Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Creating a Soundboard with Google Slides

How can you bring some extra life into your class activities, discussions, and games? Ding, Ding, Ding! Yes, that's right, with your own custom soundboard.

A soundboard can be used in your class for many purposes:
  • It could provide fun sound effects for class games, quizzes, and competitions.
  • You could use the soundboard for audio cues for classroom transitions, such as indicating when time's up, or students need to clear their desks, or switch groups, or such.
  • The soundboard could be used while you are reading a story out loud to your students, to bring the story to life with sounds from the story content.
  • You could use the sounds to support and reinforce content being taught in class.
  • If you or your students are recording podcasts and videos, a soundboard can be used to for effects and transitions while recording.
  • And more!
There are certainly lots of options for classroom soundboards, but one free and easy tool for this is Google Slides. With Google Slides you can create your own custom soundboard with audio that you have recorded or downloaded from free audio sites.

See below for details on how to do this. You will find a 30-minute video I did for MoteCon22 where I go through all the steps, as well as links to my associated resource document, session slideshow, sample soundboard, and more.

🎞️ Tutorial Video (30 minutes)



🧰 General Resources

Help Guides
Example Soundboard
  • Published version  - Google Slides link - Use this version to open the soundboard in published mode so you can try it out.
  • Edit version - Google Slides link - Use this version to see how the slideshow is set up and to make a copy if you need.



🖼️ Create the Slideshow

Start by creating a Google Slideshow as normal.
  • For the slides with the soundboards, one layout option is to use a table.
  • Click "Insert" then "Table" then select the number of rows and columns you want.
  • You can then resize the table as needed to fit your slide.
  • You can always insert or delete rows and columns as needed.
  • Increasing the thickness of the table borders can be helpful to define the area for each sound button.


🛠️ Install and Setup Mote

Mote is a Chrome Web Extension that can be used to record your voice and add it to the Google Slideshow (as well as many other tools).

Install Mote
  • Install the Mote Chrome extension - Chrome Web Store link
  • Sign in with your Google account
  • Give permissions to Mote


🎙️ Add your Voice with Mote

You can use Mote to embed a voice recording directly onto a Slide.

  • Click the "Mote" icon above the slide.
  • The "Record your Mote" window will pop up. Feel free to move the window as needed to see your slide.
  • Click the Mote button to begin recording your voice, and then click the button again to stop.

  • Click the "Insert" button to embed the recorded audio onto the slide as a speaker icon.
  • Feel free to move and resize the speaker icon as desired.
  • Anyone who clicks the speaker icon can play the recorded audio in the slide.


💾 Free Sites for Sound Effects

There are also many sites online where you can search for and download sound effects that are free for use.



🔊 Add Downloaded Audio

Upload and Share your Audio in Google Drive
  • The audio files must be in your Google Drive, so if you saved them somewhere else, like the "Downloads" folder on your computer, you will need to upload them to your Drive. For easy access, and to help with the next step, you should put all of the files in a folder in Drive.
  • Next the audio files need to be shared so anyone with a link can play them. This can be done file by file, but it is much easier to simply change the sharing permissions for the entire folder that holds the recordings.



Insert Audio into Google Slides
  • With your Google slideshow open, click "Insert" in the top menu bar.
  • Choose "Audio" from the drop-down menu.
  • This will open up the "Insert audio" screen, where you can browse for or search for the audio files saved in your Google Drive.
  • Choose the file you want and then click "Select" to insert it into your slide.
  • A speaker icon will be added to the slide which can be clicked to play the sound.
  • Feel free to move and resize the speaker icon as desired.



🔗 Publish the Slideshow

To use your soundboard in the easiest way, you should publish your slideshow. This makes the slideshow fill the full tab in your browser without any menus, and makes it easier to click the speaker icons to play your sounds.
  • With your slideshow open, click the "File" menu.
  • From the drop-down menu, choose "Publish to the web".
  • Click the "Publish" button.


  • Click the "OK" button when asked to confirm.
  • You can now copy the link for your published slideshow.



▶️ Use your Soundboard

Use the "Published to the web" link to open your slideshow.
  • Navigate the slides as normal to get to the soundboard you wish to use.
  • Click on any of the speaker icons to play the sound.
  • You can click on a new sound while another sound is still playing to layer sounds.
  • You can click rapidly on a speaker icon to play a sound multiple times.
  • The published link works on any device including laptops, tablets, and phones, allowing you to use your soundboard on any device.
Here is a link to my published sample soundboard: Google Slides link


If you create a soundboard with Slides, please consider sharing it with me and I will be happy to add a link to it here so others can see what you made.


Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts 


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