I recently heard a train-the-trainer presenter refer to all animations and transitions as unnecessary fluff and distractions. While I agree that animation beyond basic slide transitions can be distracting, I do think there is a place for well-placed advanced features in your PowerPoint. Here are my basic guidelines:
- Have a purpose for the pizazz – Whether you want to layer ideas by flying in your discussion bullets one at a time, or discuss each bullet as an isolated topic and then show them as a “whole,” entrance and exit animation can actually help you make your point. DON’T use bullet point animation on every slide. It becomes ineffective. Check out this article for step-by-step instructions. http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/28765/creating-effective-bullet-animation-in-powerpoint
- Use fancy transitions as a wake-up call – If you presentation necessarily contains lots of statistics, charts and lists of facts, your audience may fall into that “death by PowerPoint” trance of TMI on the slides. At logical break points between topics, hit them with a someone different transition (checkerboard, zoom, honeycomb) and land on a single phrase slide to announce the next topic. It will give them a chance to rest their eyes and focus back on you.
- Animation doesn’t mean cartoons! – Animate arrows to show positions on screenshots or to bring objects onto the screen strategically. Motion path animation can be very useful when demonstration screens are too hard to see or where viewers will be seeing your presentation at a kiosk or self-directed at their desks. Use simple straight line motion paths to get object onto the screen in specific locations. The red arrow shows where the animation will end, the green where it begins.