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Best Practice

To click or not to click?

Presenters sometimes miss opportunities to streamline their involvement with the animation in their presentations. We're all for consistency, but not for creating and remaining in ruts. Animation requires a strategic approach, just like the contents of the presentation. Some thoughts …

Strategies that require clicks from the presenter:

  1. Controlling what is onscreen so that the audience doesn't get ahead of you
  2. Revealing steps one by one so that you can make sure the audience understands each step before the next step is discussed
  3. Breaking the animation sequence up so you can deliver meaningful explanations or reveal insights.

Strategies that do not require clicks from the presenter:

  1. Loops – animated content that cycles in the background that sets tone or provides passive information as you speak
  2. Maps, graphics, diagrams, etc., that are not discussed piece by piece
  3. Photographs that do not require explanations.

When no clicks are needed, then select an Entrance animation that commences "After Previous." As soon as you click to proceed to the next slide, the animation begins without further prompting. This frees you up to focus on your message and your audience without having to prompt the animation to start or to keep the animation going.

Both of these techniques are correct to use in the right circumstances. Be sure you use them correctly. It's usually a good idea to wait until the end to put the animation in so that you don't have to revise animation every time a slide is revised during the production process. Try to set and refine animation during presentation rehearsal(s). You're more likely to be thinking about the strategy of the animation at this point.