How to add Audio to your Presentations

You can add audio to your presentations such as music, narration or sound bites.  Only audio files with a file type supported by PowerPoint can be added to a presentation.  Audio files are inserted using the Insert Tab on the Ribbon in much the same way you would insert other items. Like video, once audio files are inserted, you can trim them, fade them and style them the same as you would style any other objects.

Audio files can be embedded or linked and it’s important to understand the difference as how you insert the audio will impact your PowerPoint file size.  For instance, embedded files are absorbed by the presentation, increasing the size of the presentation file whereas linked files remain separate so they do not affect the size of the presentation.

You can also record your own audio as long as your computer is equipped with a sound card, microphone and speakers.

Supported audio file formats

PowerPoint supports the following file formats and extensions.

  • AIFF Audio file (.aiff)
  • AU Audio file (.au)
  • MIDI file (.mid or .midi)
  • MP3 Audio file (.mp3)
  • Advanced Audio Coding – MPEG-4 Audio file* (.m4a, .mp4)
  • Windows Audio file (.wav)
  • Windows Media Audio file (.wma)

Requirements: PowerPoint 2013 or 2016. To follow this tutorial, open up the waterfalls-start PowerPoint presentation, download the Audio Clip from xxxx and follow the directions below:

Insert An Audio file from your computer

Insert audio and embed it into the presentation.

  1. Click the Slide you want to add audio to
  2. Click the Insert tab > Media Group > Audio > Audio on my PC
    Insert Audio in PowerPoint 2016
  3. In the Insert Audio Dialog Box, navigate to the folder where the audio clip resides, click on the file to select it and then click the Insert button.   The audio icon and controls will appear on the slide

Preview the Audio

  1. If necessary, click on the audio icon to select it and then click the Play/Pause button located beneath the audio icon.  You can stop the recording by clicking the same button.
    Play audio in PowerPoint 2016

Setting Audio Options

There are many options that you can set that will determine how your audio will be played in your presentation.  If you click the Play in the Background button on the Audio tools Playback tab, your sound will be treated as a background track and all the buttons to Start Automatically, Play Across Slides, Loop until Stopped and Hide during Show will all be activated.  Alternatively, you can set only the options you desire  as shown below.

  1. Select the audio clip icon Audio clip icon .
  2. Click the Audio Tools > Playback tab > Audio Options group
  3. In the Start list, click Automatically.  This will start the audio clip automatically when you run the slide show.  Alternately, if you want to manually start the audio clip when you click it on the slide, choose When Clicked.
    Setting audio options in PowerPoint 2016
  4. Still in the Audio Tools > Playback tab > Audio Options group, select Play Across Slides and Loop until Stopped. This will play the audio clip as you click through the slides  and play the audio clip play continuously until you stop it.
    Apply audio options in PowerPoint 2016
  5. Preview the presentation by clicking the Slide Show tab > Start Slide Show group > From Current Slide.  Your audio should be playing.  Adjust your audio options as desired.

Managing Audio in your presentations

There may be occasions where you may choose to link to audio clips instead of embed them. While this can decrease the file size of your presentation, it may cause problems if the linked file gets moved to another folder or deleted from your computer.  Also, if you give your presentation from another computer, are sharing your presentation with others or collaborating with others who do not have the audio located on their computer, you may wish to break the link and just embed the file instead.

  1. To link audio instead of embed it, just select “Link to File” instead of insert when adding audio to your presentation.
    link to an audio file in PowerPoint 2016
  2. To check whether a presentation has any embedded files, click the File tab and under Info, view Optimize Media Compatibility and you will see how many media files are embedded.  In our example, we have one Media file embedded.
  3. To remove a link, under the same info screen in the Related Documents section, click Edit Links to Files.
  4. In the Links dialog box, click on Break Link and then click Close.

Remove an audio link in PowerPoint 2016

4 Steps to Improve your Interview Skills

Interview SkillsThe purpose of the job interview is to give the interviewer the opportunity to evaluate your application to determine if you can do the job, whether you will fit in and if you are the best candidate for the position? The interview also gives you, as the candidate, the chance to better understand the job and the organization and determine whether the job will offer you the opportunities you may want for advancement or experience? Keep in mind that even though you may possess excellent office technology skills, the prospective employer will also be evaluating your personality, attitudes, professional appearance and ability to communicate. Your ability to convince a prospective employer that you can make a real contribution to their department or company will depend on how well you prepare for the interview. In addition to reviewing the soft skills required by most employers today, follow the guidelines below to help you prepare for your interview:

Step 1:  Prepare for the Interview?

Research the Company

It’s important to thoroughly research the company and get to know their products and services before the interview.  This will show an employer that you took the time to learn about their company and will help you in your quest towards making a good first impression.  A good place to start would be to visit the company website.  Many companies will provide information about their mission, culture, number of employees, locations, leadership and other statistics such as the example here at Facebook or here at Google.  Requesting a copy of the annual report is another good way to learn about a company.  Some items to look out for include:

  • What are their products and services
  • How profitable is the company?
  • How many employees are there?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Any recent expansions or mergers?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their hiring practices?

Prepare Questions to Ask

Once your research is complete, think of a list of questions you want to ask your perspective employer that may help you determine if the job is for you.  Avoid asking questions about salary, wages, holidays with pay, paid sick days, personal days or time off until you get a job offer. Some questions that you may consider are listed below:

  1. Could you tell me about a typical work day and the tasks I will be doing?
  2. Which duties or responsibilities are most important for this job?
  3. What are the major challenges I will face in this job?
  4. How will I be trained or introduced to this job?
  5. Can you describe the ideal person for this job
  6. Who will I report to in this job?
  7. How many people in your department will I be supporting?
  8. Please explain the opportunities for advancement and professional growth in this department/company?
  9. How soon do you plan to fill this job?
  10. How many people work in the department/company?
  11. What are the department/company goals for the year?

Update your Information

Update your resume with your most recent employment, education and relevant experience. Once updated, prepare copies of your resume, a typed list of your 3 references and their contact information, copies of your certificates, diplomas, letters of recommendation and your portfolio or samples of your work (if applicable.)

Step 2:  Practice Basic Interview Questions

While you’ll never be able to anticipate every single question you may be asked at your interview, you can at least be prepared to answer some of the most commonly known frequently asked interview questions. There are many websites that list these questions and ideas of how to answer them. A good place to start would be which lists some of the most popular questions and their thoughts on how to answer them.  Some job sites, like, also provide guidelines on how to answer common interview questions.  The following list also gives some commonly asked interview questions.

  • Can you tell me about yourself?
  • Can you tell me about your experience?
  • What do you know about this company and why would you like to work here?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your biggest weaknesses?
  • What would you like to be doing in 3-5 years from now?
  • Why did you choose a career as an Administrative Assistant/Office Professional?
  • What salary are you looking for?
  • What was your greatest accomplishment in your last job?
  • How do you react to working under pressure?
  • Do you enjoy working independently or as part of a team?
  • Do you require close supervision when you work?

Beware of Illegal Questions

In the United States there is a federal law that forbids employers from discriminating against any person on the basis of marital status, sex, age, race, national origin or religion. Therefore, interviewers who want information on these topics need to phase these questions very carefully. For instance, an interviewer cannot ask what your native tongue is but he/she can ask you what languages you speak and write fluently. It is also illegal for an interviewer to ask your age, if you are married, plan to have any children or what church you belong to. For a complete description of illegal questions and how to handle them, visit Martin Yates blog on Illegal Questions at

Step 3:  The Day of the Interview

Timing is Key

  • Know the date, time and address of your interview.
  • Know the best way to get to the interview and how long it will take to get there. Prepare a map through mapquest or Google maps and do a trial run if time allows.
  • Know the name of the company/business, the job title of the position you are applying for and the name of the person who will interview you.  Write down this information.
  • Read the job description carefully to understand the job duties, salary and qualifications required, etc…)
  • Plan to arrive at the interview 10-15 minutes early.
  • Be prepared to fill out an application by taking with you a separate sheet of past employment, dates employed, supervisor names and phone numbers
  • Review the information on your resume and practice your answers to the basic interview questions.
  • Participate in a Mock Interview and get video-taped if time allows
  • Arrange for child care (if necessary)

Dress for Success

While dressing for success may not always get you the job, it will give you a competitive edge and create a positive first impression.  The following tips will help you make a good, first impression:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before your interview
  • Shower and shampoo your hair
  • Have a well-groomed hairstyle
  • Wear clean and polished conservative dress shoes
  • Avoid trendy fashions. Dress in the clothes that you would wear on the job
  • Wear clean, freshly pressed clothes
  • Have cleaned and trimmed fingernails
  • Shave
  • Use minimal cologne or perfume
  • Have no visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercing’s for women
  • Brush your teeth, floss and use a mouth wash. It’s important to have fresh breath
  • Have no gum, candy, or other objects in your mouth
  • Use minimal jewelry
  • No body odor
  • Review these Dress for Success tips

Must-Have Free Apps for Working Parents (infographic)

Many of you will have heard the expression ‘Work hard, play hard’, but for working parents it seems to be work hard and then work even more when they get home. Being committed to a busy office career isn’t easy to begin with but balancing a family life with all of that can just be stress overload. This infographic from HappyCleans will hopefully help you at least a little to try and manage everything.

It takes you through a range of apps that will essentially save you time. Many working parents fall into the trap of letting tasks just pile up and sometimes they can seem like they’re never ending. It’s important that when you come home from the office that at least some of the housework is done. Apps like Chorma can help you here as it encourages the kids to partake in housework by turning it into a competition. Okay, they’re not going to have the place spotless when you arrive home, but even if they got a few small tasks done, it would give you maybe an extra hour to relax in the evenings.

Even if you have a good office job, you may run into some problems with budgeting at home. Everything is so expensive and kids just cost a lot of money. Apps like Mint can help you here as they allow you to keep better track of all expenditures and even suggests ways you can save. Sometimes end of months can be tough until payday if you’ve spent too much during the month. Find out about all of the apps in the infographic below and why not download a few and try them out?.

Free apps for working parents

How to Re-use (import) Slides from other Presentations

If you have frequently used content in other presentations, you can import it into your current presentation without even having to open up the file.  By importing slides, you will essentially be creating a copy of the original content for re-use and it will not effect the original presentation.  You can choose to keep the original formatting of the slide(s) you’re importing or they will inherit the design of your current presentation by default.

You can also import slides from a Slide Library if your organization uses SharePoint which allows you to share and reuse PowerPoint slides stored in the library.  To use slides stored in your company Slide Library, select the Open a Slide Library instead of Open a PowerPoint File to locate your presentations in step 3 below.

Requirements:  PowerPoint 2013 or 2016.  To follow this tutorial, open up the Hiking Adventures Begin PowerPoint presentation and the hiking-days PowerPoint Presentation and follow the directions below:

  1. Click on the Slide 2 thumbnail or the slide thumbnail where you want to import a slide
  2. Click the Home tab > Slides Group and click the arrow below New Slide and then select Reuse Slides
    re-use slides in PowerPoi
  3. The Reuse Slides Pane will appear.  In the Reuse Slides pane, select Open a PowerPoint File.
    Reuse Slides Pane In PowerPoint
  4. In the Browse dialog box, navigate to the folder where the presentation file resides that contains the slide that you want to add and then click Open.  In our example, we’re inserting the slides in the hiking-days presentation. The slides will appear in the Reuse Slides Pane.
    Reuse-slides in PowerPoint
  5. The Reuse Slides pane will display thumbnails of the available slides.  In the Reuse slides pane, right click on the first slide and choose Insert All slides .  Alternatively, if you only want to add one slide, just click the slide you want to add.  The slides will appear in your presentation.
  6. If you want to preserve the formatting of the source presentation, check the “Keep Source” formatting option otherwise the slides will inherit the design of your current presentation by default.

    Import slides into PowerPoint

    Sample of the presentation with only 1 slide imported.

If you choose to insert all the slides, your presentation will contain 7 slides as shown below:

Importing slides from other presentations in PowerPoint

Sample of all slides imported into the presentation.



Emotional Intelligence (EQ): Is it Critical for our Success in Today’s Competitive World?

Until recently, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Emotional Intelligence (EQ) was a term seldom used by companies, employees or job candidates. Now, it is one of the most common elements in evaluating employees and candidates. And, it is also viewed as an excellent predictor of company success.

Companies, particularly Tech companies, are focusing more on EQ. or Emotional Intelligence, than intellect when selecting or promoting employees. These companies have found that without high levels of Emotional Intelligence, employees are more likely to fail as productive, engaged workers. They also have learned that Leaders with high EQs make better leaders.

In today’s highly competitive world, productive, engaged and high performing employees are critical to company success. These elements of success comprise the basics of EQ, so it’s understandable that a company’s employees have high levels of EQ.

Most successful companies now require a standard of EQ for both job candidates and employees. Since statistics indicate that maximized EQ results in greater company and employee success, it’s now critical that employees attain higher levels of EQ as they progress in their careers.

EQ on-line testing is now standard in most tech companies, with many non-tech companies utilizing ‘’behavioral-based questions’’ and competency analysis to determine the most critical elements of overall job competence, work ethics and emotional intelligence of all employees and job candidates.

Almost 50% of today’s employees are millennials. This group of young employees and job candidates do not tolerate a lack of EQ, especially from their managers or leaders. Millennials generally have achieved at least basic levels of EQ and expect their leadership to be excellent examples of EQ. They are intolerant of old style managers who believe ‘’do as your told’’ is more than adequate for successful employee management.

Millennials are demanding more EQ from their companies, while companies are demanding the same from their employees? Will this create even more confusion or greater results in our economy as it struggles with worldwide competition?  To find out more, read Pierce Ivory’s article on Emotional Intelligence and the Future of Work.