Audiences today want an interactive experience. As a presenter, you can:
- Ask them questions
- Answer their questions
- Organize small group exercises
But you can do more.
You can also integrate your audience into the presentation itself. For example, you can create a menu slide that links to other parts of the presentation (or other presentations) and let your audience decide the order of the presentation. I explain one way to create a menu slide here.
Another way to get the audience involved is to create mini-quizzes on your slides. You can also provide additional explanation if an audience member wants it. These techniques work well when you are presenting in front of an audience but also allow you to create interactive presentations that audiences navigate on their own in front of a computer.
You can do this with PowerPoint’s Trigger feature. (At the end of this post, there’s good news if you have a Mac!)
What are triggers?
A trigger is an object that you click to cause animation to occur on a slide. The animation can be anything–entrance, emphasis, exit, or motion path. You usually click on one object to trigger an animation of another object, but it’s also possible to make the trigger object and the animated object the same.
Normally, animations happen in a preset order, one after the other. If you have animations on a slide, on the Animations tab, click Animation Pane and you’ll see the animations listed in the order they will occur. You can start an animation by clicking — anywhere on the slide — or have it start with a previous animation or action (such as displaying the slide) or it can start after an animation or action.
But triggers let you throw that order out of the window. With triggers, you have to click ON the trigger object — not just anywhere on the slide — to initiate the animation. So you choose the order by what you click and when.
Triggers are often used for mini-quizzes or pop-ups that provide additional information.
How to use a trigger
Look at this example of using triggers to create a mini-quiz.
How to create a trigger
Here are the steps to create triggers like those in the video:
- Create the slide. I use the Title & Content layout and type the question into the Title placeholder. The answers can be any shapes, but I typed in the answers, converted it to SmartArt and ungrouped the SmartArt (twice) to get individual objects. I also added the shapes on the right that indicate whether the answers are right or wrong and typed the text in those shapes.
- Give the shapes useful names. With triggered animation, it’s crucial to know which shape is which and by default, PowerPoint gives shapes names that might not be helpful. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the down arrow next to Select and choose Selection Pane. Click each object and give it a useful, unique, and short name. Here you can see the names I gave my objects.
- Add the animation. On the animation tab, select an object to animate and click Add Animation. Then choose the animation you want. Do this for each object that you want to animate. I used the Fade entrance animation for 2 of the objects and the Zoom entrance animation for the Exactly Right! shape.
- Add the triggers. On the Animations tab, click Animation Pane to open the Animation pane. Select an animated object. On the Animations tab, in the Advanced Animation group, click Triggers, then On Click Of, then choose the object that you want to click. Here you can see that my choices are the same as the objects in the Selection pane. Note that you could click the object that you’re animating. This doesn’t work for an entrance animation because you can’t see it at first and wouldn’t know where to click! But it works well for an Emphasis or Exit animation. Do this for all of the objects that you want triggers for.
Note: When you want one animated object to have multiple animations and triggers, I found that I needed to do all of the Entrance triggers first, then the Exit triggers.
Be sure to test your triggers!
Other examples of triggers
Here are some other posts that talk about using triggers:
Triggers are finally available on the Mac!
Microsoft has just announced that triggers are available on the Mac if you have Office 365. Instructions are to update to build 16.17.180909 or higher.
How will you use triggers?
Please leave a comment on how you would like to use — or have used — triggers. And please use the Share buttons to let others know about this post!