Glen Millar PowerPoint WorkBench PowerPoint MVP
since 2003
  logic for PowerPoint designers and presenters  
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Welcome to these tutorials, many of which were unique concepts when first published!


logic: of presentations

logic 1: presentation structure ] logic 2: tri-pane view ] logic 3: move text fast ] logic 4: edit text ruthlessly ] logic 5: notes pane ] logic 6: visual clarity ] logic 7: powerpoint layouts ] logic 8: slide masters ] logic 9: slide grid and guides ] logic 10: ribbon logic ] [ logic 11: animate with confidence ] logic 12: present with confidence ] logic 13: the ending ] logic14: get powerpoint help ] logic 15: annoying prompts (new) ]


11. Animations: Animate with Confidence

Logic: know exactly what type of animation to add, and where

The PowerPoint developers have added a set of animations that range from slow and subtle, to exciting. It can be difficult to select from this array of animations with confidence. Can you animate with absolute confidence? Yes!

To animate with confidence, we must consider the type of presentation, and the two stages of animating.

Rule number one is: determine the presentation type as this will determine how many animations you use.

A presentation delivered to your audience will generally be of two basic types:

a) A stand alone presentation. This is typified by a kiosk presentation, which will be the animated interface between you and your audience. This type of presentation must be able to engage your audience and keep their interest. To achieve this, you have more liberty to select animations that will get your story noticed. In addition, since you cannot be there in person to present, you cannot point to anything on your slides. Therefore, Emphasis animations (available in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003) are a particularly good way of directing your audience to the point you are making. However, do not overuse them or they will become a distraction.

b) Live speaker. The second type of presentation is delivered by a live speaker, often you. As the presenter is the animated interface between the story and the audience, animations must support the speaker and not distract from your presence. Hence, subtle animations are better suited to your talk, used sparingly.

Once you have decided on the type of presentation, the final consideration takes into account the actual animation process.

Rule number two is: determine the animations that are practical, before turning to artistic considerations.

This is where we actually start building our animations.

a) The practical stage

We can demonstrate the practical stage with an example. In practical terms, your animations should fully support your story. So, select your animations when you are forming your story, even as early as when you are around the white board. For example, my story is a demonstration of how business systems are often fragmented. Each system is represented by a cog, which needs to be brought together. To support the story of the cogs moving together, I selected all three of the following:

graphic where cogs spin randomly on a slide

An Emphasis animation; the cogs rotate with a Spin animation, looped so that they keep spinning until the end of the slide,

A Motion Path animation;  When I am ready to move further through the story, all the cogs move together along their individually assigned paths to their final destination, which will appear like a system of integrated cogs, and

An Exit animation; the cogs fade out together, to clear the slide for the next part of the presentation.

graphic where cogs spin and come together on a slide

b) The artistic stage

After the practical stage, where you have selected your animations based on the story, the next stage is the artistic stage. You, as the author, have license to change some of your animations to different types for purely artistic reasons. This does not give you an excuse to add new animations, as these may detract from your story. Nevertheless, you may vary the types of animations for artistic reasons. For example, I used a Fade exit on the cogs. However, you, as an author may change that exit to a different type.

Is there any room for the “wow” factor?

Does all of this mean you are banned from using special effects for a wow factor? Well, no, not if it fits in with the three rules. That is, have you assessed the effect it will have on your audience? Does if fit in with your presentation type? Will it fit with your story, or is it simply gratuitous? Finally, if you go for special effects and you are presenting live, don’t try to compete with your animations. Give your slide time to animate, and your audience time to “get” your point.





Copyright (c) 1999 - 2011 Glen Millar

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