Cinemagraphs: The Newest Presentation Feature to Make You Stand Out

April 27, 2015

the-beauty-of-cinemagraphsI often get asked about the future of presentations. Making accurate predictions is tough, though, as they’re moving targets. This holds particularly true as creation tools such as FlowVella, ScrollMotion, and Prezi enter the workplace, and traditional software like PowerPoint and Keynote undergo their own transformations. Whether you prefer these new options or you like your standard approach, I want to highlight one unique style that I hope becomes a significant part of presentations moving forward.

Enter cinemagraphs.

What is it, exactly? It’s a hybrid of a photo and video. You can also refer to it as an animated GIF, but don’t let the negative GIF stereotype destroy your perspective.

So, why am I so excited about this trend?

One word: Sophistication. They simply make presentations look beautiful.

Here are a few examples from a deck my team put together about Nashville:




And, here is why you should add them to your next presentation.

Kills the Status Quo

Every presenter thinks they are upping the competition when they add a fancy animation or utilize a new platform like Prezi. It’s a solid attempt but it’s an approach that has already become a bit dated. However, utilizing cinemagraphs in presentations is so new right now that everyone will take notice, increasing the likelihood of success for you and your presentation.

Attention Deficit No More

Most people would rather be checking their email, playing Clash of Clans, or daydream rather than listen and watch a presenter. Cinemagraphs ensure visually compelling slides every single time, which in turn will increase the probability of engagement and retention.

Win Their Hearts

Most people are familiar with the Chinese statement: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Now, what if we took it one step further and made the picture animate? There you will find a truly emotional impact. That’s the beauty of cinemagraphs.

So, are you ready to get started?

Here are 2 quick suggestions:

1) Get comfortable with Photoshop. I would suggest taking a basic course on SkillShare or Lynda. If you want to get really specific, then check out this cinemagraph tutorial.

2) If you don’t want to dig into Photoshop, then try some apps. Here a few options.


If you are interested in adding cinemagraphs to your next presentation, click here to view more sample cinemagraph slides. After you design your cinemagraph slides and you’re ready to share your beautiful presentation on SlideShare, you can either produce a video using a screen recording of your cinemagraph slides in action, and then upload the video to SlideShare (or if you don’t yet have video upload access, you can upload it to YouTube and embed it), or you can upload your presentation as traditional slides, and save the motion of your cinemagraphs as a surprise for live audiences. Either way, I am confident that you get a lot of mileage out of your cinemagraph presentation.

Author Bio

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.

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