Common Sound effects for PowerPoint 

A PowerPoint presentation sometimes needs that extra oomph, such as an occasional sound effect.  Here are a few common ones that you’ve heard from movies and TV shows. 

You can use them as a trigger sound, or novel background noise. 

It’s all about the sounds:

  • Wilhelm Scream – stock sound effect used in several TV shows and movies, originally from the 1951 movie Distant Drums. Usually when someone has been shot or thrown from a great height.   Once you know the sound, you’ll start hearing it in lots of videos.
  • Screaming Hawk – typical screaming hawk sound, used at the start of the Colbert Report, but is very overused. 
  • ‘Wah Wah’ – sad trombone sound, typical old style comic sound when something goes wrong.  
  • Telephone Ring – the classic telephone, well before the smart phone era. 
  • Laugh Tracks – typically used in sitcoms and the likes.  
  • Diddy Laugh – A common sound effect featuring kid’s laughter. 
  • Tarzan Yell – In the films, Tarzan makes an ululating yell that is distinct to his character. 
  • Kookaburra – Often used as a generic jungle noise for a location nowhere near Australia.  
  • Wolf Whistle – created to express a strong desire for or approval of something or someone.  Traditionally heard on construction sites. 

Sometimes you’ll come across sound effects that have copyright issues.  

Therefore, in many cases, you may need to pay for a subscription to be able to legally use and implement sounds into your presentations, particularly for business purposes. 

Try visiting Sound Snap. They offer subscriptions from $25 per month with a library of over 455,000 professional sounds to choose from, royalty-free.  

For more on using audio in PowerPoint presentations go to AUDIO TRICKS AND TRAPS IN POWERPOINT 

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