Practical Application: Applying Transitions & Animations in PowerPoint

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Transitions and animations add excitement and flair to PowerPoint presentations. In this activity, you'll get to test your transition and animation skills in two fictitious scenarios involving PowerPoint presentations.

Stop Being So Abrupt!

Imagine walking into a store and a sales associate says, ''Hi,'' and then before you can respond, they immediately ask what you're there for. That would be rather abrupt, wouldn't it? Conversations aren't the only thing that can suffer from this; presentations can appear to be too abrupt as well!

Previously, you learned about transitions and animations in PowerPoint thanks to the lessons in this course, PowerPoint: Skills Development & Training. But, could you add transitions and animations on your own if your boss asked you to create a meeting-worthy presentation?

In this hands-on activity, you'll read through some scenarios where either a transition or animation could boost the appeal of a presentation. Think about it!

PowerPoint Transitions and Animations

In the Middle

Caleb is creating an end-of-year PowerPoint presentation showcasing his team's sales numbers from each quarter of performance. He starts by building the slides for the first quarter, completes those and is pleased by how they turned out. Now, he turns his attention to the second quarter statistics. He doesn't want to jump right from the first quarter numbers into the second quarter without some type of recognizable shift. He wants his viewers to understand he is moving from the first quarter, which was lackluster, into more exciting numbers in the year's second quarter.

  1. Would this presentation benefit from a transition or an animation? Why did you make that choice?
  2. Why would a transition or animation be a good addition in this scenario?
  3. What benefit does a transition or animation provide in this situation?
  4. Where are the tools for transitions and animations located on the PowerPoint tool bar?
  5. What kind of creative options are available for transitions or animations?

What Caleb needs is a transition between slides. A transition is applied to a slide whereas an animation is applied to contents ON the slide. Transitions are useful for adding a natural break or segue from one slide to another or even one topic to another. It helps with the flow of your presentation and gives people an interesting element to view as you progress through your presentation. The transition tool is located in the Transitions tab on the tool bar. You can use a transition that looks like a theater curtain opening or a subtle fade or ''wipe'' that removes the old slide and displays the new one.

Now, open a PowerPoint slide and click your slide. Select ''Transitions'' from the tool bar. Once you select the transition you like, you can further customize it by selecting ''Effect Options''. This will allow you to choose the length of the transition, choose when the transition occurs (such as when you click your mouse), and even add sound to it.

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