Think carefully before you use PowerPoint animations and transition effects. It’s like putting an earring on a newborn baby

by Rosie Hoyland on February 11, 2012

In a previous post I talked about slides as a personal brand extension, and here’s a little more on what your slides suggest about you as you speak with them.  If you’ve got a beautiful thing, you don’t need to do much to make it stand out.  You can’t ‘guild the lily’, you shouldn’t put a bling earring on a baby, and a dog is never improved by a leather coat. It’s already got one, hasn’t it?  Yes, these are matters of taste, and taste is a very personal thing, but there are some things you should just know.

For PowerPoint, all you need to know is that a beautiful slide is seldom improved by special effects. Bullet points screeching across the screen or key messages exploding before you like fireworks are all very well when you’re still at school and having to prove to your teacher that you really do know what all the different buttons in PowerPoint actually do; but when you grow up and want to be taken seriously in the real world,  think carefully.

Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it.  They really can be quite annoying and distracting but of course used wisely can be a good thing and even enhance your presentation.

My advice would be to limit them to just three options: APPEAR, FADE or WIPE (which is particularly effective when revealing arrows and bar charts). And don’t use them on every slide.  It’s too predictable and your audience will soon become bored, distracted (or worse).

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