Animations are an effective way to make PowerPoint slides more engaging, but in an effort to break from the boring, we sometimes stray down the path of animation overload. Fortunately, this is easy to correct by adhering to a few simple guidelines.
1. Choose animation types wisely
When working to transform static slides into an engaging presentation, it can be tempting to gravitate toward the Exciting PowerPoint animations – you know the type, those that spin, swivel, and bounce their way across the slide. After all, the more movement on the slide, the more engaged the viewers will be, right? Not necessarily.
In many cases, over-the-top animations can actually detract from the quality of your presentation, causing viewers to focus more on the movement than the message itself. Remember, animations should serve as a complement to your slide content, so let your message be the star, and use animations for emphasis on key points, diagrams, and so on.
For professional presentations, a good rule of thumb is to stick with animations from the Subtle and Moderate categories in the PowerPoint animations catalog (below).
2. Utilize the duration settings
When you add a new animation to a slide, it will default to a designated duration - most often .50 seconds. In many instances, the default duration will suffice, but it’s useful to know that you do have the option to change the duration of individual animations.
In some cases, the default duration may cause even the most subtle animations, like Wipe or Fly In, to appear abrupt and distracting. To remedy this, simply increase the duration of the animation by selecting it from the Animation Pane, and then use the arrows to increase the time in quarter-second intervals.
3. Embrace exit animations
When it comes to animations, the emphasis is typically on those that bring items into the slide, but what about the ones that send them away? Exit animations are particularly valuable for complex slides, enabling you to animate content into your slide, and then remove it as you progress to the next point in your message. This provides the presenter with more control over what viewers focus their attention on by offering a way to pare down the amount of content that displays on a slide at any given time.
For more PowerPoint tips and ideas, check out the resources below:
- How to Compress Your PowerPoint Files Down to Size
- 5 PowerPoint Image Placement Tips: How to Be Exact
Do you have some useful PowerPoint animation ideas of your own? Sound off in the comments and let us know!