I had a client that recently asked me to review their PowerPoint presentation. They were having a challenge trying to get animations to work right.
What was actually happening was they were confusing transitions with animations.
Transitions are effects that happen between slides. Typically, this would be a fade from one slide to another. Another more modern type of transition might be a push effect, in which the new slide pushes the old slide off the screen. It looks a lot like a swipe action on a mobile device.
Animations occur on object on the screen. This might be fading some text onto the screen as a voice-over occurs. It could be movement or having shapes wipe or fly in from the sides. These animations work off of a timeline that appears on the right side of the PowerPoint screen, called the Animation Pane. These effects can happen automatically or you can trigger them by clicking the mouse.
As with any effect, there are lots of options for transitions and for animations. It is really easy to overdo any of these. As a professional, I would recommend you find one or two animation effects you like and use just those. Then, sprinkle in the others as you need them or there is an appropriate time to do so. If you are not sure if it is appropriate, don’t use the animation or transition. If you feel you need something, just use the old standby of a fade effect.