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Does Your Presentation Need Animation?

Once upon a time, animation was a taboo topic in the world of corporate PowerPoint presentations. 

Today, it is far from the gimmick people once thought it was. We now recognize it as a powerful tool in design and branding.

Why Animation Is Important: The Data Shows It

Before we get into it, we’ve packaged this post into a beautiful guide (with a little bonus content!) for those of you on the go:

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The impact of animation comes down to how it affects audience engagement. 

Even against a backdrop of appealing text and engaging images, animation captures an audience’s attention. Where everything else is static, animation breaks the plane and stimulates the senses. 

Its eye-catching appeal makes it the best tool for improving engagement and comprehension.

In a study by the Harvard Department of Psychology Decision Science Laboratory, findings show people tend to characterize presentations with animation as quantifiably more “dynamic, visually compelling, and distinctive.”

These same respondents also rated presentations without animation poorly.

In the context of the study, it raised the standard for the entire presentation. Respondents felt more informed and had a higher opinion of the presenter, citing them as “more knowledgeable, professional, effective, and organized.”

As you can see, there’s a reason animation is now a standard in corporate presentations and no longer a taboo or tacky addition.

When used properly, it can help an audience better understand new concepts and fight “presentation fatigue” by actively directing audiences to focus on important points for better information retention.

Related: PowerPoint Animation Capabilities Most People Aren’t Aware Of

How to Approach Presentation Animation

But you need to be careful.

Integrating animation into presentations is not a golden ticket to more engaging presentations. The trick is to use it with purpose and discretion, otherwise it will only do more harm than good as it will confuse your audience instead of engaging them. 

To incorporate animation correctly, you need to follow a set of important guidelines:

1) Know Your Audience

The subject matter of the presentation has a lot to do with where animation fits in. Apart from this, the level of animation used will vary depending on the audience. 

Take a look at a heavily animated presentation for Spotify versus a simply-animated slideshow for USAA:

 

As you can see, two completely different industries and audiences demand different approaches to animation.

Think about how the animation affects the message. 

In the Spotify example, animation shows life and exuberance to illustrate the world-building concepts of the company. For USAA, animation acts as an exclamation point for every important fact presented. 

Both different, both effective.

2) Determine the Purpose

Animation should serve a purpose for the overall message. 

To understand its purpose, animations should come after you build your slides. 

The first four steps to creating an effective presentation are:

  1. Create a storyboard (yes, even presentations need storyboards!).
  2. Develop the content.
  3. Sequence the slides.
  4. Determine the key talking points.

Long story short: Content comes first.

After building the framework and creating the content, then consider animation.

Where do you want your audience to look? What slides or content need extra emphasis? 

Animation encourages focus, so use it within the greater context of the presentation to direct attention where it’s most-warranted.

Mastering animation means mastering “eye flow” and being able to control the engagement of your audience.

3) Use “Motion Paths” to Your Advantage

PowerPoint motion paths are great tools when telling a story or explaining a process.

Through motion paths, designers have the flexibility to walk an audience through different steps of a process. Here’s a great example of motion path use:

As you can see, motion paths are useful for text, objects or images. In addition, there’s plenty of room for creativity with the custom animation option.

Use motion paths to literally guide your audience from point to point. As a presenter, you’ll gain more control over the presentation’s pace and engagement. 

Motion paths instill much-needed cadence to topics for incremental education.

Related: Three Technology & Software Company Presentations We Love

4) Don’t Overdo It

Think about animation like an exclamation point on the statement you’re making. 

If you write a paragraph and every sentence ends with an exclamation point, the punctuation loses its power. 

(If everything is exciting, nothing is exciting!)

Animation emphasizes a great idea or caps off a bold statement.

Overusing it or getting too complex with how it’s featured is a recipe for chaos. People won’t know where to look, what to focus on, or what’s important. 

Keep it simple and organized.

5) Continuity is Key

The nature of animation should stay consistent throughout the entirety of the presentation. 

Consider it a part of your brand guidelines. Don’t deviate from the style you choose. Your audience will notice a “star wipe” in the middle of dissolving slides, just like they’ll notice if your simple animation suddenly becomes very complex.

Maintain animation consistency to avoid confusing people or detracting from the message. 

If at any time during the presentation the animation becomes more of a focal point than the content, it’s time to reassess.

6) Don’t Do “Defaults

Consistency in style and intensity are important. It’s also critical not to let animation become monotonous. 

Using default animations over and over again are just as bad as using poor photos or bad text. If anything, it detracts from the message you’re trying to deliver. 

Take the time to customize animations and keep them original every time. 

The style may be consistent, but the way they affect your messaging should always complement the point you’re trying to make.

Animation Keeps Your Audience Engaged

Used right, animation is perhaps the most powerful tool at your disposal for designing a robust PowerPoint presentation. 

It helps your messaging leap off the page, makes concepts more pronounced, and improves audience perception of the presentation as a whole.

Presentations become more like movies, adding more stimuli for viewers to engage with.

Similarly, it can complement the core concepts you’re presenting, but only when used correctly.

Ask yourself how engaging your presentation is from an audience standpoint. 

Is every slide a flat representation of information? Do the most important callouts of your deck get their due? 

If you find yourself struggling to stay focused or distinguish the key takeaways, your audience undoubtedly will, too. 

Sprinkle in some animation and watch its transformative effect. When done right, it’ll bring new appeal to your PowerPoint and get your message across in an undeniable way.

Ready to take your presentation to the next level? Schedule a free presentation consultation now.

Are Visuals in Business Presentations Actually Helpful?

Visual aids upgrade your speech, as the combination of content and design add flare to your presentation. These make your pitch more understandable and allow your audience to follow the discussion with their eyes.

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Before making a customized PowerPoint presentation, your goals must be clear—you should be sure of the message you want to convey. When you have a plan, you’ll know what you have to work on to achieve your objectives.

So what exactly is so important about visual aids that it’s imperative that you prepare one for your business presentation?

It conveys the message loud and clear.

Visuals help you catch your audience’s attention and engage them throughout your presentation. With these, you can communicate complex ideas in an understandable way. Rather than “telling,” you’re “showing” the audience exactly what you want to say, allowing them to make connections on their own—given that the graphics you use are relevant to your discussion.

Approximately three-quarters of adults in America own a smartphone, making it one of the most quickly adopted consumer technologies to date. Apart from this, they spend almost five hours on their phones. Why is this number important?

As a presenter, you’d want to keep your audience’s eyes on you. So, to keep their attention off their phones, you have to make your visual aids appealing. Add graphics, images, and animations relevant to the topic at hand and you’re good to go.

It elicits emotions.

Images are highly subjective. That said, there are certain categories that are more likely to elicit strong emotional responses compared to others. Images can help establish a long-term connection with the hearts and minds of your audience.

Rather than using bullet points, images that resonate with the audience inspire them to act. Plus, this makes it easier for them to retain information for a longer period.

It saves processing time.

A picture paints a thousand words and it holds true to this day. Using visuals relevant to your presentation is less time-consuming compared to writing a few hundred words. Apart from that, you’d only need to make sure that what you say revolves around that.

In addition, because your audience’s brain works overtime to process all the information fed to them, visuals prove to be the most efficient way to make your discussion easier to understand.

Your visual aids shouldn’t distract your audience, but rather help them reach the core of your presentation. These can either make or break their first impression of what you are pitching and you as a presenter. Simplicity is key when it comes to customized PowerPoint presentations—the best way to keep your audience’s attention is by removing clutter.

Nothing else maximizes efficiency and effectiveness quite like professionally designed visual aids, but take note: you may have the best PowerPoint design, but its purpose is only to add interest and enhance the way you convey your message. You’re still the star of the show, which is why you still have to do well with your speech.

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References:

Miltner, Olivia. “You’re Not Addicted to Your Smartphone – You Just Really Like People.” OZY. April 1, 2018. www.ozy.com/acumen/youre-not-addicted-to-your-smartphone-you-just-really-like-people/85737

Tierney, Leah. “6 Types of Images That Elicit an Emotional Response.” Shutterstock. May 5, 2017. www.shutterstock.com/blog/6-types-of-images-that-elicit-an-emotional-response

“Using Visual Aids.” University of Pittsburgh. www.speaking.pitt.edu/student/public-speaking/visualaids.html

What Makes an Effective Healthcare Presentation?

Sharing your work and achievements through a presentation is an essential part of gaining the favor of your colleagues in the medical and scientific communities. The ability to do it flawlessly is not an easy feat but doing so effectively greatly contributes to your success.

Engaging your audience and conveying your enthusiasm for the topic at hand, however, may be difficult, especially if you are not presenting it to the medical and scientific communities. This is where many presentations fall flat. Some of the pitfalls include overly complicated content—this is where professional PowerPoint presentations come in.

So, how can you engage your audience and maximize detail retention at the same time?

Illustrate Your Ideas

In the scientific community, proof is vital and for it to be taken seriously, it has to be backed up with enough credible sources. Your presentation doesn’t have to drown in citations, but only use enough backing data to make your point powerful.

Simply telling your audience or providing a wall of text isn’t going to help health information stick. So instead of giving a presentation with text-filled slides, create a custom PowerPoint by using diagrams, graphs, and other types of graphics. These will guide your audience while you explain complex ideas.

You may also use stock photography. These images have improved—no longer appearing staged, but rather more realistic.

Visuals play a huge role as these are handled by a different process in working memory as compared to auditory information—the visuospatial sketchpad.

Use Animation

Animation adds a new level of engagement, as it works as a great storytelling tool. It gives your presentation a bigger impact because it allows you to pace the flow of information, keep your audience engaged, and sync what you’re saying with what they’re seeing.

It can do wonders for your presentation when used properly—conveys your message more powerfully. Using too much, however, may end up distracting your audience. In which case, you’ll be doing the opposite of what you intend to do. Remember: less is more—so don’t overcomplicate your slides and just animate what needs to be emphasized.

Familiarize Yourself with PowerPoint Formatting Tools

You can come up with the best PowerPoint designs by familiarizing yourself with the formatting tools included in the software. When you can manipulate these properly, you can create virtually anything from scratch. It gives you the power to communicate the way you want to, ensuring the audience remembers key information.

In essence, these are various ways to emphasize certain parts of your medical presentation. Not only will these methods make your deck more interesting, but it will help organize your thoughts as well. With these, you can point your audience toward relevant details instead of just showing a wall of text or the whole figure, distracting them from your current point.

Try applying these to your future presentations and see how much of the information was remembered by the audience.

Why You Should Improve Your PowerPoint with Animation

Last November, Microsoft released two of its newest PowerPoint features for 2016– Designer and Morph.

While Designer smartly matches an appropriate layout for your content, Morph is a handy tool in creating basic animation. This feature improves on the animation process with a more user-friendly approach.

It removes the hassle of previous animation options including key frame, motion path, and flash once, which deterred presenters from animating their deck.

To use Morph, click Transitions, then Effect Options. You can choose to animate either objects, words, or characters.

It sounds like a good improvement in terms of visuals, but it’s more than just an added aesthetic to your deck.

Here’s why you should improve your PowerPoint with animation:

Transition with Ease

It seems like the future of presentations is headed towards increased accessibility, particularly with the help of digital media and the Internet.

With more ways to upload your deck online, and share it to a wider audience, your deck will sometimes need to stand on its own. Latest innovations in the program like hyperlinks, voice narration, as well as automatic and manual timings made it possible to pitch self-presenting PowerPoints to anyone at any time.

If you want to create your own stand-alone slides, animation serves as an effective transition tool without needing to switch between slides.

For PowerPoint Morph users, simply move your selected images or text in a certain path after you select the Morph button, similar to creating a work path.

Once you apply Morph to the objects on your deck, they’ll move on their own without needing a prompt.

Gain Positive Attention

It’s already established that 65% of people are visual learners, according to Prime Infographics.

Using graphics is a more effective method of reaching out to them than simply relating hard facts with too much text and numbers.

That said, why not engage the visual learners in your audience further by animating your images? Add some spice to your slides by animating them. But don’t let your deck look dated and unappealing with static and overused clipart.

The fluid movement of the animated objects on your slide can keep your audience’s attention as you expound on your key points.

Tell Your Story

One of the most effective ways to appeal to people is through their emotions. This gets them to see things from your perspective, and eventually sympathize with you.

Tap into their emotions by crafting a story around your pitch that everyone can relate to. You can do this verbally during your actual pitch, or through your deck.

While your PowerPoint serves as a visual aid, it doesn’t have to stay flat all the time. Let your deck tell your story with you. Craft an animated slide with a beginning, middle, and end without needing too many clicks on your part.

Conclusion

The recent development in deck animation lets you explore creative possibilities on your slide.

Use PowerPoint Morph to create stand-alone slides with fluid transitions. Let your visuals interact with your audience by strategically animating slide elements. This will help you not only explain difficult concepts better with visuals, but also tell a good story.

Work together with your visual aid through animation, and let it complement your pitch.

Need a guide for your presentation needs? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

“65% of All People Are Visual Learners.” Prime Infographics. Accessed December 18, 2015. http://primeinfographics.com/65-of-all-people-are-visual-learners

“PowerPoint “Morph” Brings Animation to Microsoft’s Widely Used Presentation Software.” GeekWire. November 13, 2015. Accessed December 18, 2015. www.geekwire.com/2015/powerpoint-morph-brings-animation-to-microsofts-widely-used-presentation-software

“Using the Morph Transition in PowerPoint 2016.” Office Blogs. Accessed December 18, 2015. https://support.office.com/en-US/article/Using-the-Morph-transition-in-PowerPoint-2016-8dd1c7b2-b935-44f5-a74c-741d8d9244ea

 

Featured Image: “Art class” by Pavlina Jane on flickr.com

How to Loop a GIF Background in PowerPoint 2013

Animation can easily capture audience interest, especially if they’re engaging and interactive. Backing up your pitch with well-designed motion graphics encourages the crowd to listen. Include motion graphics as backgrounds with PowerPoint to spice up your business presentation.

In this post, we’ll focus on using an animated GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) and how to use it as a background with the help of PowerPoint 2013’s customization options.

Loop a GIF in PowerPoint 2013

Before doing this, you’ll need to have an animated GIF image ready.

Once you have your file ready, here’s how you can place it on your slide:

1. Click the Design tab and then to the far right, select Format Background under the Customize group. You’ll notice the Format Background options appear at the right windowpane within the slide area.

Loop a gif background tips: New

2. In this window, choose the Picture or Texture Fill from the options.

Loop a gif background tips: picture or texture fill

3. Within the same window, click File to insert the GIF from your downloaded or saved files and then choose your desired GIF file.

Loop a gif background tips: choose file

4. Preview your current slide to see if the GIF plays. Under the Slide Show tab, click From Current Slide in the Start Slide Show group, or simply press Shift+F5 to preview the current slide you’re working on. The GIF will automatically loop at the start of the slide.

Loop a gif background tips: gif

Some Important Reminders

1. Click on Apply to All so that your GIF will play in the background of all your slides.

Loop a gif background tips: apply to all

2. You can see this button at the bottom of the Format Background window pane which can be accessed in the rightmost area of the Design tab.

Loop a gif background tips: format background

3. You can also choose other GIFs as backgrounds to invoke different reactions from your audience. This option stretches the image to fill the background, so choose a high-quality GIF so that it won’t look pixelated when expanded.

4. Last, but not the least, not all GIFs can loop properly when played in older versions of PowerPoint. Focus on your presentation’s content in case your animation fails to load.

5. The steps outlined in this article are distinctly different from just dragging a GIF into the slide area. You can’t resize or drag the GIF around once it’s applied as a background. This feature helps reduce the amount of slide elements in your deck and keeps the background firmly in place.

Background Animation

With PowerPoint’s capability to customize slides, you can add animation to pique the interest of your audience.

The ability to loop a GIF background can enhance your design and vary up your presentation’s look. A moving background can catch the attention of the audience, which can help them focus on the foreground elements afterwards. An animated design also helps differentiate your slide elements for visual contrast. This lets you deliver a memorable PowerPoint presentation.

Create a more dynamic and engaging deck with animation. SlideGenius experts can assist you and offer you a free quote!

 

Reference:

Menezes, Ryan. “How to Use Looping Backgrounds in PowerPoint.” Business & Entrepreneurship. n.d. yourbusiness.azcentral.com/use-looping-backgrounds-powerpoint-1766.html

On the Other Slide: 3 PowerPoint Hacks to Improve Your Deck

PowerPoint may be a user-friendly tool, but its functions go beyond templated slide designs and bullet-point lists. You don’t have to stick to plain slides and clunky graphics. Instead, why not improve your deck and create a design that’s suited for your presentation?

Here are some PowerPoint hacks to help you do just that:

1. Be Creative with Your Images

powerpoint hacks

It’s no secret that the leading cause of Death by PowerPoint, or complete audience boredom, is a slide overloaded with too much information.

Replace blocks of text with images or keywords you can expound on. This leaves you free to talk more and keeps the audience’s attention fixed on you. However, some presenters use this as an excuse to insert random images in their slides in an uninspired layout.

Make your deck more interesting by being creative with your use of images. Instead of copy-pasting a stock image to the middle of your deck, why not crop and edit it first? Crop images to your desired size by dragging the crop handles that will appear around your picture once you format it. Creatively incorporating and tweaking images to perfectly fit your deck lets you illustrate the essence of your core message without boring your audience.

2. Enhance Design with Animation

powerpoint animation

Depending on how you use them, animation and transition can make or break your presentation.

Some presenters have been criticized for their excessive use of slide transitions and animations. For example, business presentations may require no more than a simple wipe. Overdoing it with a dramatic transition like Fracture or Dissolve may lessen your professional credibility.

Fortunately, Microsoft’s presented a solution to that problem and released one of PowerPoint’s latest features, Morph. The add-in allows users to create seamless and impressive animations that can also be used as a slide transition.The Morph option can be found under Transitions, and it lets you animate your desired slide element, which can be in the form of objects, text, or images.

Unlike the previous animation options for PowerPoint, this transition type requires you to draw out a work path for the object you want to animate. You can just drag the slide element in the direction you want it to go. When you view your presentation, the object will move on its own without needing a prompt, like a mouse click. This frees your hands and lets you further use body language to emphasize key points and connect with the audience instead of having to focus on operating a clicker.

3. Have Your Pitch in Mind

powerpoint hacks

Everything on your deck should contribute to your pitch.

That said, the greatest PowerPoint hack is to always keep your pitch in mind when you’re crafting your slides. Extraneous elements will only distract the audience from your main point. Before adding anything, think about why you’re putting it there and whether it will enhance your spiel.

Keep an outline of your content to remind you of your slide order. Highlight key terms you want to emphasize in your visual aid so you’ll know what to include and what can be saved for verbal elaboration.

Decide whether you should plug in your data as text or whether you can improve on it by presenting it creatively. For example, diagrams, charts, and other visual representations may make hard information more palatable to your audience.

Content, delivery, and visuals should all go hand-in-hand, so don’t leave out one for the other. Make sure you develop each of these elements equally for an overall winning presentation.

The Takeaway: Take Advantage of PowerPoint’s Features

ideas

PowerPoint is a constantly growing software, rich with new features. Improvements in the presentation tool make it possible to improve your deck without too much hassle. To summarize:

  1. Be creative with your deck design and experiment with image layout and position. Crop and edit pictures before putting them on your slides so that they can work together with your overall design to get your message across.
  2. Make use of PowerPoint’s latest features, particularly Morph for animation, to make your deck more attractive and interactive.
  3. At the same time, always align your deck with your pitch. Good design used inappropriately can still lead to a confusing presentation.

Craft a winning deck with these PowerPoint hacks, or contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

“PowerPoint 2013: Formatting Pictures.” GCF Learn Free. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/17
“Using the Morph Transition in PowerPoint 2016.” Office Blogs. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Using-the-Morph-transition-in-PowerPoint-2016-8dd1c7b2-b935-44f5-a74c-741d8d9244ea

PowerPoint Animations: Adding Life to Your Slides

Children aren’t the only ones who have short attention spans. Many adults do, too, although this is due to a number of factors – a busy schedule, issues at work, etc. So if you’re presenting a PowerPoint to your team or potential business partners, you need to step up your game. One way to do this is by adding animation to your slides.

PowerPoint animations are very useful for creating a more interesting presentation. It can keep your audience engaged as you deliver each of your points. If children with short attention span are easily entertained by animated cartoons, I’m quite positive that their adult counterparts will find PowerPoint animations enjoyable as well.

If you’re ready to get started, here’s how you can take advantage of PowerPoint’s animation feature:

1. Use the available animations

The Add Animation gallery provides you with simple animations you can apply to the elements on your slide. Just click any of the items you want to animate, click on the Animation tab, and then click Add Animation. Below the wide range of basic animations that control the way the items move on your slides.

powerpoint animation

 

You can use these basic animations to make your items enter, exit, appear, and disappear on the slides.

2. Set the triggers

Triggers allow you to link the animation to a different action. You can do this by creating bookmarks in the presentation, which then prompt an animation to start. Alternatively, you can set an action to start upon clicking your mouse. To set a trigger for an animation, click an item and then click Trigger, which you can find in the Advanced Animation group under the Animations tab.

powerpoint animations

 

3. Automate sequences with Animation Painter

Before, with the older versions of Microsoft PowerPoint, you will have to spend hours just to get the animation working perfectly. But now, you can easily automate your animation sequences with the help of the Animation Painter.

powerpoint animations

 

With the Animation Painter, simply click the element with the animation you like to copy and drag the pointer over the item on the slide to apply the animation settings. PowerPoint will take care of the rest.

4. Measure Entry and Exit Using Timeline

You can find the timeline at the bottom of the Animation Pane. This helps you gauge the entry and exit of the items on the slide. You can also use it to determine whether you want to adjust the time or order of events.

animation2

 

Each animation also displays the span of time through the time segment at the right of every animation entry. You may tweak the animations so that the action occurs at the exact time that you prefer. Just scroll along the timeline by clicking the small arrows at either end. You may also click the Seconds control if you want to Zoom In or Zoom Out and adjust the increments of time.

5. View Everything on the Animation Pane

As you work on the animation, you can see all the information and tools you use on the Animation Pane. To display the Animation Pane, click the Animation tab and select Animation Pane right in the Advanced Animation group. This feature lets you preview the animation, reorder animations, and see where they fall on the timeline.

The important thing about using animations in your slides is to keep everything simple. PowerPoint offers a lot of features for animating any item on your slide but misusing them can confuse your audience, not to mention make your presentations look amateurish.

 

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