Usually, you use text on a slide to tell people your message. I recommend a single line of text when possible. That’s usually the slide title. People read it and immediately know your point. Then you show your point with an image, chart, or diagram. It’s like the boy’s picture book; one side tells the story and the other shows it. This is the Tell ‘n’ ShowSM method that I teach. But sometimes, you want more pizazz or you just can’t think of a way to visualize your point. In other cases, your text is the point–maybe it’s a short quote or a phrase that you want to drive home. In these situations, you may want your text to be the graphic. In most cases, the amount of text will be minimal.
Here are some slides that use text as a graphic. Most use animation, but you don’t need to animate the text. Usually, I don’t recommend animating text. If you want people to read anything more than 4 words, the movement will be annoying to your audience as they try to read it. But when the text is the graphic, animation can help make your point. Note that I tried to use animation effects that synchronized with the meaning of the words.
Watch the video here. Watch through to the last slide with the bouncing ball!
Would you like to know how to create these effects? Read on!
Slide 1: BIG DEAL
The slide that says “High-Persuasion PowerPoint Presentation Program” is just an image of a slide from another presentation. I used Techsmith SnagIt to take a screenshot of the slide. Beneath that image are 2 text boxes with the words BIG and DEAL. Tip: The font size is 192! When you choose a text size from the Font Size drop-down list, the highest value is 96, but you can type a larger value. To animate the image, I chose the Exit animation Fade. It is set to start On Click. Each of the text boxes has 2 animations, Rise Up and Zoom.
- The 1st textbox is set to start On Previous. Therefore, when I click, the image fades out and the 1st text box rises and zooms (expands) at the same time.
- The 2nd texbox’s Rise Up animation is set to After Previous and its Zoom animation is set to With Previous. This means that the animation starts automatically after the animation of the 1st text box ends. So, I click once and the entire sequence runs automatically from that.
Slide 2: PERSUASION
I formatted the text with a wide, contrasting outline. To do that, follow these steps:
- Select the text.
- On the Drawing Tools Format tab, click Text Outline and choose a contrasting color. You can also choose Text Fill to change the fill color.
- Then choose Text Outline again and choose Weight. I used 4-1/2 points.
For the animation, I just used the Bounce entrance effect. The effect is very short, so hopefully, it doesn’t annoy the audience and just attracts their attention. I wouldn’t recommend using this effect on a lot of words.
Slide 3: I want you!
All Americans will recognize this image, which is in the public domain. It was used during World Wars I and II to recruit soldiers and ask civilians to help prepare for war. The caption was, “I want you!” which makes it a good image for persuasion. It probably wouldn’t work well for an international audience and might even be offensive! This slide uses a zoom animation for both the image and the text. They both start With Previous so that the animation of both items happens simultaneously and automatically as soon as the slide is displayed.
Slide 4: Stand still and think for a minute!
I really liked this image when I saw it in the Microsoft Office Clip Art Gallery. I used a transparency gradient to blend the image with the white background. For instructions, see “How to get a Photoshopped look by fading in an image.” The text has 2 animations:
- Fly in (from left) as an entrance animation, set to start On Click.
- Wave as an emphasis animation, set to start With Previous so both animations happen at the same time.
Tip: When you 2 animations to occur simultaneously, check that their duration is the same. Each animation has a default duration but it might not be what you want. I must tell you that I think that Fly In should almost NEVER be used on text. It has one of the highest annoyance factors of any animation. But, in this case, it adds to the wave effect. The point here is to show activity that then stops, just like most of us are always active but need to “stand still and think for a minute.”
Slide 5: Stand still and think for a minute! (version 2)
This is another treatment of the same concept and uses the Teeter emphasis animation.
Slide 6: Which side are you on?
This is the most complex of all the slides. I started with the Balance SmartArt diagram (in the Relationship category) and ungrouped it twice to reduce it to individual shapes. I deleted all but the 2 shapes on the plank, formatted them and added the words “Action” and “Inaction.” I grouped the plank and the 2 shapes, then applied the Spin animation. By default, the Spin animation goes 360° clockwise. My balance goes 35° counterclockwise. To customize the rotation, do the following:
- Apply the Spin emphasis animation.
- Open the Animation pane.
- Click the Spin animation in the Animation pane, then click the Down arrow and choose Effect Options.
- On the Effect tab, click the Amount drop-down arrow and click Counterclockwise at the bottom.
- Again click the Amount drop-down arrow and click in the Custom box. Type the angle of rotation that you want and press Enter.
- Click OK.
Note: The Spin animation spins from the center of the shape. I had no idea what rotation I wanted and used trial and error to discover the right number. I also had to move the plank relative to its base to get the rotation to look right. Again, this required trial and error. The ball is a circle, formatted to look like a sphere. (I explain how in my blog post, “Review: PowerPoint 2010 Bible.” Here are the steps:
- Move the ball where you want it to start. In my case, that meant moving the ball off the slide to the left.
- Select the ball and choose Motion Paths, then More Motion Paths, then Bounce Right.
- Click the motion path itself, right-click and choose Edit Points.
- Right-click most of the points and choose Delete, especially all the ones next to each other at the right. Try to keep a point that represents the ball hitting the ground (or the plank).
- Drag the remaining points to the desired location.
- Play the animation to test it. You’ll need to make a number of adjustments. However, remember that the animation will happen quickly and doesn’t need to be perfect. I explain how to edit points in my post, “Create Bézier curves.” This is approximately what you want to end up with.
Do you use text as a graphic? What techniques have worked for you? Leave a comment!