Andy Wolber explains how to create an animated GIF in a presentation to focus attention or emphasize a point. Plus, you can create them on a Chromebook or mobile device.
Most people notice movement. Stare outside for several seconds. A moving object inevitably attracts your attention, whether it is a living creature, a vehicle, or something blown by the wind.
However, presenters tend to ignore the movement entirely or abuse it. Sometimes a presenter inserts a video. At worst, a presenter will create nausea-inducing slides as a result of meaningless zooming or scrolling. Most slides contain still words and images.
Movement on a slide – thanks to animated GIF – can focus attention in a controlled way. To be clear: I don’t mean that you should use GIFs with images of movie stars or pop culture icons. (As it might read, “These are not the GIFs you’re looking for…”) Instead, I encourage you to create your own animated GIF.
An animated GIF offers a way to emphasize a specific idea. Instead of multiple screenshots, create a GIF that shows a series of steps on a single slide. Instead of multiple photos, use a GIF that shows a product in multiple colors. Instead of a graph, create a GIF to emphasize the indicated trend as the numbers change over time. Or, replace a text list of app names with a GIF that displays a new app icon on a mobile home screen every five seconds.
When used well, any element you change in your GIF – the menu selection, the color, or the icons – will reinforce your message.
Think of your GIF as a short sequence of images that move non-stop, over and over, until you move on to the next slide.
SEE: Five presentation applications instead of PowerPoint (GameLen.com)
First, you’ll need to capture and save a series of images for your GIF. Most images will work – drawings, illustrations, screenshots – as long as they are in a standard format (e.g. JPG, PNG, GIF, PSD or BMP. Keep your images the same size to minimize the appearance of “jumps”). » unwanted. If you crop images, make sure you select the same section of the image. Screenshots work well as they are inherently all the same size.
Reduce distractions in your images. For example, set the background or wallpaper to a solid color. Make your screen as visually simple as possible: I often hide or minimize menus, extensions, and toolbars.
You may want to draw on your images to focus attention. Add an arrow to point to a menu item, or a box or circle to draw attention to a part of the screen. Captions can help too.
I like to create a Google Drive folder to save my source images. That way, if I ever want to modify or adjust them, they’re all in the same place.
Create the GIF
Although there are a lot of complicated GIF creation apps and sites, I suggest GIFCreator.me. It works well on a Chromebook, and in almost any browser. Unlike many other GIF creation tools, GIFCreator.me is free, doesn’t require Flash, doesn’t watermark your work, and allows you to download your creation. The site also does not require account registration.
Go to GifCreator.me and upload the images you have created. After uploading, you’ll see a preview of your GIF in the browser.
You can change the sequence, speed and size of the GIF. Drag and drop to change the order of images. Adjust the speed at which images change: Choose a transition time as low as one millisecond or as high as five seconds. If necessary, adjust the size of the GIF.
Choose “Create GIF Animation”, wait a bit, then choose “Download GIF” and save the GIF file. (I tend to put this GIF in the same folder as the source images.)
Insert GIF in Google Slides
Next, open Google Slides. In a browser, choose Insert, then Image, and choose the animated GIF file you just saved. Or, with Google Slides on Android or iOS, tap the + icon, then select Image. (On Android, you can add your GIF directly from Google Drive.) Resize your slide image as needed.
When you’re done, open Google Slides from any device (the web, Android, or iOS) to show people your animated GIF and other slides. (Want to see a sample? Check out a set of Google Slides I created to show some ways you can use GIFs for work.)
GIFs as art
Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck take the concept of animated GIFs to a whole new level at Cinemagraphs.com. Look at one of his images and it’s almost like watching a silent film short. And that’s the point: Well-made moving images require practice, skill, and an artistic eye to create. I hope the next slide deck you create includes an animated image that is creative and compelling.
What is your experience?
Have you created an original animated GIF for use at work? If you can, share it and mention @GameLen.com or on Twitter.