Should you use animation in your next PowerPoint?



PowerPoint animation is a tool that any designer would benefit from having at the ready. But depending on the unique details of the presentation, your skill level, and the way the PowerPoint will be used and shared, there are times when it’s not the best option.


So the next time you are thinking about adding animation to PowerPoint slides, consider these questions to help you decide!


Are you comfortable with PowerPoint animation?

This may seem obvious, but if it's a high stakes presentation you may not want to experiment just yet. Save your PowerPoint animations for a time when you can practice.


What is the scope of your PowerPoint?

PowerPoint animation is great, but if resources are limited, your time might be better spent crafting a strong story and tight content.


Did they ask for animation?

It’s a great idea to ask your client, or whoever will be giving the presentation, what they want to use. Presenters have their own preferences, and some may not want the extra flair. Additionally, different audiences have different expectations: for example, financial types and board of directors may want to stick to the point, as opposed to sales and marketing teams who see animation more favorably.


Will your presentation run on a reliable machine?

An older machine might struggle to render an animation-intense deck, or an older version of PowerPoint might limit or simply not render some animation types from newer versions.


How many cooks are in the kitchen?

If you are collaborating with a large team, the chances of broken animations increase exponentially. You’ll need to be sure that you are able to review and test before the presentation is given, and even then there are risks.


How many people are presenting?

It’s not uncommon to see presentations with 10 different people presenting over the course of a few hours, each with their own styles of presenting and animation preferences. This can lead to challenges with consistency: if you heavily animate a certain section, the effects ripple out to the other presenters. Some want to emulate it. Some want something completely different. Some would prefer no animation at all.


For presentations with a lot of moving parts, it can be best to minimize or remove animation altogether.


Will it be ported to any other form?

If your presentation needs to be converted at any point, chances are high your animation will get messed up. This means Keynote, Google slides, even good old fashioned paper.


These questions aren’t intended to dissuade you from using animation. We’re going for the opposite, actually! They are simply considerations to keep in mind as you incorporate more PowerPoint animations.


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