When you first start working with animations in PowerPoint, it’s easy to overdo animating your slides. This makes your presentations slow and often not enjoyable for the viewing audience. Despite that, animations in a PowerPoint presentation can be a great tool for many purposes as you’ll discover in this tutorial. Here we give you a number of PowerPoint animation tips and tricks, so you can learn how to control your transitions better and enhance your presentation message with powerful effects.
You’ll also get helpful tips on how to match your presentation goals to the animations you work with and learn how subtle, simple approaches to PowerPoint animations are often more effective. Now, before you can actually use animations, it helps to have a solid presentation ready to work from. To help you with that, there are a number of quality presentation templates made to save you time, such as this curated selection of easy to use designs.
Why Use PowerPoint Animations?
Let’s understand why we would use animations in a PowerPoint presentation. There are two common reasons:
- Animations help you control the pace of the delivery of your presentation.
- They can enhance the appearance and interest of your slides.
- The above is typically achieved by transitioning either full slides, or a number of elements on a slide.
The best animations have an aesthetic use that matches your message, as well as help you control the pace of your presentation. Typically, animations just for enhancing the appearance of your slides tend to become frustrating for your audience.
Getting Started With PowerPoint Animations
Let’s start with introducing the different types of animations in PowerPoint. In essence, the types of animations can be summarized by the following:
Transitions are a type of animations in between slides. You can view the Transitions pane to view all possible transition effects you can use. These are ideal when you want to have a noticeable transition between two slides, as you’ll find in some examples later in this tutorial. Animations are animations on your slide. An animation can be used to highlight a particular element on your slide.
Animation Pane in PowerPoint
The animation pane, with different animations you can choose once you select an element on your slide.
Your animations are controlled by using the animation pane. If you ‘d like to learn a little bit more about the animation pane in PowerPoint, I ‘d recommend to check out the following tutorials. During the tutorial, I’ll also cover some basics of the animation pane as used in the below examples:
1. Animation 101: Master Your Context
The key lesson in effective animations is to understand when to use an animation. That is the content that might be worthwhile for you to add animation to. Announcing a new product line could be the most exciting element of your presentation. In this context, it makes sense to highlight this by adding a build in animation. PowerPoint assists you by labeling their animations in different strength categories, such as subtle, moderate and exciting.
These different animation strengths can help you use the right animation in the right context. The most important content in your slide would be ideal to use an exciting animation.
Noticing that you’re quarterly profits are a little higher this year would be ideal to use a subtle animation.
In summary: Define what is your most important content in the presentation. Next, when you choose an animation, make sure it’s strength correlates to the excitement of the content that you are presenting.
2. Animation 101: Control Your Timing and Duration
Once you’ve mastered where to add animation, next up is to understand when to animate. As described in the beginning of the tutorial, you can use transitions and animations. I ‘d recommend that you only choose one of either per slide that you ‘d like to add some animation to. Combining both often becomes a visual overload for your audience.
Here again, the context of the slide matters. If you ‘d like to surprise the audience with the whole slide, a transition could be ideal. If you ‘d only like to have a few elements appear dynamically, using animations will make more sense. The duration of your animation matters as well and has a big impact on how your animation is experienced.
Have you watched a presentation with slow transitions between each slide? At first, an impressive visual effect (albeit slow) might be interesting, but afterwards it becomes a source of frustration as you see it over and over again. It’s tedious.
The general rule is to have fast animations, unless you’re animating something in which a slow animation makes more sense (such as presenting something brand new for example). I typically choose a timing of 0.5 seconds.
PowerPoint animation pan setting the timing
In the animation pane, when you select an animation you can change the duration.
Animation Quality Control Tip
The best way to quality control your animations is to go through the presentation after you’re done and only pay attention to your animations. Are there sections in your presentation where there is too much animation? How’s the timing feel?
Reviewing your presentation as a whole makes it much easier to estimate whether your choice of animation makes sense or not.
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