You'd practiced that presentation all week. But when you looked out to the audience, all you saw were blank, weary faces staring back.
Sound like a nightmare? Don't worry, many presenters struggle with engagement. In fact, it's normal for your audience to lose focus and miss points.
An animated presentation can help. After all, the human brain decodes visual information 60,000X faster than text.
Sure, steering clear of animation feels like a safe bet. But, static slideshows can quickly become tiresome.
The good news is that creating an animated presentation is much easier than you might assume. From slide planning to motion paths and transition effects, here's all you need to know, to get started.
Let's get right to it, shall we?
Create a Strong Foundation
Once you've decided on an animated presentation, it's tempting to jump right into experimenting with dazzling effects.
First, you'll need to do some prep work. Otherwise, your presentation risks being rushed, loose and confusing. Take our advice and before you even think about animation ideas, complete the following:
Write a Script
Start with a script that describes each screen or slide. This is a good idea whether you're planning to develop an official voiceover track, or will be going live from speaker notes.
The script is the backbone of your presentation. Visuals are great, but they'll fail to move your audience if they're not underpinned by strong ideas.
When writing the script, consider the following guidelines:
1. What problem are you addressing?
2. What is your solution?
3. How does this work?
4. What are the benefits?
5. What do you want the audience to do following the presentation?
Even if you're just looking to spruce up a statistics presentation for your colleagues, the above will help you tailor your words perfectly for the audience.
Create the Music or Voiceover
You've got two options here:
- choose a musical background track to speak over
- pre-record a voiceover guide
Typically, music is used for internal presentations, and voiceover reserved for external, customer-facing presentations. Ultimately though, it comes down to preference.
Whichever you choose, here's why this step is so important: timing.
Practising or recording the script forces you to account for natural pauses and flow. It'll take longer than you think. According to this free script time calculator, 300 words takes around 2 minutes to deliver.
Don't be afraid to vary your speaking speed. It will help prevent the audio sounding monotone, which is a sure fire way to disengage your audience!
Divide the Slides
Now you're ready to create your base slides. Each should represent a specific idea, scene or topic that you outlined in the script. Keep each short, so you can focus on adding powerful visuals.
Now's a good time to play around with speed and timing. If you already know how long each slide will display for, creating timely animations becomes much easier.
Creating the Animation
Background prep done? Great!
Now it's time to add the animated graphics and images to your slides. Here are our top tips and tricks for making the most from your animation.
Start with Object Animations
Object animations will be the heart of your presentation.
Object animations are the individual items that add motion to a slide, such as building graphs, 3D figures or motion images. Consider the overall aim of your presentation and which could be the most impactful.
Do you want animated characters that walk through the entire presentation with your audience? Or would you prefer simple animation effects to highlight key points and figures? Get creative.
Object animations should be used to draw attention to the most critical points in each of your slides.
If you can use an animation in place of text, do so! Animations are the perfect supplement to your audio and the audience should be listening, not reading! Keep that in mind, and use as little text as possible.
Just make sure to only use 1-2 animations per slide to avoid distraction. Strong animation effects look fabulous, but they're counterproductive if they cause your audience to lose sight of the critical points.
Use Motion Paths
Motion paths can be used with images, text, and objects. They use animation to walk the eyes of your audience through different stages of each slide.
When telling a story, or explaining your product, motion paths are highly effective as they help dictate how your audience digests each slide.
For each slide, think about where you want the audience to focus. With this in mind, you can create motion paths according to the ideal 'eye flow.'
Top tip: Animate each element one at a time. Don't show all the stages of a process at once. Animating each step, in turn, makes it easy for your audience to follow the sequence.
Apply Entrance & Exit Transitions
Animated transitions are the effects that play when you move between slides. They're a great touch to any business presentation and are simple enough to incorporate, too.
When deciding on slide transitions, there are three factors to keep in mind:
1. Visual Effect
Stick to the more straightforward transition effects, such as dissolve or fade. Save the most creative and flashy visuals for your object animations.
By using transitions sparingly, you can showcase your points without taking away from the core content.
Background music is the way to go here. Adding individual transition effect sounds can really cheapen your presentation.
Play around with transition duration, but stick to the script timings you developed earlier in the process. 0.5-second transition delays add up over the course of your presentation, and could result in you missing your conclusion or call to action!
Craft an Effective Animated Presentation
Animation can really help draw audience attention to elements of your presentation. You don't even have to use separate applications to create these animation effects, either.
For example, WPS PRESENTATION comes with hundreds of fonts, effects, built-in slide styles and ready-made templates. You can also use advanced animation tools, slide transitions and easily insert multimedia files into your presentations.
So, if you're ready to craft your own animated presentation, visit our product page for more information to help get you started.