Unleash the creative power of Keynote and become a presenting pro
1 Control your presentations with your iPhone
When Steve Jobs did his famous keynote addresses, he didn’t crouch over his laptop and advance slides by clicking the trackpad. He strode confidently about the stage, using a remote control to move things along. Now, not only can you do the same thing with an iPhone in your pocket (or an iPad or iPod touch), but it’s actually an even richer experience. All you have to do is open the Keynote app on your iOS device, and then tap the remote icon in the menu bar. Now you can see the current and next slide, or the next/ current slide plus your presenter notes so you don’t freeze up on stage, and you can draw on
2 Combine Actions
One of the most powerful but least understood of Keynote’s abilities is how it can combine Actions. Select an object, click Animate and then click Add an Effect. Now you can pick from the list of Basic effects to make it move, rotate, or change size or opacity. But you can make an object move, grow bigger, and rotate, say, all at the same time. Apply your first Action, and then click Add Action to add a second. By default, Actions execute in sequence. Click Build Order at the bottomright, select the second Action and change On Click to‘ With Build 1’. By mixing Actions with their order, and the On Click, With Build and After Build options, you can make astonishingly complex animations. the screen with different coloured markers and even use a virtual laser pointer.
You’ll need to enable remotes in Keynote’s preferences on your Mac, and link your iOS device and Mac together, but if they’re both recent models, they needn’t be on the same Wi-Fi network to see each other. Older devices will need to be on the same network, so if one isn’t readily available to do this, either create a Wi-Fi network on your Mac (from the Wi-Fi status menu) and join your iOS device to that, or, if you need an internet connection and your plan supports it, create a Personal Hotspot on your iOS device and join the Mac to that.
3 Configure the Presenter Display
The Presenter Display – what shows up on your MacBook’s screen when you’ve connected an external projector or display and pressed Play – is an absolute boon for anyone who wants to give a slick, professional presentation, but you don’t have to stick with the options Apple gives you.
When in Play mode, click the icon that looks like two small boxes stacked on top of a third and click Customize Presenter Display. Now you can choose to add Presenter Notes, a timer which either displays the elapsed or remaining time, dispense with some things you don’t need, and reorder and rescale things to suit how you work.
Bonus tip: by default, when you connect an external display to a Mac laptop, your presentation displays on that external display while showing the Presenter Display on the built-in screen. To switch them, just press x. If you have even more displays, click the ‘stacked boxes’ icon when in Play mode.
4 Package up and distribute your slides
Everyone couldn’t come to your presentation? Want to share a lesson? Make some money by selling your talks? Keynote makes it easy. Select Record Slideshow… from the Play menu and you can walk through the presentation, recording yourself speaking as you go. (If you have multiple mics, select which one you want to use by clicking the volume
icon in the main menu bar first.) You can pause recording at any point.
Once recorded, choose File > Export To > QuickTime… and then ensure the Playback drop-down is set to Slideshow Recording.
For an even slicker package, film yourself – with an iPhone, say – and then import both the Keynote export and your iPhone video into iMovie, and use the picture-in-picture feature to overlay the live video. Just remember to kill the audio on that clip.
5 Create self-running information displays
You can use Keynote to build rich presentations that run on, say, an iMac to provide information in a public spot. Under the Document tab, change Presentation Type to Self-Playing to cycle through your slides, or Links Only to enable someone to interact with the presentation by clicking links in it.
You can add links to objects in Keynote by right-clicking them and choosing Add Link, which enables you to build navigation systems for your presentations. Once you’ve built a little navigation panel – say, with Home, Previous and Next buttons – you can easily copy and paste it onto all your slides, or add it to your master slides.
6 Change default text styling
If you find yourself changing the font, size and styling on every text box that you create, you can save hours by doing it once then choosing Set as Default Text Box Appearance from the Format > Advanced menu.
To stop people exiting presentations, enable the password option at the foot of the Slideshow pane of Keynote’s preferences on the Mac that will run the presentation.
7 Organise your slides
Big presentations can become unwieldy, but Keynote makes it easy to organise your slides. Grab one or more slides on the left (by holding when selecting them) and as well as being able to move them up and down, if you drag them slightly to the right they will indent below the slide above them. Now you can click the disclosure triangle that appears on the top slide to collapse that stack so you can focus on other stuff. You can also skip slides. Select those you want to skip, right-click one and
choose Skip Slide.
8 Make your own templates
Once you’ve made any changes you want to a template’s Master Slides (select Edit Master Slides from the View menu or toolbar button) you can save it out so colleagues can use it too. Choose Save Theme… from the File menu. If you want to build a template from
scratch, you’re probably best picking the White template and amending that. Delete the slide types you don’t want, add any you
do, and set up everything how you want it before saving.
If your Mac has a microphone, you can record your presentation so people unable to attend can watch it later on.
The Presenter Display’s contents and layout can be changed to suit you, including notes and a timer to keep you on track.
Use the list of slides on the left to organise the parts of your presentation so it’s easier to maintain if you are to deliver it again.