inserted video will stop sounding.
This fact makes it a valid method mainly to finish presentations, in which the time of the last slide is unlimited, giving time to the public to abandon the presentation.
Below are the steps to do so.
1. Select slide
In the same way as the previous method, it is necessary to begin by opening our presentation. Next, select the slide on which we want to include the video.
Attention: Make sure that the selected slide is the correct one. Otherwise, the music in the presentation will appear at unexpected times.
2. Insert the video
In the main menu at the top, go to where it says ‘Insert’ and then select ‘Video’.
We will see a table in which we will have three options:
Search for the video directly on YouTube
Paste the URL of a YouTube video
Choose a video previously added to our Google Drive
In this case, we will select ‘by URL’ because we know the specific link of the video we want to insert. Paste that link where it says ‘Paste YouTube URL here’ and click on ‘Select’.
A thumbnail of the selected video appears inside the slide:
3. Hide the video
As you have seen, the video is inserted in the center of the slide, making it difficult to see the content of the slide. There are three things we can do to avoid this being an impediment:
Reduce the size of the video to the maximum and place it in a corner of the slide
Reduce the size of the video to the maximum and hide it behind an image
Place the video out of the slide
With the first option, if the background of the slide is white, although the video is reduced to the maximum, it can be viewed. This will give an impression of ‘lack of resources’ to your audience, who will pay more attention to that detail than to what you are saying.
With the second option, it is possible to hide the video completely, as long as the slide has images. In our example, you do not have them, so this option would not be valid.
However, the third option is valid for any presentation, whether it has images or not. It is about taking the video off the slide. To do this, we will have to select the video and drag it out of the edges of the slide as shown in this image:
This way, the video will be on the slide but not in public view, and the soundtrack can be subtly added to the presentation.
4. Modify the video options
Right-click on the video and select the option that says ‘Video Options’.
A menu with different parameters will then be displayed on the right of the screen:
Start at – End at
This is an option to put specific points where you want the video – and its audio – to start and end playback.
Autoplay when presenting
This option is recommended to keep it checked. This way, every time you start the slide where you inserted the video, it will automatically play at the exact point where you were told to start.
Mutes the audio of the video. An option that goes in the opposite direction to the objective of this guide, therefore, we will leave it unchecked.
Once we have modified the options of the video to our liking, it will be possible to proceed to reproduce the presentation.
5. Begin presentation
We will click on the ‘Present’ button at the top right of the screen, in the same way, we saw in the previous method to add music to Google Slides. Instantly, the presentation will begin.
If you have chosen the first slide to insert your YouTube video, you will surely notice how it starts with the background sound.
To finish with this method, I will remind you that the inserted video is linked to only one slide. That is,
once we move to the next slide, the video, and therefore its audio, will stop playing.
In the following lines, you will discover, step by step,
The two most commonly used ways to add music to Google Slides
The measures necessary to do so legally
The best places to find legal music for your presentations
But before that, it is necessary to clarify certain ideas such as…
Copyright Precautions in Music for Presentations
You may have thought that adding music to your Google Slides is as simple as choosing the music and playing it during the presentation. However, if you do so, you will face harsh penalties for violating the rights of the songs you use.
In general, the risk of someone being able to sue you for using music without having the rights is low. However, this will largely depend on the size of the presentation and the audience to which it is shown.
If we want to avoid any kind of punishment and be at peacemaking our presentation, we can acquire music from either of these two portals:
Before choosing the music you will use during the presentation, you need to make sure you have the rights to the songs or licenses necessary to comply with the law.
How do you find the perfect soundtrack for your Google presentation?
When choosing the music that will follow your presentations it is necessary to consider some factors such as:
The subject area
Your brand -or your company’s-
It is true that when you choose the sounds for a presentation, you may fall into the trap of adapting the music to your personal preferences, something that may not work at all well in your presentation.
Also, keep in mind details such as whether you are going to talk while the background music is playing, or whether you will start the chat once the audio is over. It is also advisable to consider whether the music will be used only at the beginning, only at the end, or during the entire speech.
Depending on your goal, you may need to select one type of music or another. To make your search easier, there are some web sites to which you can go in order to legally add music to your presentations.
This Swedish platform is dedicated to the sale of music without copyright and has a library that exceeds 300,000 songs.
Not long ago, theEpidemic Sound team decided to launch a subscription designed explicitly for any multimedia creator, including those dedicated to Google presentations. This subscription offers the following:
A multitude of songs and sound effects
Music genre diversity
All music is royalty-free
Constant updating of the music library
No royalties or royalties forever
The prices of this ‘Creator Subscription’ are variable according to the visits that the presentations have:
$15 / month
$49 / month
In addition, they currently have a 30-day free trial period available, so that you can try out the platform and all its services without any kind of commitment or permanence.
This is a service that offers about half a million songs and royalty-free sound effects, which are classified by musical genre, tempo, or duration.
Audiojungleis a tremendously intuitive platform: it includes a search engine that you will be able to search for any type of music track you need in your presentations. Depending on what you’re looking for, you will be able to access one license or another. For example, if you are looking for licenses for songs, you will find them:
Up to 10,000 copies, sales, or downloads.
Between $26 and $29 per license
Between $80 and $100 per license
However, if you are looking for sound effects, the type of license and the corresponding price varies:
It can only be used in one project
Between $1 and $5 per license
It can be used in different projects
Between $3 and $15 per license
It is as simple as logging into your account, selecting the audio track, making the payment, downloading the song or effect and you’re done. If what you are looking for is to do things legally and be unconcerned about what might happen, Audiojungle will save you a lot of headaches when it comes to finding the best music for your presentation, without a doubt.
Creative Commons is a non-profit institution dedicated to fostering access to and exchange of culture of any kind. Its goal is to help build a public domain and provide an alternative to copyright content.
It is not entirely advisable to use this type of music because, although their licenses are currently royalty-free, in the future, their authors may choose to offer the rights of their songs to other organizations.
However, if you still want to risk it, some of the sites where you can download music without copyright for your Google presentations are:
Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive is an alternative service that, like Jamendo, offers music under a Creative Commons license. Both are very similar platforms, although the Free Music Archive is somewhat less intuitive.
Complementary to the previous ones, CCMixter is another option to search for music without copyright. If you compare it with Jamendo or Free Music Archive, you will notice that they are very similar in use, although it offers somewhat different search options.
Those were the most used options for adding music to Google Slides. As you have seen, you have a wide range of services and platforms that can bring sound to your presentations without the fear of breaking the law.
Adding a soundtrack to your Google presentation can go a long way if you’re looking to have your audience in the palm of your hand.
Having good background music to follow your words will increase the attention of your audience, making your presentation professional, entertaining and memorable.
Throughout the article, you have been able to see, among other things, how to add music step by step to your Google presentation, both through an external service such as SoundCloud and through a YouTube video.
You have also learned the precautions you need to take when choosing the music for your slides, as well as the services that provide you with that music.
I remind you that, to avoid problems with the music on your slides, it is vital that you have the necessary licenses for use. For this, platforms such as Epidemic Sound or Audiojungle, allow you to have quality music and save you any kind of problem present and future.
If you have been left wanting more, I recommend you to visit our article about music for corporate videos. It will give you useful tips that you can complement with what you have learned in this article.
Pablo Olóndriz – Legis Music Founder-
Pablo Olóndriz founded Legis Music in 2016 and, since then, has been working non-stop on the online Royalty-Free industry, managing to build a great source of information for people who need amazing background music for their projects and videos.
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