Awesome Animation and Terrific Transitions make PowerPoint presentations more memorable
Don’t let your presentation go to waste by having your slides appear all at once with static items on screen. Deep within PowerPoint are features that can make your presentations jump to life. Dynamic animations, captivating transitions, and lively sound effects are all available to the savvy presentation developer. All it takes is time for preparation and a desire to push the envelope of average presentations. And more than just making the slide easier on the eyes, studies show that audiences remember information better when it is introduced progressively.
Adding animation and movement not only makes your presentation more dynamic and interesting but also more memorable. Here are 7 secret strategies for working with animation in PowerPoint:
1. Guide the eye along with animation.
Bring in each item (or groups of items) one at a time with fly/zoom animation effects to cooincide with your speech.
2. Build-in across pages.
Sometimes PowerPoint’s animation feature complicates things. By bringing in elements page-by-page you can keep the animation simple and easy. It’s like the old-fashioned way cartoons were made, page by page.
3. Where appropriate, add mild sound effects to each effect (like a whoosh or click).
Be cautious on this; sometimes sound actually detracts from a presentation.
4. Keep your transitions consistent and tame.
Just because PowerPoint has many effects doesn’t mean they all need to be used in your presentation. Don’t jump from dissolve… to wipe…to boomerang…to spiral in, etc. And don’t go crazy…avoid the randomize effect.
Introduce large blocks of text letter-by-letter with a Zoom animation and 10% delay.
The fade-in effect or dissolve works gracefully for graphics and text.
And don’t forget the basic dissolve
And simple wipe for no-nonsense displays.
5. Highlight blur or dim to draw attention
On screens that are already fully displayed/animated (or a full page graphic), use a rectangle filled with 50% yellow to simulate a highlighted block and animate it over items that you want to highlight.
6. Budget your time.
Leave enough time during development to add effects. Whether you add the effects all at once, or as you’re working on each slide, try not to get caught with having a great looking presentation without the effects to match simply because you ran out of time.
7. Build your animations in the master slides and layouts.
Animations and transitions are the icing on the cake to a presentation. They’re fun and they add sizzle, but too much (tumbles, crazy colors, etc.) can make you look like a PowerPoint novice…espeically if you’re presenting to a conservative audience. Be consistent and make sure they reflect the image of your company or audience and you’ll be making a memorable and moving presentation.
Why would you want to hide a slide that you spent all this time creating?!
The hide slide feature is helpful in allowing users to create backup or alternate versions of slides and info that they may or may not want to use.
If in doubt, don’t delete it! Move the slide to the end of the presentation and Hide it.
This strategy is helpful if you want a few variations of slide options to test out. Or if you have some extra detail on a slide that you may or may not use.
You can still access the hidden slide in the slide show mode by entering the slide number and pressing enter.
Dynamic New PowerPoint supports healthcare speaker’s workshops and seminars
Soram Khalsa’s Vitamin D Revolution clearly explained through updated PowerPoint presentation
Dr. Soram Khalsa is a modern-day messiah, presenting workshops and seminars on the vital value of Vitamin D. Khalsa is a high-energy and respected speaker….but his presentation visuals lacked consistency and vitality. So the expert of Vitamin D turned to the experts of Presentation Design to transform his basic PowerPoint presentation from bland and boring into a dynamic and high-impact presentation masterpiece.
The presentation’s objecives were to support his seminars (visual aid) while build serving as a marketing tool to build his business. The presentation was contracted as an hourly billable project and involved graphical design with some content consulting. It was created to be delivered in person, or via webinar.
The deliverables included:
- Consultation and collaborative development/editing of core presentation content (key messages, bullet points, diagrams, etc.)
- Development of a custom professional template (title and body masters), to reflect the presentation’s content and/or Dr. Soram and his Complementrix brand.
- Establishment of a “presentation palette” defining the colors, fonts, and layout…to make the presentation more memorable.
- Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a clean look with maximum effectiveness.
- Clean and professional slide transition effects (fades and wipes).
- Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different operating systems.
- High-impact stock graphics based on the presentation’s content + deep creative/ graphic artistry.
The presentation overhaul started with a fact-finding conversation to define the presentation’s five key objectives:
- Define Present an overview/statistics of the deficiencies of Vitamin D
- Showcase Dr. Soram’s expertise and credibility in this field, and highlight his book, while showcasing his personal story of how he overcame debilitating neck pain and health challenges.
- Present facts and statistics of the value of Vitamin D and it can eliminate/cure diseases and “change your life”
- Get his audience to take Vitamin D daily!
And then the 4-phase work project began:
- Template Design
- Graphic Look & Feel
- Text Structure / Outline
- Projector/Display Testing
- Interviews and Research
- Content Development / Writing
- Photo Acquisition
- Iterative edits
- Transitions and Animations
- Final Edits/Refinement
- Testing and Sign-off
The presentation’s design was based on a contemporary, bright and clean design style integrating imagery featuring sunlight, diversity, and health themes, while supporting his professional brand/image, Complementrix, and his “Vitamin D Revolution” book image.
The presentation design strategy involved:
- Clean and professional imagery/graphics (portfolio, schematics, employees, concept art, etc.).
- Process flow/numeric information and animations (tables, charts, and graphs).
- Professional layout of iconic-themed graphics (rather than photos) integrating soft drop-shadows and clean-white borders.
- Content development and consultation to create core messages, supported by graphics, with an effort to reduce bullet points and text-heavy slides.
- Interactivity (main menu and hyperlinks to jump to key slides and graphics)…providing the presenter with the functionality to quickly jump to key slides, as directed by the viewers/audience.
A clean, open, and contemporary PowerPoint template
Dr. Soram wanted a simple yet powerful to share his message about how Vitamin D helped him to cure his own medical issue of neck pain. The light-blue template supported a brand of openness and lightness. The imported images were enhanced with a Reflected Rounded Rectangle Picture Style. For body text, we selected Myriad Pro Condensed as the body font because of its relaxed yet professional image. Lucida Sans Unicode worked well as the title font, as it matched Dr. Soram’s other marketing material. The body text was juxtaposed left margin, and appeared on mouseclick with soft fade animation.
By converting a simple list of bullets into a 3D angled Smart Art block group, Dr. Soram was able to maintain his approach to multiple points…while creating a more memorable and impactful visual. Rather than a vertical list of 11 items, 11 separate text boxes animate-in on mouse-click and eventually fill the screen while creating a feeling of quantity without boredom.
Don’t just say it…show it.
The heavy topic of obesity was best supported by a stock image of an overweight man on a scale. The image was edited in Photoshop, the white background was removed and it was re-saved as a transparent PNG, and imported into PowerPoint. By positioning the image to the right on the screen, the key message of the extra value of Vitamin D was comfortably balanced and memorably presented.
Full screen graphics!
Not all graphics need to be imported images. This slide featured a full-screen image of a woman applying sunscreen. The image was embedded within the frame of template and saved as a 1024×768 jpg image. This full-screen visual sends a strong, creative, and memorable message, yet maintains a level of consistency and branding through grounded placement of the logo/template frame and Lucida Font.After 10 days of collaborative development, a winning presentation finally emerged.
Dr. Soram now has a dynamic PowerPoint presentation…helping to fuel his Vitamin D revolution. The importance of living well…is now well presented.
Transforming a motivational speaker’s basic PowerPoint presentation into a dynamic masterpiece…quickly and economically.
Joe Mayne is a professional speaker and author from Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more than 15 years, he’s been teaching college students from hundreds of campuses across North America how to stand out in the job search process.. His seminar “High Five: Life’s Basics Elements of Success,” is a dynamic and informative program with compelling content. But the graphical design of the presentation was not as bold as Joe himself. So Joe turned to The Presentation Team in December 2009 to transform his PowerPoint presentation from Weak to Wow. The “Enhanced Presentation Package”, provided an efficient and economical approach to transform Joe’s 40-page basic PowerPoint into a powerful presentation that matched the professionalism of his delivery.
Because Joe frequently speaks to large groups at conventions, conferences and meetings, the visual design needed to be bold, graphical, and easy-to-be-read from the back of the room. Our design strategy focused on creating a look-and-feel that reflected Joe’s professionalism and his “Mayne Speaker” company brand and identity, while involving elements of students, careers, a light-hearted approach to the traditional challenge of getting a job. The 6 hour project involved…
- Development of a custom professional template (title and body masters), that reflects Joe’s professionalism and his company brand, while integrating his existing content.
- Re-working the overall look-and-feel of the presentation (bluu and white colors, Tahoma fonts, clean layout) for a more polished look.
- Clean and professional imagery/graphics (portfolio, schematics, people, concept art, etc.).
- Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
- Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
- Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
- Consulting and collaboration to help Joe to refine and present new ideas.
After just three days and three rounds of edits, the presentation was success! Joe speaks frequently at conventions, colleges, and conventions. His style, delivery, eloquence- and now his great-looking PowerPoint slides help to captivate his audiences…while inspiring his audiences to get hired!
* Joe Mayne is a Presentation Team keynote partner.
Time-saving 6-Step process helps create great looking PowerPoint presentations fast and easy
Most people dread presentation design. Tell someone they need to create a PowerPoint show and present it and you’ll likely hear a sad list of excuses…
“I don’t know where to begin!”
“It takes too long!”
“I don’t know how to make it look good!”
Creating presentations need not be viewed as a time-consuming chore! After years of creating professional presentations for myself and for clients, I’ve developed a time-saving 6-Step Process to create a great looking and full-featured PowerPoint presentation, without frustration — in under four hours. Here’s how…
Segment one (0:00 – 0:15 = 15 Minutes)
Define presentation objectives
The key to fast and easy presentation development is to start with a clear definition of the goals/objectives of the presentation. Take 15 minutes to clearly answer these questions which will help direct the focus of the presentation:
What is the primary objective of the presentation and how will it be used?
Who is the audience?
What is their level of understanding of the material to be presented?
How many people (on average) will be watching this presentation?
What tone do I wish to set (i.e. look and feel) with this presentation? (high tech, conservative, fun, etc.)
Once you have answered these questions, you should have a clearer picture of the goals and scope of the presentation, which should help drive its overall look, font size, and content.
Segment two (0:15 – 1:00 = 45 Minutes)
Outline and visualize
Now it’s time to really focus on your message. Start by writing a basic outline of the points and subpoints you want to cover in your presentation. Craft your outline on paper, whiteboard or word processor — whatever works best for you. You can even use PowerPoint’s outline feature. Start with a blank presentation and enter your bullets and titles on each page.
One word of caution, resist the temptation to play with PowerPoint! It’s a fun program, but tinkering with the graphics and options can eat up valuable time. As you write out your outline, keep the points succinct so they can serve as the titles for each page.
While writing the outline, visualize yourself presenting. Don’t be afraid to speak extemporaneously, as if you were presenting the presentation. Without any notes, role play as if you were addressing the audience, ad-libbing your presentation as best as you can.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen. I’m [name] and today we’re talking about [topic]. Before I leave here today, you’ll have a better understanding of [presentation objectives]. The three points I’m covering today are…[Points 1,2,3]….”
It may seem silly, but you will surprised at how your thoughts will flow effortlessly and your main points will come together. Indeed, our subconscious minds are often more skilled than we know, and can be of great help in drafting presentations. Try it!
Work through this process until you have refined your message and the main supporting points of your content.
Segment three (1:00 – 1:45 = 45 Minutes)
Develop look, feel, template and title/body master
Now we’re ready really get into PowerPoint. Creating the graphical look of the presentation can be a time-consuming activity. But by limiting this front-end design to 40 minutes, you can quickly set up the shell for the presentation to allow for more efficient development.
Choosing an effective template is the most critical step of creating a good looking presentation. To speed development, choose a title/body master from an existing template or perhaps your company has a background template already. You can use PowerPoint’s built-in templates if you’re in a pinch, but in my opinion, PowerPoint’s built-in templates are often overused and too generic.
Once you have chosen your design, modify your stock template as needed in Photoshop or another digital imaging program. Then import it directly into PowerPoint as your Master Page. Simply open the Master’s page view (View > Master > Slide Master) and then Insert > Background > Fill Effects > Picture.
With the background in place, it’s time to establish the master color scheme (Format > Slide Design > Color Scheme), as well as your choice of fonts, typesizes, bullets, body layout, line spacing and more.
If you developed the outline with text in the body and title master blocks, they will automatically assume the look and feel of the new template, and your presentation will suddenly look polished and professional, putting you on the fast-track to completion.
Segment four (1:45 – 3:15 = 90 Minutes)
Time budgeting and text/graphics development
The bulk of presentation development, of course, is gathering up graphics and placing text. But before you dive into the meat of the presentation, take a quick moment to estimate the number of pages you plan to have. Once you have a total, divide that number by 90 minutes to get a rough average of the amount of time you should spend on each page.
For example, I present at a moderate pace of 1 to 2 slides per minute, so a 20 minute presentation would have 20 to 40 slides. Time-wise, that calculates to an average of 30 slides divided by 90 minutes, which equals an average of three minutes of development time per slide for the text and graphics. Now that may seem fast, but by pacing yourself at this rate for development, you’ll find the presentation comes together much more quickly. Some people actually work better under a deadline, and setting the average time per slide (or overall timeframe) may actually make it easier to develop material.
For the text, go through the slides and elaborate upon the outline that’s been written. Collaboration often speeds the process; get a colleague or a small group together to throw out ideas to help add bulk & bullets to your message.
For efficient graphic selection, it’s helpful to use the clip-art library built into PowerPoint especially when it’s linked to the Internet (Insert picture > Clipart). Alternately, there are numerous other services for good graphics. Try collections from Digital Vision or Photodisc or again The Presenter’s Toolkit or Ultimate Combo.
Don’t get too stuck on any single graphic or thought process. If you’re having trouble, move on to the next page and return back to that trouble spot. The trick is to keep the pace moving, and refine trouble spots later. I often go through the presentation in various iterations, making a few more enhancements each pass. The empty spots will ultimately fill themselves in. Just keep going!
Segment five (3:15 – 3:30 = 15 Minutes)
Slide transitions and animations
Spend a quick 15 minutes to assign transitions to all the slides. This is easier than you think, as the transitions between slides should be consistent throughout the presentation. The animations on the master-page bullets should also be consistent. A simple wipe effect is a good no-nonsense effect.
Segment six (3:30 – 4:00= 30 Minutes)
Final edits and revisions
The last 30 minutes of this accelerated presentation design is focused on final edits and revisions. Run through the entire presentation in slideshow mode to ensure the transitions/animations work effectively, and identify any areas that still need refinement. Then, go back and make any necessary edits.
Pay careful attention to the amount of text on screen. If any page is too crowded, split it onto a secondary page, for example “Topic: Part 1” and “Topic: Part 2.”
Ensure the graphics are consistent and relevant to the textual material on screen. Use the guides/grids to keep the graphics from jumping around. Make several more passes, and keep tweaking until you’re satisfied. Remember to saving versions of your presentation to prevent any catastrophic data loss or to allow you to revert to something that was deleted. I like to save every 30 minutes using titles like “Filename-v1.ppt,” “Filename-v2.ppt.,” etc.
By sticking to a focused process and defined timeframe, your presentation will be developed more efficiently and effectively than by an ad-hoc approach. It’s a simple but workable strategy: plan…prepare…present!