Brent Dykes at the PowerPoint Ninja blog discusses new transition effects in PowerPoint 2010. In particular, he makes an interesting distinction between the transitions that happen between slides and transitions that happen directly on the slides (animations).
I tend to agree that we don’t need more between-slide transitions, which often add novelty without adding clarity. But a real area for innovation is on-slide animations.
Inspired by Brent’s post, here’s the 4 effects that would be most useful to me.
1. Zoom in or out. Prezi is not a PowerPoint-killer, but it’s given me a vision of what I can accomplish by showing an entire system and then zooming in to explore different parts of it. pptPlex was supposed to do that, but I find it doesn’t offer enough customization options to be really useful.
2. Carry one object to another slide. One of the problems with PowerPoint is the transition between slides can feel too abrupt and disconnected from each other. Better would be to have an object on one slide move into position on another slide while all the content around it changes. For instance, you might show pictures of three customers on one slide, then have one of those customers animate to the other side of the slide while new text appears to describe that customer. This would link the two slides more elegantly.
3. A hover-over feature. For reading decks (decks that will be read at a computer screen, without a presenter) I often find I need to explain something on a slide but don’t have enough room for that text. Sure, I can add it to the notes section, but most people don’t look in the notes section. Besides, it’s tough to read the notes section then look back to the slide, which is now shrunk to half its size when the notes section is enlarged. Better would be to have a feature where the reader could hover over an object and a text box appears providing room for that explanation. Sort of like a comment box with more elegance.
4. A when-click feature. There are times I’d like to reveal text on my slide, but not in a specific order. For instance, in my workshops I might ask the audience when are pictures more useful than text. As the audience lists each reason, I’d like to click on my slide and have that reason show up. Sort of like Family Feud. A very useful feature for encouraging audience participation.
Currently, the new transitions in PowerPoint 2010 are more of a novelty and aren’t intended for any practical communication purposes. But that could change.
What transition effects would YOU like to see?
About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the new language of business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.