It’s often helpful to have some animation showing when an audience files into the room, just to elicit some interest. When you’re ready, you can stop it and start the main part of your presentation.
I’m going to tell you about one technique to accomplish this.
This technique uses a looped presentation in which all the slides except your introductory animation are hidden. Because of this, you only see the introduction. Then you use a button to link to the slide that acts as the first slide of your main presentation. Even though that slide is hidden, PowerPoint displays it, as well as the rest of the hidden slides.
1. Create some slides with a welcoming message before your main presentation.
2. Save the presentation.
3. Select all the slides in the Slides pane (click the first, press and hold Shift, and click the last). In PowerPoint 2003, choose Slide Show> Slide Transition. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Animations tab. In PowerPoint 2010, click the Transitions tab.
In 2003, in the Advance Slide section of the Slide Transition task pane, check Automatically After and enter a number of seconds. In PowerPoint 2007, do this on the Animations tab. In 2010, do this on the Transitions tab. I found that 3 seconds worked well for the above slides. Uncheck On Mouse Click. If you want, you can add a transition effect.
In PowerPoint 2003, choose Slide Show> Set Up Show. In PowerPoint 2007 and 2010, click the Slide Show tab, and click the Set Up Slide Show button. In the Show Options section of the Set Up Show dialog box, check the Loop Continuously Until ‘Esc’ check box. The Advance Slides section should have the Use Timings, If Present option checked. This loops the entire presentation. Click OK.
To create a button to link to your main presentation, you can use any shape. In 2003, from the Drawing toolbar, choose AutoShapes and choose a shape. In PowerPoint 2007 and 2010, choose Shapes on the Insert tab and choose any shape. Then drag the shape on the first slide.
With the button selected, choose Slide Show> Action Settings. In PowerPoint 2007 and 2010, choose Action on the Insert tab.
In the Action Settings dialog box, choose the Hyperlink To option. From the drop-down list, choose Slide. (Be sure not to choose Next Slide, because that will bring you to the next slide in the looping introduction!) In the Hyperlink to Slide dialog box, navigate to the first slide of your main presentation (in this example, the 4th slide), and click OK twice.
I chose to create an invisible button. Right-click the rectangle on the first slide and choose Format AutoShape or Format Shape. In the Format (Auto)Shape dialog box, in the Fill section (it’s on the Color and Lines tab in PowerPoint 2003), drag the Transparency slider to 100%. In the Line (Color) section, set the Line Color to No Line.This makes the rectangle invisible. (This method of using transparency ensures that you can copy and paste the button without losing the hyperlink.)
You want to be able to move to your main presentation at any slide of the intro, so copy the button to the Clipboard and paste it into the other two slides of your introduction.
If you tried out your presentation now, clicking the hyperlinked shape wouldn’t loop the intro. Why? Because the rest of the slides (your main presentation) are probably set to advance On Mouse Click (which they should be). So the presentation advances to the first slide of your main presentation and just sits there, waiting for a click. To get the looping effect, you need to hide the rest of the slides. In 2003, in the Slides pane, select them and choose Slide Show> Hide Slide or right-click on the slides and choose Hide Slide.
Make sure rest of slides are set up to advance On Mouse Click. To do so, with them all still selected, in 2003, choose Slide Show> Slide Transition. In the Advance Slide section, the On Mouse Click checkbox should be checked and the Automatically After check box should be empty. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Animations tab and look under Advance Slide. In PowerPoint 2010, click the Transitions tab for the same setting.
Save again and try out your presentation. The first 3 slides will loop over and over because all the other slides are hidden. When you’re ready to start, click the lower-right corner of any of the slides in the introduction to move to the first slide of the main presentation.
When you get to the last slide, you may click and realize that you’ve gone back to the first slide of the introduction! That’s because the slide is looped, but you don’t want that to happen. A looped slide doesn’t have a black warning slide at the end, so you should create one. Add a new slide at the end and make its background black. After the audience leaves, just press Esc to return to Normal view.