by Adam Noar
Have you ever witnessed a presentation so eloquently designed that you were completely captivated, curious of what comes next, and did not even consider checking your cellphone?
Complete captivation happens when the advanced presentation designer makes interesting looking slides flow smoothly and harmoniously, in constant connection with our current state and expectations. One mandatory skill to make this happen is the ability to transition well from one part of the presentation to another.
In this post, I’m going to outline my creative “themed transition technique” that will amaze your audience as they follow along your smooth flowing slides.
Here are the steps needed to create a visually appealing “themed” transition from one slide to the next.
Step #1. Create a central theme
The first thing you need to do in order to create a smooth flowing presentation is to come up with an interesting theme. When choosing your theme you need to be a bit creative here!
If you don’t see yourself as that creative, here are a couple things to keep in mind:
1) Creativity is the ability to imagine or invent something new. Think a bit outside of the box.
2) Don’t force it. Sometimes the best ideas come when you take a break.
Keep in mind that your theme doesn’t always have to DIRECTLY relate to your presentation topic. For example, you can see in the presentation slide example below that I created a slide around customer service testimonials, and visually I chose to create a theme with some interesting looking blue birds which, we all know, have little to do with customer service.
Step #2. Brainstorm some creative scenes
After you have decided upon your theme, the next step is to brainstorm some different scenes/layouts that your slides can later be connected. For example, with my theme of “blue birds”, for my customer service presentation, I brainstormed different settings/scenarios in which the birds could present my key points.
Again, you have to be a bit creative with this stuff.
After you have written down a bunch of ideas, think about ways that you could connect those ideas chronologically to seamlessly move your audience through your story. For example, using the three examples above, you can start off by having a slide with some birds sitting on top of telephone wires. Then, in the second slide you could have the birds relaxing on some clouds, followed by a third slide with the birds flying in the air. I will show you how this all looks in the video clip at the bottom of this post.
Step #3. Connect your slides
Once you have settled on your creative theme, and brainstormed some really good scenes, the last part is to blend the slides together seamlessly by using the technique of what I like to call a “double bleeding edge” combined with a “sliding transition animation.”
But in order to understand a double bleeding edge you first need to understand what a bleeding edge is.
What is a bleeding edge?
In the design world, a “bleed”, or “bleeding edge” is where you have a slide with an object/graphic extending over the edge of the page. I like to use them a lot in PowerPoint presentations because they create a nice visual effect.
Here is an example of a bleeding edge:
Take the following example. When the horse is positioned in the middle of the slide, the composition is not really interesting. However, have the horse walk off the page and insert a bit more white space makes it a lot more interesting (as seen in the second slide below).
Photo credit © =Bundy-Stock/=JamyBundy
So, that’s a bleeding edge. Pretty simple right?
But, what I like to do is take things one step further on the creative spectrum by creating what I like to call a “double bleeding edge.” And, yes I just made that word up!
The best way for me to describe how this technique works is for you to take a look at the video clip I created below that shows how this whole thing works.
Take a look at the video clip below
So, how can you put this Prezi-like transition together yourself?
In order to create the effect shown in the video (which makes the audience seamlessly flow from one creative scene to the next) you will need to take one or more objects from the first slide and crop the object so that part of the object is bleeding off the slide (as described earlier with the two previous slides above). As you can see in my video example, above, the bleeding object was the big cloud, in the upper left hand corner, between the first and second slides.
Then, after you have cropped the first half of the object on the first slide, you will want to take the second half of the cropped image and align it exactly where the other slide left off.
Finally, select a sliding transition (either up, down, left, or right) that moves from one part of the slide to the next. To select the transition simply:
1) Click the “Transitions” tab
2) Click on the “Push” transition option
3) Click on “Effect Options” and select the direction you want the slide to push from (depending on where you placed your bleeding edge object)
Note: you will want the transition to come from the side where the bleeding object is placed. For example, if you placed the bleeding object on the right of the slide then you will want to have the transition slide from the right. If your bleeding object is on the top of the slide then you will have the transition slide from the top.
In the above video, you can see that I used the sliding transition that came from the top of the slide to seamlessly move the audience from the first slide to the next slide. As a result, you get a smooth transition that almost looks like your “panning upward” into the second part of a larger image. This is somewhat similar to the effects that you would see in Prezi presentations. Pretty smooth right?
When your slides nicely flow together your audience will be able to understand your message much easier. At the same time, when your slides transition seamlessly you increase the level of emotion in your presentation. And we all know that slides that are highly emotional better resonate with your audience, which in return makes you and your presentation more memorable!
Now that you’ve learned a little bit about my themed transition technique, do you think that you would be willing to try this out in your next presentation? Why or why not? Please sound off in your comments below, and make sure to be as specific as possible.
Also, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about my presentation tips in this post? If so, email them a link to this post now. I’m sure they will return the favor to you one day!
Looking for more awesome presentation design tips just like this? Make sure to get your copy of my, personally written, eBook Slides Made Simple today!