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Chart of the Month – November 2009 – "Viral" Progression

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Viral marketing – and other types of viral progressions – are concepts that are difficult to visually convey; but here's a way you might want to consider displaying your strategy. Click on the flash to see this chart in action. The program has a launch point and subsequent "hops" to other locations. Once the hop is completed, the viral information begins to spread.

This Chart of the Month comes with a download for subscribers, so don't forget to get it for your slide cupboard. You can use the download in a number of ways. The Chart of the Month example imported the template background into the map cutout graphic. This made the map cutout graphic invisible against the real template background. A white field was placed behind the cutout graphic so the world would show up.

The next step was to – one by one – create the viral distribution lines and center an oval that will appear and expand when a line reaches its destination and touches down. To create many movable parts, this chart needs to be set in motion with one click. Everything after the first click needs to be animated to Start With Previous with a timing delay.

For example, (1a) the first line arcs to a destination on a click. Then create an oval (1b) that is animated as a slow zoom that will begin to appear after the line reaches its its destination and stops. This means that the oval will be set to Start With Previous with a timing delay that syncs with the line reaching its destination,l perhaps 1 or 2 seconds delay, depending on how fast you set your line to move.

Then create your (2a) second arcing line. You can either begin it a the original point of departure or start the new arcing line where the first arcing line ended. If you want this line to move when the first line moves, set it to Start with Previous and don't put in a delay. If you want to start this line where the first line ended, set it to Start with Previous and add in a timing delay. The reason you need the delay, is so that the second, third, etc., arcing lines can appear as the ovals are expanding. Otherwise, everything will be sequential reveals on the slide, which is not how viral programs work. Create another (2b) oval and animate it as before – with a slow zoom that appears and begins to expand when the line reaches its destination. Be sure to center the ovals on the end point of each corresponding line.

This is a somewhat tricky chart to create, but if you're comfortable with complex animations, it's worth the effort. Be prepared to spend some time on this. Get each line and oval set done before going to the next set. Keep notes on your timing delays – this will help keep you from having to go back into previous animation formatting to see what you did.

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