PowerPoint comes equipped with so many chart and graph options that what was once considered graphic “bells and whistles” is now ubiquitous. Just like you would not expect a good PowerPoint design to have an overused and highly recognizable PowerPoint template, you also would not want to see the same old tired charts, unless there was a way to give them new life. That’s where PowerPoint animation comes in. In my opinion, animation is most effective when the movement created has meaning. In other words, it should reinforce whatever concept your graphic is illustrating, such as growth, loss, expansion, etc. For example, in a simple 2D column chart, you can reinforce upward growth by using the “wipe up” entrance effect to have your columns literally draw themselves up from the base. For a horizontal bar chart, you can also use the “wipe” animation, only this time chose “from left” under “effect options” to show growth from left to right. Don’t forget to check out all the options under the Chart Animations dialog box. Here you can indicate whether you’d like the movement to be by series, element, or category. There’s even a use for some of the less conventional effects. For example, a pie chart that bounced would seem silly and meaningless, unless the “pie” represented tennis ball sales in different parts of the country. Now you have a tie in with the subject matter giving the bouncing-ball movement a reason to be there. Some of the effects I would avoid are Exit Effects such as Blinds or Checkerboard. To me, they seem very hokey, and I have yet to run into any instance where these random movements could add value to any PowerPoint presentation.