by Adam Noar
Ahh, GIFs: the happy medium between using flat images and videos.
They take up less space on your computer but can still show a few seconds of emotion.
Whether the GIF is all words, or it’s a scene from one of your favorite shows, you can unite a once “tense” meeting room and make the environment a bit easier to breathe in; a silent savior, if you will!
Let’s take a look at the official guide to using and adding GIFs to your presentations!
Using GIFS for Presentations
Just a short three years ago, it would have been considered unprofessional to use any sort of GIF in a presentation or trustworthy article, but social media trends and the attention span of today’s technology users have made it almost necessary to do so.
People are on their phones constantly. They can send and receive information as quickly as they can blink. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to focus on what really keeps the attention-span of someone on the go. What’s the best way to do that? By using GIFs.
You might be wondering, “why GIFs?” “Why not just photos?” Let’s be honest: using a more interactive form of media, without having to embed a player, is not only extremely convenient but can really pinpoint specific emotions that the audience of your presentation can relate to. If you’re presenting to other colleagues about a project or a client, you can make your presentation memorable through the usage of GIFs from popular shows or movies. If they have seen those movies, then they know exactly what emotion that scene is trying to convey.
Embedding GIFs into your presentation is also a fantastic way to spruce up your own humor and convey it in a way where everyone can understand – not just those who share your weird sense of humor. Having your humor, as well as your research in the presentation, can help others understand what you’re trying to get at. It can also lighten the mood and make you appear more approachable.
Don’t over-do it: There’s a right way to use GIFs and a wrong way to use them. You want to sprinkle them in a not-so-overbearing manner throughout your presentation. You don’t want them to be on every single slide or page that you’re showing. Not only does this seem like you’re trying to fill up empty spaces, instead of presenting information, but it may seem like you’re trying too hard.
Once your humor is established, you won’t need to push it in your colleagues or client’s face every single transition. They’ll be able to tell off the bat what kind of vibe the presentation has, and you can sprinkle that in every so often for a more appropriate touch.
Inserting GIFs into a Presentation
Just because GIFs are a new way to add a bit of emotion and humor into your presentation, doesn’t mean inserting them has to be hard to learn.
If you’re using applications like PowerPoint, there are a number of ways to easily insert a GIF into the presentation. Let’s take a look at some of these methods:
Copy and paste – Yes, even the newest forms of media can use a traditional method of insertion. Whether you’ve copied it directly from your computer, or from a website, you can click in the area you wish on your presentation and paste with ease. Have a GIF on your computer ready to go? Find it via the Windows Explorer and hit “ctrl+c” at the same time. Doing this will copy it into your clipboard and make it readily available for pasting. Now, find the area where you want the GIF to rest and hit “ctrl+v” on the keyboard to paste. Knowing these commands will make it easier in the long run for fasting presentation creation.
Embedding from the web – With the “insert” ribbon’s picture button, you’ll be able to paste the URL and insert directly from the Internet without doing anything extra. Just make sure you have the URL on file and PowerPoint has your back! After this has been embedded, you won’t have to worry about needing Internet, as it will still be there without an online connection.
Picture Insert Utility – We all know that PowerPoint has utilities for inserting pictures, but can it work for GIFs? Of course! Using the same insert ribbon button, you can open the file manager. In doing so, you can locate exactly where you saved the GIF and insert it into your presentation. You can select the current slide for insertion, or you can go to another with ease.
Using a Mac to Insert a GIF into PowerPoint:
We didn’t forget about those illustrious Mac users! If you’re using PowerPoint from the Microsoft Suite on your Mac, you’ll want to select the slide you want first, and then click “picture” under the Insert tab. Here, you can click “picture from file” and insert the GIF that you’ve saved on your computer. If the GIF is successfully saved, you’ll see the extension as “.gif” rather than “.jpg” or a similar photo extension.
There are also applications you can download for both Windows and Mac to make sure that the GIF loops the number of times you wish. You can set it to an indefinite look or just once, depending on what else you have going on in your slide.
Where to Find the Best GIFs for Your Presentation
Now that you’ve learned why GIFs are great in presentations and how to insert them, you’re probably wondering where the heck you can find quality GIFs that will make your content shine. One of the better websites for finding GIFs is one that’s been around for quite some time:
giphy.com – here, you can search by category to find the latest GIFs, as well as the best GIFs that have been snipped or created without compromising quality. Create and upload your own, as well as searching with specific keywords to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. The best part? It’s all free!
Imgur.com – while not directly a GIF only website, the website is littered with them, and you can search tags, too! Another one of our favorite features of this website allows you to create super long GIFs using YouTube video links. You can create and customize your own, adding them to your presentation while eliminating the need for an Internet connection! Imgur.com is also a completely free website.
GIFs.com – We know that Giphy and Imgur are both fantastic (and free) options, but there’s only so much editing and choosing you can do. If you begin using GIFs often enough, you can also utilize a business account on a professional GIF creator and editor website. GIFs.com is one that uses pricing models for business and personal accounts, so not only can you search for the best gifs on their website, you can create and edit them to your liking. In doing so, you can customize your content for your brand – something that not many other websites offer.
Things you can do on GIFs.com:
- Sticker maker
- Personalized gifs for email blasts
- GIF players for the highest quality
- Auto GIF maker (using AI software) – for those that aren’t savvy
- Manual GIF creator (for those who are fantastic)
GIFbin.com – While not as popular as the rest, there’s still some quality content that roams around this neck of the woods. IF you aren’t finding exactly what you want, and you have no idea on what to use to make your own, dive into the GIFbin to give some inspiration for your presentation. You may just find one that even the highest GIF connoisseur has never seen before!
The Best Types of GIFs to Insert
There’s an art to creating a fabulous presentation – even more so when you’re using GIFs as the media content. Because of the usage of GIFs, you’ll want to be selective with what you choose to insert. Not only do you want to avoid showing GIFs from offensive movies, or offensive scenes in general, you’ll want to choose one that conveys an overall unified humor – not just yours.
While there are literally millions of GIFs to choose from, you want to choose ones that only fit your topic. Don’t throw them in there just to be funny, or because of an inside joke. If one person doesn’t get it right off the bat, chances are: no one will – or it will take entirely too long to register in the minds of those who are viewing your presentation.
“But being funny in general is good, isn’t it?” While a good chunk of your goofball colleagues might say, “yes”, it’s not for the reason you want. Sure, it can get their minds off of work for a bit, but they’ll amount your presentations to just a slack-off fest. You want quality content that will break up that strict work vibe you might have in the office, but you don’t want the research you’ve done to be minimized or pushed behind a wall of humor.
Don’t try too hard to be funny.
If a GIF works, it works. If it doesn’t, don’t try to make it work – it doesn’t work, and it won’t no matter how many times you’ve re-worded the heading. Let the text to GIF connection flow and don’t force it. Save that GIF for another slide or for another project entirely.
In short, follow these GIF selection tips to excel in creating the perfect presentation:
- Don’t “force” funny
- Don’t overuse GIFs
- Stay on topic with your presentation
- Don’t be too inappropriate
- Keep it simple
- Grab the audience’s attention
- Make sure the GIF and context is self-explanatory or else you’ve gone too far
Now, let’s look at how we can make GIFs look super awesome on presentation slides!
Tips for Making a GIF Look Great on a Slide
Pasting a GIF on an entire slide can work for what you’re trying to convey, but don’t use it strictly as a filler to reach the required number of slides. When filling up an entire slide, you want to make sure your pacing is perfect, or else it can make the rest of your presentation look sloppy and choppy.
If you have a color scheme going on, or other images that you’re using as borders and accents, you’ll want to use these same borders and accents on your GIF slides, as well. In doing so, you can tie in together the GIF with your presentation and ensure cohesiveness. Overlaying transparent imagery can also work in tying together your presentation, as well.
And thanks to PowerPoint, as well as other types of presentation creation applications, you can overlay text on GIFs also (like seen in the first image in this article).
If you have a certain saying or a phrase around the office that you want to include over a GIF, this is a great way to customize the GIF for your workplace. It’s also a fantastic way to insert your humor while including everyone.
Creating Your Own Animated GIF
We mentioned earlier that a few of the websites we’ve shown allow you to create your own GIF. Continue reading to get a run-down of how easy it really is to insert yourself into the new age of content sharing.
Imgur – Find a video URL that has a snippet you want to cut into a GIF. Take this link (https://imgur.com/vidgif) and insert your video URL. Here, you’ll be able to use the slider and cut the section you want to make into a GIF. Links will appear on the side, so you can share it how you wish, as well as save it to your computer for easy access. One of the simpler ways to create GIFs, this method is entirely free – not to mention the awesome quality that it can crank out! No more “potato” quality GIFs!
GIPHY.com – Giphy is a little bit different and has a tad more versatility. You’re able to create a GIF slideshow with images that you wish or choose a video to take a snippet from. Using their official GIFmaker (https://giphy.com/create/gifmaker), you can also add stickers and captions to your GIFs after completion. Giphy currently supports links from Vimeo, YouTube, and of course, they’re own website.
Conclusion – Welcome to the New Wave of Language and Content Creation
Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of inserting GIFs into your presentation, go explore the deep web and create a hefty folder of the best ones you can find! Once you master how to communicate with GIFs, they just make become a part of your everyday language. Thanks to the accessibility through smartphones and social media, they’re more readily available than ever.
Stop speaking and start GIFing!
Here’s my question for you …