Besides adding visual interest to your PowerPoint slides, animations can help your audience keep focused on what you are saying. I’ve noticed that animations typically go one of two ways: bland or chaotic. Using the Appear animation is an easy way to focus your viewers on what you are saying without being distracting, but it is the easy, safe way out. Having objects flying all over the place (face it: we have ALL seen presentations that do just that) is not only distracting for your viewers, but gives the impression that you didn’t take the time and care to put your presentation together. Not the thing you want your audience to remember about your presentation!
So what are you to do?
Combine animation types—sometimes adding a second animation that happens concurrently or just after the first can result in a totally different effect. You might have to adjust the timing between after previous and with previous and/or reorder the two animations (believe me, it can make a huge difference). Try combining Fade with either Basic Zoom or Fly In. Adjust the duration and the order so the movements are subtle rather than chaotic.
Simplify the content on your slides—remember, your slides are meant to be a visual AID not a standalone handout. The best slides have minimal text and relevant, high quality images (down with Bean People!). Try limiting the text you use to a few key words, then animating some of them. Also, work with the entire slide space for a more impactful slide. In the example below, only the two lines in the upper right corner were animated:
Get inspiration from other presentations you have seen—typically you can figure out what people have used for animations. So go out and look at other presentations you’ve seen that are really effective and try some of those ideas on your next presentation. Brainshark’s Customer Gallery is a showcase of great customer presentations—be sure to check it out! There are also some cool animations that you can incorporate into your presentation in the animations, Animations, ANIMATIONS presentation. The Attachments tab has the PowerPoint deck you can download to use as a template.
Also, be sure to visit our PowerPoint Resources page for periodic updates on the best tips and tricks.