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What is Animation in PowerPoint?

Learn about animation, and how to effectively plan animation for PowerPoint. We also explore why you should consider using animation in PowerPoint.

In the simplest sense, animation is something that makes slide objects move on a slide. And slide objects can be anything on a slide. These include text, pictures, charts, SmartArt graphics, shapes, even movie clips.

In this series of learning tutorials, we'll show you how you can add animation, and then remove, change, reorder, and sequence animation. You'll learn more about the types of animation, and animation speed too.

However, let us first consider if we really need to add animation at all to slide objects. Animation is something that can never be ignored by the presenter or the audience. Moreover, depending upon what type of animation you added to a particular object, you might have added a perfect emphasis to an important component on your slide, or you may have highlighted an unimportant part of your presentation, and distracted your audience!

As you can see animation is a very powerful tool in the PowerPoint scheme of things, and a little planning and thought before adding any sort of animation is paramount.

So how do you effectively plan animation? That's simple if you follow these guidelines:

  1. If you believe animation will enhance and add value to a slide, consider adding it. Otherwise, forget the idea.


  2. Once you have found a slide object that can benefit from animation, spend some time considering what type of animation will work best. Look closely at the slide, the subject, the audience, and the visual periphery around the slide object. Observing these will give you a better idea of what can work best.
  3. Look carefully at animations that others have created in their PowerPoint presentations. When you get some free time, try to replicate them. If possible, request the original PowerPoint file and deconstruct the animation. Curiosity is always a virtue as far as animation goes.
  4. Keep your eyes open. Animation is all around you: in movies, the weather report on TV, in advertisements, the web, and everywhere else. You'll find so much being shown on digital signage in airports, conference centers, even railway stations. Look at these styles and try to recreate them in PowerPoint.
  5. Show animations you have created to friends and colleagues. A little time spent in discussing these issues with like-minded folks can bring in so much inspiration!

13 01 01 - Basics of Animation: What is Animation in PowerPoint? (Glossary Page)