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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PowerPoint Transitions

PowerPoint animations tell the text, pictures and objects on a slide how to act. Transitions get you from one slide to the next in your presentation. If animations are the tone of your presentation, then transitions are the gestures. The transitions signal something new is happening.

Sometimes you want the transition from one point to the next to be subtle to the point of being almost imperceptible. Other times you want the transition to be clear and dramatic.

Think about watching a movie or TV show. How do they move between scenes? Some movies use a smooth fade to and from a black screen. It signals the end of one scene and the beginning of another. But think about the scene changes in Star Wars, throughout the movies the scenes change with wipes where the old scene is wiped over with the new scene. There's visual interest, but it also communicates something about the transition. In the opening of Episode IV we get a downward wipe that tells us that the next scene takes place on the planet below the first scene in space.

When using transitions in PowerPoint choose them carefully. There are some dramatic transitions, which may be appropriate if you're making a dramatic point. But if your point is subtle and your transition is flashy, then the audience will sense a disconnect. They will be distracted and loose track of what you're saying because of the transitions.

What transitions do you normally choose?

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