Narration Recording Process – macOS

We support recording narration on a Mac in PowerPoint 2011 and PowerPoint 2016; any older versions are unsupported due to issues that can impact the quality of your narration recordings. If you are using an older version, work with your technology group or IT team to get a newer version of Microsoft Office.

Important: Before opening PowerPoint and recording your narration, you should verify that your computer is using the headset as the input device. Many computers have webcams or other microphones connected to them, and the computer may default to using one of those instead of the headset.

Every time you do a recording session, do the following to verify that you are using the correct microphone:

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From the Apple Menu in the upper left side of your menu bar, select System Preferences

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  1. Click on the sound icon in the System Preferences window.
  2. Navigate to the Input tab.
  3. Select the Logitech USB Headset to make it the active recording device.
  4. Close the System Preferences and launch PowerPoint to begin your recording session.

Note that this is also the place you will go if you need to turn down the input level of the headset microphone.

The Recording Process

Starting Recording

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint.
  2. Click the Slide Show tab.
  3. Click the Record Narration button in the Presenter Tools section. This will take you directly into fullscreen presenting mode and begin recording from your microphone.
  4. At this point, you are now recording your narration. Pause for a few seconds before you begin speaking your narration. This gives your computer time to catch up, which makes sure nothing will be missing from the very start of your recording.

Transitioning from Slide to Slide


While you are recording your narration, only proceed forward in your presentation; never go backward. If you need to re-record a slide, follow the directions below for re-recording narration. When recording your narration, PowerPoint creates an individual audio file for each slide. This means that there is a momentary pause in the recording when you go the next slide. It may not seem like much, but in our experience, that pause can prevent the recording of one or more words that are essential to understanding the narration. To prevent this from happening, be sure to stop narrating a few seconds before and after proceeding to the next slide.

This may be a hard habit to get used to if you are experienced with doing smooth, mid-sentence slide transitions when giving presentations to classes or colleagues. Because of this, we recommend doing a few practice slide transitions to reinforce the habit.

Ending Recording


When you have finished your recording session, end it by pressing the Escape key.

Re-Recording Narration


Re-recording the narration of a slide or of an entire presentation is basically the same as doing the initial recording with a few minor differences.

To re-record the narration for a specific slide, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the slide you would like to re-record.
  2. Go to the Slide Show tab.
  3. Click the Record Narration button in the Presenter Tools section. Like before, this will send you directly into presenting mode with narration recording active.
  4. Record the new narration for the slide.
  5. Important: To end your re-recording of the slide, press the Escape key to end the narration session. If you navigate to the next slide in the presentation, PowerPoint will instantly delete and overwrite any narration that was previously on that slide.

Recording Narration in Multiple Sessions

To record a narration in multiple sessions, do the following:

  1. Record your narration as usual, stopping at a point of your choosing.
  2. When you return to finish the narration, navigate to the slide you would like to begin recording on.
  3. Go to the Slide Show tab.
  4. Click the Record Narration button in the Presenter Tools section. Like before, this will send you directly into presenting mode with narration recording active.
  5. Record the new narration for the slide and any subsequent slides.
  6. To stop recording, press the Escape key.

Previewing and Quality Check

It is very important to check your recording and make sure it sounds alright before sending it in or moving on to the next presentation.

Issues to Listen For

  • Hissing, humming, or other background noise
  • The narration being too quiet.
  • The narration being too loud.
  • That there is not a lot of unwanted background noise in the recording.
  • The narration being cut off at the beginning or end of the recording.

Quality Check Process:

  1. Navigate to a slide with narration on it.
  2. Hover your cursor over the speaker icon in the lower right of the slide. This will bring up playback controls for that recording.
  3. Click the Play button and listen for any issues.
  4. Inspect a few more slides in your presentation. A random sampling should be a good indication of the overall audio quality of the presentation.

Published on March 13, 2017 at 1:22:23 pm CDT. Last modified on June 23, 2020 at 9:14:32 am CDT.