Circle an Object During a PowerPoint Slide Show for Emphasis

Adding emphasis to key elements in your PowerPoint presentation can really make concepts and ideas stand out for your audience. It draws their attention to the most important points and helps convey your message more effectively.

One easy way to emphasize something is to circle it – literally drawing attention to a specific element on the slide. Whether it’s a few words, an image, a chart, or a diagram, circling it makes it pop out.

When should you use this technique?

  • To highlight key words or statistics
  • To spotlight a particular part of an image or graphic
  • To call attention to an important data point on a chart or graph

The circle really helps focus your audience’s eyes on that one element you want them to remember. And it adds a dynamic, engaging feel to your presentation.

How to Circle an Object in PowerPoint

Circling something in PowerPoint is super simple:

  • Insert a shape. On the Insert tab, click the Shapes button and select the oval shape.
  • Draw the circle. Click and drag to draw the oval over the object you want to circle. Hold down Shift to make a perfect circle shape.
  • Resize it. Grab the circle’s sizing handles to adjust it as needed to fit around the object.
  • Remove the fill color. Right click the circle, choose Format Shape, and under Fill, select “No Fill” so only the outline shows.
  • Change the line. Adjust the line color, weight, and style to stand out. A bright red and thick line works great.

And that’s the basics! Now let’s jazz it up with some animation…

Animate the Circle

Adding some animation so that the circle draws itself on the slide can make it even more attention-grabbing:

  • Add an entrance effect. With the circle selected, go to Animations tab > Add Animation > Entrance > Wheel.
  • Set effect options. Click Effect Options and set spokes to 1 so it draws as a whole circle instantly.
  • Adjust timing. Tweak options like Start and Duration in the Animation Pane until you get the timing right.

Now when you present, the circle will dramatically appear on the slide, directing all eyes to the circled element!

Pro PowerPoint Tip: Add a “spin” or “pulse” emphasis effect after the circle entrance to make it really stand out on the slide.

More Tricks for Emphasis

Circling objects is just one way to add emphasis in PowerPoint. Here are a few other tricks:

  • Use contrasting colors – bright reds, oranges, and greens make things stand out
  • Increase size and scale of key text and images
  • Add text boxes to call out or explain a specific element
  • Use arrows, speech bubbles, or icons to point to something
  • Animate elements to fly in, fade in, spin, pulse, or bounce onto the slide

So get creative with different emphasis effects! Combine techniques like animating, scaling, and contrasting colors to make key content grab your viewers’ attention.

When to Use Emphasis Techniques

Emphasis can be overdone though. Use it sparingly, only when you really want to spotlight a specific element on a particular slide.

Good times to add emphasis include:

  • Key statistics or data you want the audience to remember
  • Important terminology or concepts introduced
  • Parts of a process, workflow, or methodology you are explaining
  • “Aha” moments and impactful points you want to land

Remember: Less is more. Choose only one or two main points per slide to emphasize. Piling on too many effects will dilute their impact!


Using techniques like circling, contrasting colors, scaling up elements, and animations can really make key content stand out in your PowerPoint presentation.

When used judiciously on the right slides, emphasis guides your audience, focusing their attention on the concepts and ideas you deem most important for them to grasp and recall. This boosts engagement, impact, and retention of your message.

So try circling objects and explore other emphasis tricks to make your next PowerPoint presentation more dynamic and memorable!