In the days of overhead projectors, we’d slide a piece of paper down the transparency to reveal information step-by-step. That’s the Overhead Projector Paradigm.

When you’re stuck in this paradigm, you’re not using the full power of PowerPoint. What are the signs that you’re stuck in the Overhead Projector Paradigm?

  • You bring on elements one-by-one
  • You add elements to the slide from the top to the bottom of the slide
  • You never have an element leave the slide
  • You never have an element move on the slide
  • You never have an element get bigger
  • You never have an element get smaller.

This is a lost opportunity. You can add so much meaning to your slides by using animation creatively.

Here’s an example from Dave Paradi’s blog. Dave does regular slide makeovers on his blog which I normally find creative and inspiring. But this week when I watched his slide makeover – I was amazed – in this particular makeover, Dave was stuck within the Overhead Projector Paradigm! And as a result he’s missed the ability to use the visual power of a slide. You can click here to watch his slide makeover. You might want to go and watch it and look for what he’s missing before you come back to see my take on it. I’ll start by showing you the stills – and then a video so that you can see the animation in action.

Here’s Dave’s first slide:


The calculation describes how an asset like a building is valued. If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology let me first define the terms: NOI stands for Net Operating Income eg; the annual rents minus outgoings. The cap rate is the rate of return on your capital investment that you expect.

Dave has missed the opportunity to represent the figures visually. Here’s how I might show the calculation:


Dave then shows how you can increase the value of a property by raising the rent:


The yellow arrows are supposed to represent the number growing – but why not actually show the numbers growing directly:


In this slide, I would animate the “top-up boxes” with an entrance animation – you can see this in the video below.

The second way to increase the capital value of a property is by reducing the expected cap rate (you do this by reducing the riskiness of the income eg: by converting the tenants from short-term leases to long-term leases):


And here’s how I would show the impact of lowering the Cap Rate:


Here’s a video to show the animation and the words that I would use to present it:

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By liberating yourself from the Overhead Projector Paradigm, you’ll be able to make full use of the visual power of PowerPoint.

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