Changing animation speed or presentation speed can help hold audience attention, controlling how information is presented, received, and understood. This isn’t just about how quickly you speed through your speech and slideshow, it about understanding the importance of pace for guiding audiences through your content, hold their attention, and ensure their comprehension as you move from one slide, point, and idea to the next.

Asking questions and providing visual examples can help break up the monotony of your speech/presentation, plus it gives the audience an opportunity to interact with the content more directly. But how do you create speed and pace within your PowerPoint animation?

The simplest way to control pace in video and animation is to play around with framerate, but this should be done cautiously, as it can create onscreen motion blur while testing the limitations of your video equipment.

Controlling pacing in video and animation is done mostly through editing and music, which carries the audience through to a certain rhythm. Pace is often slowed down with voice over (or dialogue in film) but quick successive cuts like you’d see in a hypereel creates faster pacing, while music should complement it. It could be a jarring experience if the pace of frames and music aren’t aligned, which is why you’ll commonly see slow motion accompanied by more leisurely and often orchestral music.

How to Change PowerPoint Animation Speed

If you have an animation in your PowerPoint presentation that’s moving just a little too slow (or too fast), you can adjust the speed of the animation to match your desired timing. Here’s how it’s done.

First, select the object in your slide that contains the animation. If you haven’t already assigned one to your object, you can do so by selecting one of the many options in the Animation group of the Animations tab. To access more of them, click the down arrow to open more animation options.

animation speed, Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed By default, the duration of the animation is set to one second. You can check out a preview of the animation by selecting Preview in the top left of the Animations tab.

animation speed, Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed Now that you’ve seen the animation, it’s time to adjust the speed. Still in the “Animations” tab, head over to the Timing group. Here, you’ll see the Duration option. You’ll notice that it’s default set for one second. Adjust the duration (by 0.25 second increments) by selecting the up and down arrows in the duration box or typing the amount of time in the box.

animation speed, Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed Now, when you play the animation, it will play out at the set duration.

As a nice little aside, if you have multiple animations and have set them to start subsequently by selecting the After Previous start option, you can adjust the timing at which the next animation is executed. To do so, adjust the Delay option (00.00 by default) to the desired amount of time. This option is also adjusted at 0.25 second increments.

animation speed, Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed Once the first animation plays out, the following animation will begin in the set amount of time.

A Quick Method for Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed

The speed of any animation is set in seconds and parts of seconds, up to hundredths of seconds.

  1. Select the object in the slide that has been assigned an animation—a text box, a picture, or a chart to name a few examples.
  2. Select Animation. animation speed, Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed animation speed, Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed
  3. In the Duration box, select the up or down arrows beside the speed that is currently set to increase or decrease the speed. The speed changes in increments of quarters of a second.
  4. Alternatively, enter the speed you want in the Duration text box. The animation speed is changed to this new setting.

Use the Additional Effect Options

Another way to access PowerPoint animation speed is through Effect Options.

  1. Select the object in the slide that has been assigned an animation.
  2. Select Show Additional Effect Options (which is in expand arrow in the lower-right corner of the Animation group, underneath ‘Effect Options’).
  3. Select the Timing tab
  4. Select the Duration down arrow and choose a speed. Your options here are 20 seconds, 3 seconds, 2 seconds, 1 second, and 0.5 seconds.
  5. Select OK to apply the changes. Note that this option only offers a select number of duration options. Use the Quick Method above to get more control over your animation timing.

Add Effect Options

Before you close the Effect Options dialog box, switch to the Effect tab to add effect options such as altering the entrance direction of the text as it appears on the slide.

animation speed, Changing PowerPoint Animation Speed

If the dialog box is closed, you can add effects your animation by select your animation, clicking Show Additional Effect Options (down arrow) to display a list of possible effects for the type of animation used.

Adding Sound Effects

Sound effects can help highlight a point, but they can easily become irritating for audiences, so proceed with caution and only use when it helps emphasise your point.

To create a sound effect, you will first need to click on the element that you want to apply to the sound effect. You will then need to move to the Custom Animation pane and select Effect Options to see more information. Choosing the Sound option will present you with multiple options and the ability to use a custom sound you’ve created.

After choosing the sound, you will need to select when it gets played. This will depend on whether you’re presenting a timed or by-click presentation. You will then need to think about how long the sound will play. In most cases, this should only be for a second or two. If it’s too long, it may be jarring and annoying for audiences – so ensure your animation speed fits nicely with your sound effects. You can also control the volume to ensure it’s comfortable for your audience.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to animation, why not download our free pre-made animation templates? We’ve got a set of animations that you can easily integrate and edit to make your own. Download them here.

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