Which PowerPoint transitions to use in your presentation

Which transitions to use in PowerPoint

One of the classic cliches of PowerPoint transitions, and one which has often been the source of great comedic value, is that they are rubbish.

We’ve all seen ‘bad’ presentations where the speaker really didn’t understand what would be appropriate. Or even a comedy sketch of a David Brent-like businessman thinking his Ferris Wheel transition was amazing. So which PowerPoint transitions are actually okay?

The way a slide changes to the next can say a lot about your design choice. Just as much as the colours and fonts you choose.

PowerPoint gives you plenty of options, and most are, if we’re being honest, completely unnecessary and inappropriate. Imagine sitting through a sensible and serious sales pitch, delivered by a no-nonsense presenter. All of a sudden, one of the slides transitions to the next by folding up into a paper aeroplane and flying off the screen. Don’t do it. For the love of God, don’t.


Therefore, Keep It Simple, Stupid. Pick one very easy and minimal PowerPoint transition and stick to it. Using a different one on every slide will, again, distract your audience from you and your content. This is especially true if you go for the needlessly elaborate ones mentioned above.

Use PowerPoint transitions like any other design choice. You should tie them into the theme, branding, and tone of the rest of the presentation. Have an upbeat, fun PowerPoint presentation with lots of bright colours, intended for children? Some motion in the slide transition would work well there. A hard-hitting report to deliver? Possibly not.

You could deliver your presentation without any transitions at all, but we can’t recommend that you do. A sudden change in imagery on screen could be quite jarring. If you’re going for a relaxed, confident feel to your PowerPoint presentation you should consider something that introduces each slide gently.

Choose the right transitions in PowerPoint Picking the right transitions for your PowerPoint presentation


Some powerful PowerPoint transitions to experiment with, and ones that we regularly employ in our decks, are…


This trusted classic is the go-to for many seasoned presenters. It’s easy to see why. A pleasing fade transition between slides is usually all you need, and just that hint of motion and gradient adds a lot of texture.


A fairly standard transition in which the slide, appropriately, wipes one way or the other. It’s clean, simple, and predictable, yet adds a subtle sense of motion to the change.


This one combines a gentle fade with a slight amount of motion. It glides from one slide while the next slowly blends into view. It’s more elaborate than Fade, and takes slightly more time to complete, but it is definitely one to try.


This transition looks as if the next slide is elbowing its way onto screen, pushing the previous one aside. If you keep the background consistent, it is possible to make it seem like the presentation is ‘moving’ in a certain direction, not the slides. Very dynamic.


This transition is quite unique and one of the highlights of PowerPoint in Office 365. With Morph you can inject some simple animation into a transition, as similar objects between slides will appear to move and alter shape. The end result seems not like a transition, but rather a complicated (and impressive) graphic change.

Best PowerPoint slide transitions Use the right kind of transition in your presentation


Whichever PowerPoint transitions you eventually go for, never (ever) select ‘Random’. With that selected, PowerPoint will select a style for you at random, meaning you’ll be completely thrown off guard by your own presentation. You might get a shock when your very important content seems to float away on a breeze. Not good.

Consider also that the timings of most PowerPoint transitions can be edited. That wipe can be slower and that Fade quicker. One way to keep your presentation looking as fresh and as original as possible (especially if you’re presenting before and after others) is to change the timings of the transitions, and also to use them to great emotional effect. Perhaps a fade-in can be slowed down to add a sense of importance to the coming slide, or the Push effect can be increased to up the energy.

But… don’t worry too much about transitions. Find one that works for you, one that is appropriate to the tone and audience of  your PowerPoint presentation, then move on to more important things.

Or transition, if you will.

We can help

This post will certainly help get you started, but if you feel your presentation needs something more, talk to us. From simple, reassuring advice to a fully interactive and professional slide deck design service, Future Present are there for you. 

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you put together that killer presentation.