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PowerPoint Games?

There are instances when a presenter wants/needs to create interactions with the audience. Instances might be to quiz participants at a seminar or employees at a team-building event in a Jeopardy!®-style format. You'd think that this might be difficult to pull off without a production crew. But you'd be wrong. Conducting a quiz can be handled on one PowerPoint slide.

How is this possible?

If you are familiar with PowerPoint animation triggers, you can probably guess how this might be accomplished. If you are not familiar with PowerPoint animation triggers, you should be. Triggers allow a presenter to click on a specific topic field onscreen and get a specific predetermined response. Like the Jeopardy!® game board, PowerPoint animation can be controlled so that a contestant can choose a question from the board, answer it, and the presenter can reveal the answer.

How does the animation work?

At this point you should download the animated example. You'll need to see the slide in action so the explanation of how the animation works will make sense.

When the slide is brought up into slide show mode, only the questions are visible. There are 16 questions on the example; but you can, of course, configure the slide any way you wish. As you move your cursor over the question boxes, you will see either the normal arrow-pointer or a pointing hand. Be sure to click on the question using the pointing hand. The arrow-pointer will advance to the next slide. Click on any question using the pointing hand. The answer will appear using the "Blind" Entrance animation. You get the idea.

How do you format trigger animation?

Here are two approaches to setting up the trigger animation. The first way is to do the layout first and then add the trigger animation to each question/answer set. There is nothing difficult about formatting this slide if you follow a few basic steps.

  1. Lay the questions out on the questions slide: adjust all alignments and spacing. Add any design effects you wish. The questions should be formatted uniformly: all the same background, font, and font size. The excitement does not come from reviewing the questions, but from revealing the answers. A uniform look at this point facilitates choosing a question quickly.
  2. Create a blank slide behind the questions slide you just created.
  3. Cut one question box from the questions slide and past onto the blank slide. Be sure not to change the position of the question box on the blank slide.
  4. Duplicate the question box on the blank slide and replace the question content in the duplicated box with the answer content. Format the answer box in any manner you wish. Import a photograph and/or change the background colors; change the font type, color, and size.
  5. Apply a "Blinds" Entrance to the answer box
  6. Apply the trigger formatting

Here is the click string:

  1. Since you have just applied the reveal animation, the animation menu will already be active. Click on the downward pointing arrow next to the reveal (underneath the Speed setting).
  2. Select Timing
  3. Click on Triggers
  4. Click on Start effect on click of:
  5. And select the rectangle that contains the question. There should only be two choices if you are formatting this question/answer set on the blank slide. Otherwise you will have too many choices to wade through and it becomes very confusing. That's why it's important to follow these steps exactly: keep it simple!
  6. Click okay. You should see a little hand pointing to the left at the top-left of the answer box and also a shaded "Trigger: Rectangle 1: …" box above the animation reveal.
  1. Align the answer box perfectly over the question box. Do not allow the question box to move, only the answer box should move.
  2. Cut the two boxes together and paste them onto the questions slide. If you don't move the answer box, the two new boxes will paste perfectly positioned back onto the questions slide.
  3. Repeat this process for each question/answer.

The second way is to create one question/answer set and apply the trigger animation. Then duplicate this preanimated set as many times as you need and lay the question/answer sets out on the slide. This option involves less animation formatting, but it may take awhile to get the layout set – alignments, and distributions. Tip: when you perform your alignments and distributions, select, align, and distribute only the answer fields. Then vertically and horizontally align each question with its associated answer.

You can choose which method you wish to use.

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It's always nice to expand a PowerPoint skill set. Mastering new functionalities often times provides a broader set of options for presenters. There are other instances that a presenter can utilize trigger animations aside from the game board application. We hope that this new skill will bring your presentations to a higher level of excellence.