The Power of Smooth Transitions in PowerPoint Presentation Design

PowerPoint Transitions_eSlideUnless you’ve been on the far side of the moon for the past year, you’ve likely been paying attention to the race for the White House. Or maybe you’re there to get away from it? Either way, the Washington fandango isn’t easy to ignore.

No matter who wins in November, fact is, there’s always a big transition between outgoing and incoming administrations. And that’s got us thinking about the power of a smooth transition.

So this month we turn our attention to slide transitions in PowerPoint presentation design. Here are our top tips for making sure the transitions in your next PowerPoint presentation are as smooth as possible.

A guiding hand

We like to think of slide transitions as a gentle guiding hand, easing your audience from one idea or section into the next. That’s all they have to do.

Less is more

The old PowerPoint presentation design chestnut ‘less is more’ is nowhere more apt than when applied to transitions.

It’s not easy to resist the temptation to go for more than what’s necessary, as PowerPoint does come with a lot of options for jazzing up your transitions. Animations like fades, cuts, dissolves, and wipes should be used sparingly, if at all.

The same applies to the use of audio. For example, the sound of a crowd cheering might work at the end of a presentation, but not after every slide. (Yeah Trumpster, we’re talking to you!)

Design overload

Design overload in your transitions is likely to confuse or worse, annoy your audience. Once this happens, your audience won’t be on-side, even if your presentation content is stellar. Losing your audience will make your presenting experience an uphill struggle, so make life easier for yourself and avoid overdoing it.

Going overboard also sends the message that you’re unsure about your presentation content, ie, perhaps you think it isn’t strong enough to stand on its own. That’s not a good message to send.

Consistency is key

Consistency is important across the board in good PowerPoint presentation design and it definitely applies to transitions too. You don’t want the thing your audience remembers to be your 27 unique transitions, so go with the same design as much as possible.

The consistency rule does allow for some exceptions. For example, you can use different transitions to denote different components of your presentation, for example, section breaks versus a simple slide change. Maintain the same transitions within the same section of your presentation. Then use a variation of your transition theme for the transitions into the next section.

Open, don’t close

Transitions should announce the introduction of a new section, rather than be a closing to the section you’re leaving. Let your design choices reflect an opening or new beginning.

Test, test and test again

Don’t forget to make sure your transitions work. Try them out as you practice your presentation, so you can work out any glitches before your big day. There’s nothing worse than hitting the advance key only to find the transitions you worked so hard to design aren’t advancing.

Transition to greatness

Transitions aren’t an opportunity to hide or make up for poor PowerPoint presentation design.  If you find yourself trying to mask your actual presentation with poorly-conceived transitions, it’s time to get help.

The professional PowerPoint presentation designers at eSlide have more than 20 years of design expertise to offer. We can help energize and revitalize your presentation, so that your content, not your transitions, are the thing your audience remembers.

We can’t promise you’ll get the outcome you want on the presidential election, but we can help you get the results you need from your next PowerPoint presentation, so get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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