- cont'd


The previous tutorial introduced some of the basic steps in preparing a PowerPoint presentation.  This tutorial will continue on, and take you through the steps in adding sound and customizing the effects and transitions.

Click here to see the previous tutorial.

*Windows & MAC versions of PowerPoint vary slightly. I have included images from both where needed.

Slide Transitions

PowerPoint includes default settings for transitions. The Slide Transition controls the visual effect as each slide advances to the next.

This is probably one of the first default settings you might want to change.

Go to  Slide Show  Slide Transitions.

The Slide Show Transition options appear in the Task Pane to the right.

There are over fifty to choose from. I chose Uncover Left. 

The first four slides of my presentation are shown in the example to the right.

This might be a good time to mention that the behaviour of the transitions and effects should reflect the nature of your message. A serious message should have a more subtle style, whereas a more humorous or less serious message might have a more flamboyant effect.

Go to Slide Show Slide Transitions.

Click on the drop-down arrow to select from one of many transitions,  You can choose to have the slides advance when you click the mouse or automatically after a given number of seconds.

If you want every slide in the presentation to have the same transition click the Apply to All button.

Animation Schemes

The Animation Schemes refer to the appearance and behaviour of the text and images in each of the slides.

Go to Slide Show Animation Schemes.

Appearing in the Task Pane, there are over thirty animation schemes to choose from.  Again, make sure that  the behaviour/appearance of the animation matches the nature of your presentation.

With a text or image object selected go to Slide Show Preset Animations and select one of the presets. 

You can apply a preset animation to one object, or go to Edit Select All on the Main Menu Bar to apply the preset to all objects in the slide.

Customizing Effects

Although a default setting might add life to the presentation, it may not be the most suitable for your specific needs.

Have a look at the bulleted list in the example to the right. If a speaker wanted to have an opportunity to elaborate on any of these three points, it might be better to pause on each of them to allow time for the message to 'sink in' before advancing to the next point.

If you were presenting in person you could rely on manually advancing each frame or bullet using the mouse button, but it might be more convenient to set the timing to advance automatically.

A good 'rule of thumb' in setting text transition speed and pause time is to time yourself as you read each caption, then multiply by 3. The reasoning here is that very few people will remain riveted to your presentation, no matter how fascinating it is.  People tend to glance around, blink, or otherwise get distracted.  You don't want your most important point to whiz by when a viewer is looking away.  The 3X rule is a good formula.  A faster pace, and you risk your audience missing key information, while a slower pace might become boring.

Under Slide Show select Custom Animations.

The Custom Animation tools appear in the Task Pane on the right.

For this particular slide I want the presentation to pause on each of the bulleted lines to give the speaker, or voice-over, a chance to re-enforce each point of the message.

In the main slide are you will notice a small symbol beside each line of text. Select this symbol, or select the text in the Task Pane.

Click the drop-down arrow to bring up the editable features.  The Start After Previous button will prevent the selected text from appearing until after the previous text has completely appeared.

I f you choose this setting for each line, you will get the sequential effect in the example to the right.

The above settings allow the text to display sequentially, but we still haven't allowed time for the speaker to talk about each point individually.

Select the Timing button.  A Fade window will appear in the main panel.  Here you can set a variety of behaviours for this line of text.
  • Start: When effect takes place in relation to previous text, or set to react to Mouse-click.
  • Delay: How long to wait after previous event
  • Speed: How long it takes to appear completely
  • Rewind... Text effect will repeat before next event
  • Repeat: Returns object to original position after animation
  • Triggers: You can set the animation to begin after clicking on a trigger (other text, button)

The other Tab on the Fade window allows you to further customize the appearance of the text.  The set the text to dim to a grey color at the end of the animation, and the text to appear gradually.

Select the slide that you want to add a custom animation to.

Go to Slide Show Custom Animation. In the Custom Animation window you will see any items in the slide that currently have an effect applied to them.

You can add effects to any item by selecting the Add Effect button.

Select the text or object that you want to add an effect to and select the Effect Options button.

Effect Options:

You can associate a sound effect with an object .  (More details on sound effects in next tutorial).

Another visual effect you can apply is to have a line of text dim after entry.  For example, if you wanted to highlight each point in a list of bulleted text you could have the preceding line dim to a lighter color when the next line of text enters the screen. (See example at bottom of page).

You can precisely control the action of the effect.

On Click, With Previous, and After Previous will determine if the effect will take place manually or automatically.

The speed will control the time it takes to complete the effect.

You can have the animation effect apply to the entire line of text at once, or sequentially by letter.

There are an infinite number of transition and effect possibilities available.  I have presented only a few of them.  The important thing to remember is that the purpose of the effects and transitions is to make your presentation more interesting and effective, not to dazzle the audience with technology.

As with most forms of communication, you will be trying to do one or more of the following:

To Inform, Convince, Persuade, or Entertain