We love animation here at Synapsis Creative – it brings motion, personality, and style to otherwise static PowerPoint slides. We would encourage clients to consider animation in their presentations – it not only helps audiences engage with the content, but helps the presenter offer something more unique and thought provoking.

Most research and theories conclude that 70-93% of communication is non-verbal. This means your tone of voice, body language, and supplementary visuals are the real focus areas for audiences. Motion animation especially helps highlight and draw attention to key information, guiding audiences through the presentation and reinforcing what is being said.

We expect more video and moving content, as static information like print is diminishing in influence. Don’t get me wrong, the media are still a powerful force, but they understand the importance of digital content – creating video and interactive content to place in audiences’ hands. If you look at any news program now, there’s scrolling text and picture-in-picture like any other social media feed, further hybridising traditional and digital media while illustrating the importance of animation in this new era of information overload.

Animation as distraction

Animation can enhance a presentation or distract audience – so it isn’t always necessary, but can really elevate the quality of a presentation and better engage viewers if used correctly. It’s about how you stage your animations, progressively disclosing information and using attention to highlight attention points for your audience.

To improve your use and look of animation, you should track your audience’s sight in preparation for your presentation, decide what design elements can be heightened through animation, and then design based on this viewer journey. This begins with writing and planning, getting a concept and storyboard together that outlines the entire presentation.

The message and narrative you’re trying to present will determine what information should be shown, hidden, or highlighted. Ensure you have a clear understand of your audience, your message, and how your use of animation is helping to reinforce that message.

A critical difference between live-event presentation and online-presentation platforms like webinars is the inability to point at elements and use the stage space to direct audience attention. Motion animation can help your online audience understand what information is most important or relevant to your presentation.

Considerations of click and timed

Both click and timed progression can be used well to create suspense and further engage audiences with your animations. However, if you click at the wrong time or mess up the timing of your presentation, it could become a very disjointed and amateurish experience for your viewers. To prevent any issues during your presentation, it helps to rehearse, especially with PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach rehearsal mode.

This intelligent feature offers on-screen guidance and advice while presenters practice their speech. It highlights presenters’ pacing, inclusive language, use of filler words, and culturally insensitive phrases. Presenter Coach also lets users know when they’re just reading off the slide, which is a never a good look for presenters. At the end of each rehearsal session, users are provided a detailed report with metrics for additional practice so they can present more confidently and competently.

Accessibility and sharing

A key reason animation was uncommon during the early years of presentation design isn’t simply due to tack of technical capability, but also because static slides were often shared and/or printed. Animation can make your slides difficult to print or share with your audience post presentation. There are some workarounds in terms of either simplifying or printing separately, but this is creating more work after your presentation, so sometimes it’s best to keep it simple.

Another important consideration for using animation is software compatibility. Be sure you know what technology will be available at your presentation and rehearse beforehand to ensure your speech and slideshow are polished perfectly before taking the stage.

Momentum and attention

Animation is particularly useful in maintaining momentum and rhythm during a presentation, ensuring continual movement, particularly during slide changes. When giving a presentation static slides keep focus on the presenter while animations draw attention back to the screen. This is why animation can also be used to guide audiences, highlighting critical information and maintaining the presentation’s pace to help keep audiences engaged.

We’ve spoken before about the use of transition animations, but the idea is powerful – use animation to capture attention and precede change in visual elements / slides. This also helps maintain momentum and keep pace during a presentation.

Animation remains a critical design trend that is seeing more creative and entertaining applications. Furthermore, animation is becoming more accessible as different creative suites and social-media platforms introduce animation capabilities to help more people create and animate easily.

To kickstart your own presentation with some awesome animated elements, check out our free intro animation template designed and delivered in PowerPoint so you can conveniently integrate it into your slideshow and customise it with ease. Download your template here

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Keep informed and get inspired

Want to learn more about how to stretch the creative limits of PowerPoint?

Subscribe today and receive the latest in blog content, design templates, and much more – all made in PowerPoint.

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