One of the classic PowerPoint techniques is to play a sound as you move from slide to slide. These transitions sound effects however are also one of the most abused. Let's take a look at how to add effective and appropriate sounds to your transitions. Click on your first slide and then click on the Transitions tab. In the center are a series of transition effects. Use the More button so that you can see the entire gallery. I'm going to choose Honeycomb, because it reminds of bees and this is a presentation about flowers. Whenever possible, try and find a transition effect reminiscent of your content.
When I looked at that preview though the transition took really a long time. I'm going to go up to the right-hand and shorten the duration from 4.4 to 1.5. I'll go back to the left-hand side of the ribbon and click the Preview button. That looks a lot better to me. Next, let's add the sound effect. Just above the Duration on the right-hand side is a button for Sound. Click on the dropdown and a list of built-in sounds appear. I'll choose Breeze mostly because bees fly, but also because it's not as jarring as some of the other sounds.
Again, it's important to pick a relevance sound effect that's not going to annoy your audience. But look at the bottom of the list. There's the option Other Sound. This will allow you import your own wave files sound effect. I definitely see just keeping the clip short, approximately of the desired length of your transition. Otherwise, you'll arrive on your slide and have to wait for the sound to finish every time. Click on Other Sound and a Windows dialog box appears. Navigate to your desired wave file. I have a bee buzz that will work well with my Honeycomb.
Click on it and click OK. (Bzzzzzz) Now I've created my own transition sound. Now look back on that menu again. At the very bottom there's an option to Loop until the Next Sound. If I selected this, the transition sound wouldn't stop. My bee will keep buzzing and buzzing and buzzing until I get to the next slide. Even if I had an audio clip on this slide, it won't stop the transition sound. Only choose this option if you have a specific purpose in mind or that sound will continue indefinitely.
Along the same lines at the top of the list is an option to Stop the Previous Sound. This again only applies to transition sounds. So if your transition sound is too long, you can use this command on the following slide to cut it off when you get there. I'll go back to bee.wav. Now once you've chosen your transition sound effect, you can see there is a little shooting star next to your thumbnail. Notice that's been only set for this one slide that we are on. If I want the same sound for every transition, click on the Apply to All button underneath the sound and duration.
Once I click it, that little star appears on all my slides. Now let's play our slideshow. (Bzzzzzz) Hansel and Petal now has bees buzzing through a honeycomb. Again, I can't emphasize enough to be intentional when designing your slide transitions. Your visual and audio effects must be relevant to your content, stylistically attractive, and not annoying to your audience, especially if you use them on every slide.
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