A “mind map” is a graphical representation of a hierarchy of related subjects, concepts, etc. It can be a tool for developing/brainstorming ideas (and fighting crime!) or as a way to present information. You can use a mind map to present your product line, markets, customer categories or marketing plan, for example. For more on mind maps, look here.
Combining mind map graphics with simple animation is a solid way to present your concept clearly while relating the parts to the whole. And, you can avoid overloading your audience.
Of course, there are other hierarchical representations: the dreaded bullet list and several of the Smart Art options, for example. I used a circular “wheel” graphic to represent a hierarchy in this post. Simple animation will improve all of these approaches by presenting information in digestible chunks and emphasizing relationships.
Here’s a sequence presenting an internet marketing plan using an animated mind map:
The first “scene” displays the “top level map,” animating each second-level element progressively. This provides the audience with an overview of the plan. Subsequent scenes focus on each of the five second-level plan elements, developing its components.
Showing this plan all at once is a bad idea. You will loose your audience’s attention while they read the parts and follow the relationships. Once they’ve done this, many will not be interested in hearing your pitch because they think they already know all there is to know.
To create this sequence, I first decided what each Scene should look like and created each one on a separate slide:
Next, I made the transition slides between each pair of Scenes. Each transition slide implements a motion path that moves the top level map from its position in the previous Scene to the desired position in the next Scene. For example, here’s the slide that implements the transition from Scene 1 to Scene 2:
As you can see, the motion path moves the top level map to a position that results in the “Social Media” block being positioned at the bottom center of the slide, as it should be for Scene 2. Scene 2 is completed by animating the components of the Social Media plan using Wipe animations. Here’s Scene 2 with its Animation Pane:
Here’s how to build a transition slide:
- First, insert a blank slide between the two Scenes.
- Copy the top level map object from the previous Scene and Paste onto the blank transition slide. It will appear in the same position as in the previous Scene.
- Next, Copy the top level map from the next Scene to the transition slide. This copy of the top level map will serve as a “target” for the motion path.
- Apply a Line motion path to the top level map from the previous Scene and set the end point to the “center” of the target.
- Carefully setting the end point of the motion path on the transition slide assures that the top level map appears in precisely the same position on the transition slide as in the next Scene, otherwise there will be a “jump” as the next Scene appears.
- Later versions of PowerPoint have a feature that is helpful; when setting the end point of a motion path, a “ghost” version of the object appears as an aid to positioning the end point. Here’s an image of setting the endpoint for the transition between Scenes 2 and 3:
- For clarity, the “target” object has a black outline and no fill. The ghost of the top level map is labeled; it automatically appears as the endpoint is being moved. In this image the endpoint is slightly in error; you should move the endpoint so that the “ghost” and the target coincide exactly (try zooming in the make this easier).
- Test the transition (Slide Show) so that there is no visible “jump” in the position of the top level map between the transition and the next Scene.
I have complained about distraction caused the motion path “ghost” feature in other posts; this is a situation when it is actually helpful.
Once the transition slides are complete and tested, remove the targets and check Transition/Advance/After 00:00:00; this causes the animations to occur automatically, regardless of any On Click settings, and the Transition to the next slide as soon as the animations complete.
I have used similar transition techniques in couple of other posts:
- Prezi-style PowerPoint – this project is more complicated; it adds zooms and rotations to the transitions.
- More Prezi-style PowerPoint – a presentation navigation project.
If you want to see more details, use the link below and click on the PowerPoint icon to download a “source” PowerPoint file containing this project:
See this page for more on downloading files.
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