Have you ever wanted a timer in class or a workshop that would help speakers track their time—without the stress of an actual clock? I recently found something that served this purpose and think it could be handy for a number of situations where you want a visual reminder of time.
Here’s how I used Powerpoint to make the disappearing line timer:
Use the Drawing Tools in Powerpoint to draw a line on a slide. I used a curved, gold line:
Use the lasso Drawing Tool to select the line you just drew:
Go to the Animations tab, choose Rewind, and use the Duration pane to tell how long you want the disappearance to last.
And voila! You have a timer.
Unfortunately, the longest duration you can have for a single disappearance is 59 seconds, but never fear! You can hack it to be longer. Just string together three or four or five lines, and have them disappear sequentially.
Have fun! You could do so many things with this (disappearing hair comes to mind), but simpler is probably better. The core idea is to give people a low-key visual way to track their time, encouraging them to expand if they’re being very brief or to bring things to a close to share the space with others.