Playing Sounds Across Slides in PowerPoint

One of the most frequently asked questions in my PowerPoint workshops is how to play sounds across slides. Sounds stop playing when you move to the next slide. If you want them to play across multiple slides or even for the entire presentation, try this:

  • Go to the slide where you want the sound to begin playing
  • Choose Insert, Movies and Sounds,
  • Click Sound from Clip Organizer (or Sound from File) to insert the sound. If you don’t want the sound icon to appear in the slide show, drag it just off the slide.
  • Click yes when asked if you want the sound to play automatically. If you are not asked this, don’t worry, the next steps will let you set that (or double-check the settings if you were asked and said yes.)
  • Right-click the sound’s icon and pick Custom Animation from the popup menu. The Custom Animation pane will open and your sound file should be listed.
  • Click the arrow directly to the right of the sound icon to pull down the various options.
  • Select Effect Options, and on the Effects tab, click the radio button beside Stop Playing after XXX slides. Put 999 in the box so the track will play throughout all your slides, even if you go back and forth among slides. PowerPoint considers each transition a “slide,” so you want to put a large number in there.
  • Check the settings in the Timing tab. To play automatically, the timing should be set to Start After Previous with a 0-second delay.Click OK to close the dialog box.