EYN#029 - How To Animate Slides and Rocket The Impact Of Your Visual Aids

Apr 16, 2024
Image of Powerpoint interface showing how to animate slide elements.

Read Time: 3 mins


Animating elements to appear with a click in PowerPoint is an essential skill in PowerPoint. But so many people don't know how to do it and are suffering because of it. Let's look at why it’s essential and how to do it?


Why Are Slide Animations Essential?

I've talked about The Split Brain problem before in the newsletter but let's do a quick refresher.

The Split Brain problem is where the visual aid distracts the audience from the presenter. Our attention gets split. Half our brain is listening, and the other half is engaging with the visual aid. The narrative and visual aid don’t complement each other. The narrative is talking about X but they audience are looking at Y. For all concerned, visual aids like this are bad.

For you as a presenter it has a huge impact:

  • The power of the message reduces
  • Recall and memorability of your message decreases
  • Audience engagement disappears


Animations allow you to ensure the slide supports your narrative and doesn't distract the audience. We have to explain complex technologies and processes. Animations help you simplify and amplify your message.


How Do I Animate Slides In PowerPoint?

It's really straightforward. Let's work through it with this example slide.


This slides is in the first seminar of the Technical Storytelling Professional course. I use it to talk through how to get access to all video on demand lessons. In this example there are 4 phases of a process.

So let's animate the slide so each phase appears when I click the mouse. This will keep people focused on the point I`m making. Otherwise they will read ahead and get distracted.


These are the steps:


  • Select the elements you want to appear on the first click.
  • Hit Ctrl + G (On Windows) to Group the elements
  • Go to "Animations" Menu
  • Select "Fade"
  • Repeat for the next 3 sets of elements
  • The animation pane shows the timeline of animations
  • Run the slideshow to test the animation



It's as simple as that!


There are loads of different animations that can use. But resist your inner 5 year old. No-one needs a bouncing, twisting, sparkling image. Keep it simple. Keep it classy.


It takes 3 minutes to do and will solve the split brain problem. Solving the split brain problem increases the power of your message, improves memorability and engages your audience.

Don't distract and confuse with your slides. Amplify your narrative with animations.


Hope this helps




Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  • Podcast:  The latest episode is " 6 Tips To Drive Action With Customers" with Maddie Suppon. Check it out on the Elevated You website or on  Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
  • Technical Storytelling Essentials: Accelerate your career, increase your impact and influence people.  Affordably priced, world-class course digital course for individuals.
  • Technical Storytelling for Organisations: Programs designed to increase the impact of your team.  Inspire, develop and motivate your team to influence key stakeholders and generate action with your customers.