A few years back, I had occasion to send someone a PowerPoint presentation about themselves (long story). I made two versions: the first, which was not animated and which I sent; and the second, which was animated, which I did not (for various reasons, none of which are relevant to this post). The first was very much centered on the person in question, the second was also an exercise in how far I could creatively stretch the presentation. I had just learned how to animate slides in PowerPoint, you see, and wanted to use my newfound superpowers for good.
It was like being handed a box of 128 Crayola crayons and trying to see how many shades of blue you could get into a single drawing. The PowerPoint had seven slides and close to eighty animations, not counting transitions between slides.
I ran across it last week, and had to grin at the sheer, complete, over-the-top silliness of it all.
I got to thinking: Where is my PowerPoint? It’s not like anyone is going to do one for me. So I did one about the reasons people should like or even love me. About why the world may be a better place because I am in it.
I made it a completely ridiculous masterpiece. It has ten slides, over one hundred and thirty animations, pictures, a Smart Art diagram that spins, and embedded music which syncs (sort of) to the slide show.
Aside from anything else, it was a chance to develop and hone my PowerPoint skills. (Yes, I know, as things move to cloud based computing PP will be less and less useful.) Although not expert, I think at this point I can say I am above average.
This is not to say that it is necessarily the best PowerPoint in the world; it is far too busy, for one thing, and the writing (i.e., the actual content) is really pretty weak. I would never make this for a client, say. I would choose a different theme, and work more with background pictures. And if I had more talent in this area, I would do a better job of syncing the music internally to the slides. All I could do was make sure the music began with the first slide and ended just as the last showed up. It has taken me three and a half hours — and innumerable runs through the slide show — to get that to work right. Fortunately, I picked a piece of music I really like; that said, I think I can go without hearing Aaron Copeland’s “Rodeo” for some time to come.
It has been a tremendous amount of fun, which it the best reason of all to do anything creative.
I can’t do anything more to it. More accurately, I do not want to do anything more to it. Now I have to move on to my next PowerPoint presentation. You guys have any ideas?