VoxProxy – Creative Add-on Animated Graphics for PowerPoint

VoxProxy – Creative Add-on Animated Graphics for PowerPoint

There are numerous add-on packages that you can use with Microsoft® PowerPoint® to deliver a more creative visual effect. One such package is VoxProxy®.  It has a variety of animated cartoon characters that walk, stand, sit and talk on the slide screen. These characters assume a variety of positions and movements based on what you select from the menu. They speak the words that you type into the software. You might use the software characters to introduce new topics or to draw attention to a key concept. For example, a character might walk across the screen, face the audience, reach into his pocket to extract a note sheet and then say something like, “Hello, My name is ____ and I’d like to now introduce our next topic which is ____.”

Animated characters tie to brain-based research principles of adding fun, novelty, and humor to your presentation. They also involve sound, color, and movement that help attract and hold attention.

VoxProxy – Creative Add-on Animated Graphics for PowerPoint by The Creative Trainer

About This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Further, Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

PowerPoint® Power Strategies: Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

PowerPoint® Power Strategies: Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

When designing a learning event in which you will be using slides, PowerPoint® software offers a flexible vehicle for creating training aids that can grab and hold your participant’s attention while making your message visually effective.  This is important since brain research indicates that when someone experiences data through a variety of senses, they are more likely to be able to gain, retain, recall, and use the information effectively.

PowerPoint® – Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

Making content visuals can also help learners better comprehend your meaning, especially in instances where learners have a hearing deficit, speak another native language, or have a preference for visual learning modality.

The challenge for many workplace learning professionals, educators, presenters, and meeting facilitators is that they attempt to use too many of the special animation enhancement features (e.g. transitions, sound, and inserted video). As a result, they overwhelm their learners and audience members or in some cases irritate them. Either way, learning, and retention suffers.

PowerPoint® Power Strategies: Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

PowerPoint® Slides That Get Your Message Across

The following five tips can help ensure that your slides are designed to enhance rather than detract from your intended message.

  1. Make your title lines slightly larger than your text. For example, if your text is a 16-point font, use 20-22 point fonts for the headers.
  2. Use all capital letters to make your title line stand out from the text.
  3. Use the same theme throughout so that you are not continually changing color and format between slides. The latter can distract learners as they mentally try to adjust and search for information.
  4. Add graphics or visuals (e.g. clipart, photos, graphs, charts, or borders) to emphasize your written message and appeal to your visual learners. Just ensure that whatever you use is professional and relates to the written words. Do not use images just because you like them or they are aesthetically appealing.  For example, if you are talking about accounting, do not include a photo of a sporty looking car unless you are making a point (e.g. if you properly account for revenue and generate savings, you might be able to afford a sporty new car).

Note: Make sure that if you did not create the image yourself that you have permission from the copyright owner.

5.  Only address one topic or issue per slide.

For additional suggestions on adding pizzazz to your slides, get a copy of Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners.