Issue #111 June 13, 2006

PowerPoint Tip: Transitioning between sections

Not long ago I talked with a customer who got some feedback after a recent presentation that concerned her. The comment was that it was too jolting when she moved from one section to the next in her presentation. She wanted to find a way to make the transitions smoother between the sections. Since she doesn’t use any text on her slides, the traditional text Agenda slide approach would not fit with her presentation. I gave her an idea to use the same agenda slide concept in a slightly different way. If you have multiple agenda items and want a non-text approach, you might want to try this out. Here is what I shared with her. If she has six sections to cover, I suggested she show an Agenda-like slide at the start to give a roadmap of where she was going but instead of listing the sections in text, use six pictures, one to represent each section and arrange them in a circle. Then, when she switches to a new section, bring back the context slide and have five of the pictures washed out and only the section she is next covering in full color. This way, she is always giving the audience context of where they have been and where they are headed, and also making a smooth transition between sections. Making smooth transitions helps tie your presentation together and contributes to the audience feeling that they have seen a coordinated message. In the future I think we will see less presentations follow a strict agenda of topics and more presentations proceed in a non-linear fashion. This approach gives the audience a menu of topics to choose from and the audience decides what topics are covered in what order. I captured my ideas on non-linear presentations and other advanced delivery techniques in a video tutorial that you can order from .