The ProShow Blog

Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

Maximize Your Message

You’ve got the best slideshow tool on the planet – it seems to do everything you could want. There are so many bells and whistles, you can’t wait to take advantage of them all and make a great looking slideshow.

But Wait…

Take a moment to fully understand your goal, which is to pass on a message and tell a story. Anything you do to confuse the message can ruin the viewer’s experience. Without care, you can even defeat the message completely.

Effects used with care can enhance your overall presentation as seen here in a scene from one of photographer Mark Ridout’s latest slideshows.

Whether you’re showcasing a bunch of pictures of a trip or event, creating a quick-and-dirty slideshow or a multi-year epic project, your message should be your highest priority.

Don’t use effects just for the sake of ‘using effects’. More often than not, clean and simple slideshows can be more powerful than those that feature lots of effects. After watching your slideshow, you want viewers to think about your message – not the effects.

This is where it gets tricky. Well used effects help your message. Poorly used effects hurt your message. So, the key is in learning how and when to use the tools available through ProShow so they fit well.

Fully automated slideshow creators typically have a lot of whiz-bang effects and can look amateurish if you’re not careful. If you don’t control it, the special effects employed can easily overpower the content.

At Photodex, we are fully aware of this. All ProShow products provide a spectrum of styles from the extremely subtle to highly energetic. It is important to make sure you can choose an energy level and style that perfectly matches your goals.

As convenient as automatic show creators are, the best shows are those completed by a person, even if they’re started using automated wizards. Starting with an automated system like ProShow Web or ProShow’s Wizard is incredible, but you’ll want to tweak it yourself if you want the best show you can get. This is why we added drag and drop effects to ProShow Web and give you total control over your slideshows in ProShow Producer.

The main thing I hope you take away from this piece is that your message is the most important thing in the show and should be amplified by effects – not hidden by them. Like condiments added carefully to an entree, effects should always compliment and not overpower.

Here are two gems to keep in mind the next time you’re creating a slideshow:

1) The best effects can be extremely powerful in helping your message.
2) The best effects almost always go unnoticed.

I hope I’ve helped your thinking about the show creation process. As always, experiment with your slideshows and try new things, keep an open mind and you’ll be surprised with what you come up with!

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Paul is the founder and chairman of Photodex and resides in Austin, Texas, with his family.