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How to Make a Slideshow with Music + Creative Tips

/ Andrea Hattox

Business plan presentation slide, with purple audio stream behind it to signify making a slideshow with music.

Tired of less-than-inspiring slide decks that do little more than remind everyone how sleepy they are? Good news: by making a few small adjustments — like fading in music at just the right moment — you can take a regular old slideshow and turn it into a much more engaging, immersive experience.

And just as there are a million opportunities to leverage video slideshows in any organization (class presentations, product demos, year-end reviews, company parties, pitch decks, etc.), there are lots of different ways to make one.

This quick guide will teach you how to make a slideshow with music in whichever way works best for you:

  1. The fast way: Perfect if you simply want to add music to the background of a video slideshow
  2. The fancy way: Better if you want to add music PLUS more advanced video editing features like zooms, motion titles, or transitions
  3. The free way: Great for those looking to save

For each method, you’ll first want to have your slides created and ready to go. You can make your slideshow in WeVideo, PowerPoint, Google Slides, or any other program. Once that’s done, choose your own video-and-music adventure below! 

How to make a slideshow with music, the fast way

For this method, you’ll be taking advantage of WeVideo’s screen recorder to capture a video of your slideshow from its original platform. Once the recording is saved to WeVideo, you’ll add the audio tracks and make any edits you desire.

Here’s how to make a slideshow with music in this way:

  1. Open your slideshow in whichever program you used to make it.
  2. In a new browser tab or window, open a new project in our video editor.
  3. Click My media from the menu on the left and then click Record. Choose whether you want to record your screen only or your screen and webcam.
  4. Click Record and then run through your slideshow presentation from start to finish. (Are you presenting your slides verbally? Then you can either narrate now as you record or add narration and sync it up later.)
  5. Click Stop sharing to end your screen recording, and your video will automatically populate on the WeVideo timeline. 
  6. Once the video is on the timeline, you can edit the footage as needed. You might use the split tool to add more time at a certain spot in the recording, or maybe the video trimmer to cut off any awkwardness at the beginning or end. You can also edit out any audio mistakes if you recorded your voice, too.
  7. To add music to your video, click Audio from the left-hand menu. Listen to the audio clips — and sound effects! — until you find the perfect one, and then drag it onto the timeline. (If you already have your own audio, you can upload your file instead.)
  8. You can now edit the audio track, including its volume, start time, end time, and position. You can also auto-loop a track if it’s shorter than your video.
    Editing a Slideshow in WeVideo
  9. If you want to play different musical tunes or sound effects throughout your presentation, drag additional audio clips to the timeline. Then adjust the audio levels and positions accordingly.
  10. Click Finish in the top right corner to export your video file in HD, full HD, or 4K Ultra HD. Download it to your device or upload it directly to YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox Replay, and more.

How to make a slideshow video with music, the fancy way

If option one was quick and easy, option two is a little more time-consuming but also a whole lot more powerful.

For this method, you’ll be importing individual slides into the WeVideo video editor and sequencing them into a seamless video slideshow. But don’t worry! Although this route gives you way more creative freedom, you still won’t need any video editing or motion graphics experience.

Here’s how to make a slideshow video with music in this way:

  1. Open your slideshow in whichever program you used to make it.
  2. Within your slideshow program, export/download each slide as a separate image. (Both PNG and JPEG will work fine.)
  3. Open a new project in WeVideo.
  4. Click My media from the menu on the left and then click Import. Note that you can upload images in bulk or even choose a zip file.
  5. Now click and drag your uploaded images down to your timeline.
  6. Next you’ll be prompted to set the duration for each slide, either in terms of seconds or frames. You can also choose whether or not to apply panning and zooming (AKA the Ken Burns effect).
  7. With the slides on your timeline, you can make all of the video edits you want! Popular effects for slideshows include motion titles, transitions between slides, and visual callouts or arrows.
  8. To narrate your slides, click My media from the menu on the left and then click Narrate. (You can record and re-record as many times as needed to get it perfect.)
  9. To add music to your video slideshow, click Audio from the left menu. Browse through our huge library of audio clips and sound effects, and then drag one or more onto your timeline. (If you have your own audio clip, upload it now instead.)
  10. Once the clips are on the timeline, you can edit the audio tracks in every way: volume, start time, end time, and position. 
  11. Click Finish to export your video file in HD, full HD, or 4K Ultra HD. You can download the video file to your device or share it directly to sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Dropbox Replay.

How to make a slideshow with music, the free way

How do I make a slideshow with music for free, you might be wondering? It’s easy: follow the same basic steps above!

WeVideo’s free slideshow maker with music still offers many of the same core features, only in a more limited capacity.

To get our video editor’s full functionality for free, we recommend taking advantage of a free trial instead. That way, you can create your slideshow at no cost while getting all the best features mentioned above:

  • Simultaneous webcam-and-screen recording 
  • Unlimited stock assets, including audio clips and sound effects
  • Direct sharing to social media and video platforms
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution

5 quick tips for using music effectively in a slideshow

Man Presenting to Conference RoomThe right music keeps your audience engaged. Image by Edmond Dantès.

Music moves people, there’s no doubt about it—  but choosing the wrong piece of music can move people in the wrong direction, too.

To make sure your music is reinforcing your slideshow’s primary message, follow these simple tips.

1. Start with a bang

Music is a great way to kick off your presentation by giving the audience a distinct audio cue that something is happening.

And in case it needs to be said: please don’t literally start with a bang! Instead choose a clip that gently builds to draw attention without startling anyone.

2. Pick tunes based on mood

What is the point of your presentation? What do you hope to move people to do? Depending on that primary goal, choose music that evokes the same emotion.

If it’s an inspirational keynote speech, go with something rousing or upbeat; if it’s a remembrance ceremony, stick with something more somber and understated. (WeVideo classifies audio clips based on emotion to make it easier for you.

3. Keep it quiet

If you’re planning to play audio throughout the entire slideshow, make sure that the volume is low enough that the music doesn’t compete with the narration. Adjusting the levels of audio can keep that background music in the background. 

4. Aim for understated

Are you planning to use sound effects as well as music clips? It’s best to think of sound effects as an expensive seasoning. You want just enough to bring out the amazing flavors of the other ingredients…but never enough to draw undue attention. Less is more.

5. Avoid famous songs 

Unless you know your audience extremely well, it’s best to avoid recognizable songs altogether. Why? Because famous songs almost always have specific associations in each person’s mind—maybe good, maybe bad, but certainly out of your control.

Choosing unidentifiable royalty-free stock music will help you maintain tighter control of the narrative and, as a bonus, will also prevent any licensing issues.

To explore the many built-in audio tracks and sound effects available in WeVideo, give it a try for free! Whether you do a quick screen recording or create a more fully featured slideshow with all the bells and whistles, you can have your slideshow with music presentation-ready in no time.