Animation, breathe life into your presentations

Slider Presents Creative Director, Elliott, shares the benefits of using animation, how it can breathe life into your presentations and boost audience engagement.

Like a movie, when you cannot take your eyes off the screen, or a book you read cover to cover, you want your audience to be engrossed in your presentation from start to finish.

It doesn’t have to be the next Pixar blockbuster or ILM masterpiece, but subtle and clever use of motion, whether applied to a logo, text, chart, infographic, bespoke transition or full-screen image can add a whole new dimension to your slides.

Animation can be used to tell a clear and coherent story, it helps avoid information overload. It can help maintain a pace, a flow, an energy without being distracting or creating unnecessary clicks of the mouse or pointer. It can be crafted in an intellectual manner without confusing the message.

Animation should be used to compliment the presentation not complicate it. Some presenters feel nervous or uncomfortable when using animated elements within their slides, sometimes through not understanding the potential or limited knowledge of the software.

To see how animation can be used to full affect check out our showreel which has been created using 100% PowerPoint. Follow us on Instagram where we upload regular posts including ideas & tips on how to create and use animated elements in your own presentations.

If you would like to know more, or have any questions do get in touch.

10 things I’ve learned make a great presentation.

10 things I’ve learnt make a great presentation

Slider Presents, Content Director, Jez Paxman, shares some thoughts from the presentation front line.

I’ve seen a lot of presentations. Some I’ve helped write and design. Some have been delivered at events I’ve worked on. Some have been just for fun.

Here are ten things to do with both content and delivery that I’ve observed make for a brilliant presentation.

1) Be an expert

You’ve asked for the audience’s attention, they expect you to know things they don’t. Early on build trust by demonstrating that you’re on top of your game.

2) Be yourself

Just because you’ve got a stage doesn’t mean you have to act. Don’t adopt a presentation style that isn’t true to you. Find out what works for you and craft it.

3) Be aware

There are some things that are just annoying: endless pacing around the stage, being awkward with your hands, filler words (like, um, you know). Be aware of these things and sort them out.

4) Know what you’re trying to change

Why are you taking up all these people’s time? What is it that you want them to do differently or think differently as a result of your presentation? Define this and build your presentation around it.

5) Have a S.T.A.R moment

S.T.A.R = Something They’ll Always Remember. This is an acronym coined by US presentation designers Duarte.  Bill Gates released a jar of mosquitoes on stage to make a point about malaria. Al Gore used a cherry picker to follow a graph line showing future CO2 emissions off the chart. Do something different and be remembered.

6) Be Honest

There’s an elephant in every room – don’t ignore it. Your audience are going to be far more open to engaging if you recognise failures as well as successes.

7) Story before slides

Decide your structure and refine your story before thinking about slides. Turning to slides too early in the process leads to muddled thinking.

8) Edit ruthlessly

Watch any great presentation and you’ll notice it doesn’t have any fat. Every point is needed. If you’re asked to do a 15min presentation, edit it down to 10mins, it’ll be better. A truth about audiences is that they always want things to end sooner.

9) Embrace the big screen

From mobiles to bus stops the world is awash with screen content – the vast majority created by professional designers. Powerful slides add a whole other dimension and help you emotionally connect, whilst poorly conceived slides can undermine the whole thing. If design isn’t your thing then get some professional support.

10) Invest time

There’s no getting away from it, great presentations take a lot of time to structure, craft and rehearse.

These are my top ten. What’s on your list? Do drop me a line.

7 ways to structure your presentation

Where to start?

If you’re planning a presentation don’t start with your slides.

Slides are linear and because of this aren’t a good way to organise ideas, which are typically organic and overlapping. Start by deciding what change you want your presentation to effect. Then begin jotting down the points that will help you effect this change. Post-it notes are a good way to cluster your thoughts into different pots.

Once you’ve gathered all your supporting points, decide on a structure for your presentation. Storytelling or narrative is something that people are want to over complicate, but really it’s just a matter of choosing from one of a small number of tried and tested structures.

Choosing the one that’s right for you will depend on your audience, your message and your natural style. The guys at Visme have shared a really useful infographic outlining seven basic structures. Next time you watch a TED talk or listen to an experienced presenter, see if you can identify which of these structures they’re using.

So in short, before you open PowerPoint, identify the change you want to make and the story structure that’s right for you.

Speak Visually. Create an infographic with Visme