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How to Make Animated PowerPoint Presentations With Templates

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Animations in PowerPoint can really draw your audience's attention to elements of a presentation. You don't have to use separate apps to create animation effects. PowerPoint offers some of the easiest, point and click tools to add animation to your presentations.

There are two key types of animation in Microsoft PowerPoint that you'll learn to use in this tutorial:

  1. Object animations, which are individual items like, text or shapes going in motion on a slide.
  2. Animated transitions, the effects that play when you move from one slide to the next in PowerPoint.

In this tutorial, I'll teach you how to master PowerPoint animations. You'll learn how to add both key types of animations to a presentation. You'll also learn how to use the i9 Template System, which features the best animations I've seen in PowerPoint. 

You can find more great animated PowerPoint templates on GraphicRiver, or browse through this curated selection:  

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Now let's get into this PowerPoint animation tutorial, beginning with helpful tips: 

Tips for Using Animation in PowerPoint

Just because you can animate everything in PowerPoint doesn't mean that you should. We've all sat through presentations with distracting animations.

Animations serve to complement the content and draw the user's eye to key elements. The animation effects shouldn't be the main focus of a slide; your content should be. Here are key tips to add animations to your PowerPoint presentations tastefully:

  • Limit yourself to one to two key animations on each slide to avoid distracting the audience.
  • Use animations to draw attention to key points on the slide instead of applying them to random elements.
  • Use the simple animation effects like fade or dissolve animations that are less distracting than flashier options.

With that in mind, let's dive into adding PowerPoint animations in a presentation:

Add PowerPoint Object Animations

Object animations bring elements onto or off a PowerPoint slide. You can use these effects to reveal key points or draw attention to a specific part of the slide. Imagine leaving the conclusion for each slide hidden until you press a button on your remote, for example.

Object animation in PowerPoint example
This screenshot is an example of the "Fly In" animation you can apply easily in PowerPoint.

To get started with object animations, start off by clicking on an element on your slide. You can choose an element like a text box, image, or even a shape you've drawn on the slide.

Now, click on the Animations tab on PowerPoint's ribbon. This menu makes it easy to choose an animation to add to an object.

Animate Thumbnails in PowerPoint
On the Animations tab, you can simply click on one of the animation thumbnails to apply it to a selected object.

Click on the part of the slide that you want to animate. Again, this could be a text box, image, chart, or any object that you can select on the slide.

Once you have an object selected, simply click on one of the animation thumbnails. PowerPoint will play a preview of the selected animation and you'll see the object come onto the slide.

PowerPoint Animation Fly In Effect Example
In this screenshot, you can see that I've selected a text box and chosen the Fly In effect to add to the text box.

Now, simply click on the animation that you want to add to an object. I recommend choosing a simple animation effect like Fade or Appear. Keeping an animation simple will bring it onto a slide naturally and not distract the audience.

Sequence Object Animations in PowerPoint

If you've added multiple animations to the same slide, you might want to re-order the object animations. For instance, your images might come onto a slide before the title appears.

In this case, it helps to resequence animations. To reorder animations, switch to the Animations tab on PowerPoint's ribbon.

Then, find the Animation Pane button and click on it to open up a panel that shows all of the animations on the slide.

On the right side, you'll see the Animation Pane open, and you'll see a list of animations that will play on the slide. In the example below, you can see two animations on the side, each of which represents an object's animation.

Reordered animations example in PowerPoint slide
The numbers next to objects represent the order that the animations will play.

To reorder the animations, simply drag and drop them in the list on the Animation Pane. You can click Play All to preview the animations once they are reordered.

Add PowerPoint Slide Transitions

Slide transitions show as effects when you move from one slide to the next. These are another form of animation you can apply with relative ease. 

To apply a slide transition, start off by selecting a slide and clicking on Transitions on PowerPoint's ribbon. With a slide selected, you can simply click on one of the animation thumbnails on the ribbon to apply it to the current slide. You'll see a preview of the active transition animation play. 

PowerPoint Thumbnail animation
The small star icon next to the slide thumbnail shows slides that have transition effects applied to them.

Notice that slides that have animations show a small icon in the sidebar, so you can easily identify the slides that you've applied transitions to. You can always click the Preview button to play the animation on the active slide. 

Animations and Preview button
On the Transitions slide on PowerPoint's ribbon, you can simply click on the thumbnail for an animation to apply it to a slide.

There are three other key options that you can set on the ribbon for each slide's transition: 

  1. Sound - Choose a dropdown option to play a sound when the slide advances. 
  2. Duration - This describes the duration (speed) that the animation plays. You can set a longer duration in seconds for the animation to play more slowly, or shorten it for a faster transition. 
  3. Advance Slide - Instead of advancing the slide by clicking through the presentation, you can tick the "After" option to automatically change slides after a certain amount of time. 

The principles of limiting animation and effects are the same for slide transitions: use them sparingly, and stick to the simple dissolve or fade effects. PowerPoint presentations are just an aid to showcase your content and shouldn't distract from the content itself.

Make Better PowerPoint Animations

So far, we've tackled the basics of PowerPoint animation. While the effects are simple and easy to apply, there are better animation options out there thanks to the i9 Template System. 

The i9 System is a collection of PowerPoint themes that you can use to create professionally animated presentations. The author of these template files has gone to great efforts to build animations that are more impressive than PowerPoint's built-in options.

Animations in PowerPoint template
This slide uses object animations to bring the grid into view, using the i9 Template System.

In this section, I'll walk you through building a PowerPoint presentation with i9. Let's suppose that we are trying to recruit employees to our company and will use the i9 template to create an engaging presentation. Let's build that slide deck together, step-by-step:

PowerPoint i9 Theme example Slide
Look at all of the animation effects on this one PowerPoint slide! The combination of these effects creates professionally animated effects.

1. Introduce the Company

Above all, you'll want to start off by showcasing your company. If you're going to recruit employees to join your company, it helps to give them background on what it is that you do.

My favorite way to do this is to share a brief company background with a timeline slide. Let's use slide design 41, the "Our Company's History" timeline slide.

Use each of the key points on this presentation slide to log a different key event in your company's history.

Company timeline PowerPoint slide
A timeline slide is a great way to build the story behind your company and appeal to potential applicants.

Another Option: Slide 49 is another timeline slide with specific dates for a more detailed key date listing.

2. Introduce Your Leadership

When I've considered taking new jobs, the most important thing for me is thinking about who I'll be working for and the values of the company. This always starts at the top.

To showcase leadership and your key team members, I can't recommend enough slide design 252. With four image placeholders for your key team members, you can easily drop in your team on this slide.

Tonave Team
Show your key team members in presentations like this one to help your audience acclimate to future co-workers.

This slide eschews animation for a simpler display of your team. 

Another Option: Slide 253 is a similar design with a lighter color scheme for a more minimalist approach.

3. Describe Your Hiring Process

I've been through many interviews that moved slowly or felt opaque. It helps applicants if they know the steps to experience during the hiring process. Otherwise, you'll risk losing applicants to other job offers—particularly the high achievers that you want to hire.

A slide design that would work well for this is slide 5, a process infographic that you can add your own hiring process to. The animations on this slide will draw attention to the process and grab a potential applicant's attention.

Hiring process animated PowerPoint slide template
Use slide design 5 to add your own hiring process steps and grab an applicant's attention.

Another Option: Slide 7 is another process driven slide that allows you to share the key steps in your hiring cycle.

4. List Your Contact Details

Maybe you've hooked your future best employee. You need to give them to get in touch and reach out to your hiring department.

The perfect slide for this is slide design 298a beautiful and well-animated contact slide. Select this PowerPoint template slide and drop in your own contact details to leave an impression on the audience.

Contact Us Slide in PowerPoint template
The Contact Us slide, 298, has easy placeholders that you can replace your own contact details with.

Another Option: Slide 306 is another good choice, which has fewer animated elements.

You'll notice that not all of my slide examples contained animations. When each slide is loaded with many animated objects, your audience is likely to become distracted and tune out. This is why I recommend being selective with including animations in your PowerPoint presentations.

If you want to try out other premium PowerPoint templates, you can try out two other options:

  1. Check out trending templates in the GraphicRiver PowerPoint theme section.
  2. Alternatively, check out Envato Elements popular PowerPoint themes; you can subscribe to Elements and download unlimited creative files.

Keep Learning More About PowerPoint & Making Great Presentations

This tutorial showcased how easy it is to add animations in Microsoft PowerPoint. Whether you use the built-in object animations or opt for a top PowerPoint presentation template like i9, animation can draw attention at the right moment to your key points.

For a more comprehensive guide to building presentations, make sure and check out our Ultimate Guide to the Best PPT round-up.

Also, don't miss out on these specific Microsoft PowerPoint tutorials that will help you learn animation in PowerPoint:

Need More Help? Grab Our Making Great Presentations eBook (Free)

We have the perfect compliment to this tutorial. You can find more information in our new eBook on making great presentations. Download this PDF eBook now for FREE with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

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It will help you master the presentation process, from: initial creative ideas, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.

If you have any questions about adding animation to your presentations, feel free to use the comment section below to chime in.

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