By mixing icons with voiceover, you can create a nice visual story that is a drastic improvement over text on screen. Watch this breakdown of how I used this effect in a sample course.

Video Script

Hey. This is Bryan Jones from eLearningArt. Today I’m going to show you how I use icons to tell visual stories.

So, I had created a sample course about the safety of WiFi hot spots and one of things I did was try to put the course in context.

I’ll put the course up online for you to look at. But basically what I did was this:

“Sam hopped on a plane to San Francisco to meet with a new client, Jane”

And I walked through the rest of the course talking about him accessing WiFi hotspots and what the safety, danger, and risks are.

I wanted to show you the techniques I used to create this.

So here I am within PowerPoint. And so you know, I actually recolored some of these icons, but that doesn’t really matter for storytelling.

And what I really want to show you is how I built out the animations.

And what I’m doing is, as I’m saying each word, I’m doing a build with graphics.

Basically, you’ll see that I have the animation pane open. And let’s open the selection and visibility pane too.

So basically, Sam is doing a fly-in from the left. And the plane is doing a fly in from the left. And then the building flies in from the bottom and Jane flies in from the right.

And they’re actually very easy animation builds: Sam, plane, buildings, Jane.

So if you don’t know how to do that…Let’s go ahead and strip that out and I’ll show you how I did that with the fly-ins. So it’s really easy. Just click on Sam in PowerPoint 2010 and go up to your animations and we’re going to add an animation. I want to do a fly in. And it just did that from the bottom. I want to change that. Effect options: from the left.

And I want the plane from to do the same thing: a fly in from the left. And I want the building from the bottom. I grouped these buildings together. Add animation. Fly in. You can do it from either spot. I did it from the bottom. And we want Jane from the right.

And there we go. There’s our animation. It’s just that easy.

Now, I want to walk through a slightly more complicated animation that’s further in the course. And it looks complicated right now, but by doing a screen-build, it actually flows with the story..

So it’s something like: “Sam decides to go onto the free WiFi in the coffee shop. He sends an important email that has sensitive data in it. It gets hacked. So that little robber appears. And it gets posted on the web. And that leads to public embarrassment. So I have a thumbs-up going to a thumbs-down. And potential legal action.

So, as I’m talking through that and doing the build, the story ties into the graphics. If you just had all the information on the slide at one time it would be too much.

So let’s go ahead and walk through a couple of those. I’m just doing animations here.

This email I just have doing an appear with a custom motion path and another motion path after the robber appears. And then the WWW is a fly in from the top. This does first an appear. Then it does a spin.

Let’s actually look at that one because it’s a little more complicated.  So here, let’s just look… if you wanted to know how I got it to spin exactly 180 degrees. If you go to effect options, you can actually control that here. And you can do a custom level. I was doing a half spin, so that worked really well.

The moral of the story here is that I really like using icons to tell a visual story. You can find icons that are representative of what it is that you’re talking about. And rather than just using text, you can match graphics with what your words are. Do these builds, this is all within PowerPoint, and tell a nice visual story.

I hope you found that useful. I’m going to be doing a few more lessons on some of the other things I did, such as recoloring these icons, different formats, and that sort of thing.

So stay tuned for some more lessons. Thanks so much.

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