3 More Tips for Making Better Slide Show Presentations in Apple's Keynote

Last month, I offered you five tips for making better slide show presentations using Apple's Keynote software. I wanted to continue that discussion with four more tips for making spectacular, professional, presentations. All of these options are available in the brand new version of Keynote (6.5) released for Yosemite on Thursday, too.

Remember That Old Saying that Pictures Are Worth 1,000 Words?

Perhaps the best advantage to using a slideshow is the ability to add images to your presentation. Keynote offers a simple way to add images, but even better, it has tools for making simple adjustments and even edits.

First, there are built in slide templates that offer you placement options.

Image template examples

Using one of these templates allows you to change the size of the presented image. Simply grab a corner and drag.

Adjusting size of image

The big image becomes small without losing any of the elements of the image.

Size adjustment

But if I want to focus on a single part of an image, say a head shot, I can make that happen right in Keynote. When you drop an image in a template image spot, the image automatically adjusts to fit the available spot. However, if I click on the Image tab and select “Edit Mask,” the image will revert to it’s original size. By drawing the handles of the box I can focus on the specific portion of the picture that I want to use.

Creating the head shot within Keynote

Now my slide page looks like this.

Finished slide

Next: Just Say No to Bullets and the Power of Magic Move

Page 2 - Just Say No to Bullets and the Power of Magic Move


Don’t Use Bullets

I know that is alien to anything you believe about slideshows. Keynote even assumes that you will want bullets and defaults to them. However, Steve Jobs NEVER used bullets on his slides, even ones that listed product features. In his ebook Really Bad PowerPoint (Amazon - $1.99) Seth Godin wrote, “The minute you put bullet points on the screen, you are announcing ‘write this down, but don’t really pay attention to it now.’

One way to get around using bullets is to use the suggested method discussed in my last column, i.e., limit the number of words on a slide and consider the font size.

To eliminate any designator, or to choose another form make sure your text box is the active element on your slide. Then select the Text tab and click on Bullets & Lists. Make your choice and all the bullets you have created will be changed.

Choose your designator

Spice Things Up With Magic Move

Magic Move is just too cool and a perfect example of a really good slideshow app design. With Magic Move you animate objects between slides so the objects seem to move without any action on your part. Magic move works with two consecutive slides that have at least one common image.

For this example I am going to have an image seem to move up on a page by itself.

The first step is to create the first slide with the graphics, images, or text that you want to appear first.

Slide #1

Now create a duplicate of that slide. To do that click on the slide in the Slide Navigator panel to the left and press Command + D.

Slide navigator panel

The next step is to open the duplicated slide and modify it. In my example I moved the graphic to the top of the slide and added different text. The element that you wish to move must be the exact same size on both slides or this won’t work.

Modified slide

Now, go back to the first of the two slides so it once again becomes the active slide. Click the blue “Inspector” from the Keynote toolbar. (In Yosemite that button is named “Animate”) Click the Transitions button and choose Add an effect. One of your options is “Magic Move”. Select it.

Choose magic move

Now go back and play your two slides. The finished product should look like this.

In this column I have continued with suggestions for making the most out of Keynote, including tips on adding images effectively, a recommendation that you follow Steve Jobs advice and never use bullets, and instructions on using Magic Move.