First published as a LinkedIn Newsletter article.

PowerPoint quick fix tip 💡

Do you struggle to keep your slides simple? Are your slides stuffed with words, images, graphs….just TOO much? Do you find that your audience sometimes gets lost, asks questions which show they didn’t understand, or you get the sense that they’ve stopped listening?

One problem could be an over-charged slide. You know the ones – lots of words, bullet points, 2 or 3 graphs squished onto one slide.

You don’t know what to remove? Everything is important? Well, you may need a colleague or presentation coach to help you simplify things…

However, if you’ve already simplified things and are convinced that you need ALL of that information on the one slide, a simple way to keep your audience on the “same page” with you is to use simple animation. This will ensure that the audience only sees the point, image or graph that you are speaking about at that time.

Simple animation, used in this way, is like taking someone by the hand and leading them down a certain path. They need to walk at your pace and not rush ahead or jump off the path and follow butterflies.  

When we talk about using simple animation we’re NOT talking about things flying in, twisting around or flashing on the screen! Simple is best.

A simple “Appear” animation is all that is needed. To do this:

  1. select the elements that you want to appear, one after the other,
  2. go to the “Animations” menu and click “Appear”
  3. request that each element is starts “On click”
  4. when you want to show the next bullet point or image, you click your mouse or use the arrows to make it appear.

Make sure you’ve got them in the correct order and know how they will appear by running through your PowerPoint “slideshow” in advance of the actual presentation.

Rehearse speaking to each of the points as you make them appear on the slide.

Try the simple “appear” animation in your next PowerPoint slide deck and see how the audience stays on the path with you.

Avoid overwhelming those that you’re speaking to or your audience reading ahead, by applying a simple animation and skip down that presentation path happily together!

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