Advanced animation techniques in PowerPoint


The trick with animations in PowerPoint presentations is to get the balance right. Too little or too samey and the slides become boring and repetitive. Too much can slow down your delivery and dilute your message. Correctly used advanced animation techniques in PowerPoint can give your deck real zing and make it really entertaining and engaging.

PRO TIP: if you have a lot of objects then before adding advanced animation, open the Selection Pane to name your objects. This will help you to keep everything in order:

The Selection Pane - advanced animation techniques in PowerPoint

The Selection Pane in action

Which advanced animation techniques should you use, and how do you apply them?

It’s all sequential

Adding a sequence of different animations, from simple entry to more complex motion paths, can create some amazing effects without the need to click though. Open up the Animation Pane and use a judicial mix of On Click, With Previous or After Previous. The Delay function is also worth exploring.

Lather, rinse, repeat

Repeating an animation is a simple way to highlight a key piece of information. You might add a motion path to an arrow to repeatedly point to certain graphical elements, numbers etc. You can have objects moving in the background of a design to bring the design to life for the duration of the slide. To set any animation to repeat, go to the Animation Pane and apply an animation. Then you will need to right click on the animation and go into the options for Timing. There you can set how many times you want it to repeat or to set it to repeat continuously until the slide ends.

Gotta bounce

A hidden gem in the animation world is the “bounce”. It is a nifty effect that can be applied at the end of a motion path – instead of slowing to a halt, the animated object bounces a little. It may sound like nothing, and it is subtle but it can look very slick, especially when combined with Auto Reverse, which simply moves the object back to its starting point.

Feeling triggered

We love triggers here at Presented. But what is a trigger animation? To put it simply, you add an animation to one object and then add a trigger to a second object which activates the animation on the first. For example, you might have a number of textboxes you want to open and close in a particular order whilst staying on one slide, or you might create an interactive map and want to be able to highlight sectors separately. You need to create buttons and add triggers which open and close the textboxes or bring in the required data. Make sense? Perhaps a short video will help here:

Let’s talk about Morph

The Morph transition allows you to move from slide to slide with smooth animation, creating the illusion of movement. Try it! Add some objects to a slide, and put some off the artboard too. Duplicate the slide, add the Morph transition and drag the objects around, on and off the artboard. Now, go back to the first slide and play the Slide Show to see how the objects animate. Cool bananas? It looks like you’ve used advanced animation techniques, but you’ve simply selected a clever transition. There are lots of videos on YouTube about Morph, here is a good example.

More about advanced animation techniques in PowerPoint

For more examples of advanced animation techniques we have used in PowerPoint why not browse our interactive portfolio, here.