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PowerPoint animation tips: Don't be that person whose slides are deathly boring

JD Sartain | Feb. 11, 2015
Nothing can revive a DOA PowerPoint presentation faster than animations. Applied judiciously, these motion effects can bring dynamism to your deck and make your message more powerful.

You can see in the image below that "Research the Company" has Dissolve In for the Entrance animation and Loop de Loop from the Motion Path list for the second effect. "Be On Time" only has one animation — Fly In — on entrance. "Show Positive Attitude" Fades In on entrance with a Shimmer for emphasis. "Ask Questions" only has one Emphasis effect, Teeter. "Detail Your Experience," has three effects: It Bounces on entrance, Spins for emphasis, then does a Trapezoid dance on exit. And the last item on the menu, "Toot Your Own Horn," Fades In on entrance and then Fades Out on exit.

The screen displays each object with animations in numbered, gray boxes, with multiple boxes denoting multiple animations. Pink boxes indicate the currently selected object. The list in the Animations Pane shows the order of play. Use the up and down arrows at the top right of pane to rearrange the play order.

Customize timing and duration

You can customize the timing and duration of each animation you use. Select an object on the slide and select Animations > Advanced Animation > Animation Pane. Here, you can customize the animation's performance from the Timing group, or click the arrow beside the selected animation (highlighted in pink) and define the performance actions in the drop-down list. Set the start time, Timed animations work better for demos and sales presentations that run continuously at trade shows and sales conferences. You can view the animation as you work by clicking the Play From button.

Once you've got the hang of how animations can work for you, you're limited only by your imagination. Explore PowerPoint's multitude of animation options and make your presentations unforgettable.


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