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How to Create a Basic Keynote Presentation

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Slideshow presentations have come a long way since the grim days of the mid 90s and slide after slide of achingly dull PowerPoint presentations. Nowadays, if you have got something to say, you can now do so without boring your audience, thanks to Keynote.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a basic Keynote presentation and export it to a different format so that it can be viewed cross-platform.


Keynote Explained

Keynote is an Apple-developed slideshow presentation application that is packaged as part of iWork ’13 along with Pages and Numbers. With Keynote, you can create professional-looking presentations to suit every audience which can be wirelessly shared across iDevices via iCloud.

Boasting a variety of themes, Keynote can export each presentation that you create to a different format, enabling it to be viewed on any platform. Additionally, Keynote enables you to rehearse your presentation before playing it to a live audience, and includes helpful notes throughout that only you can see.

Keynote ’13 is currently available for purchase for £13.99 in the App Store, and is bundled free of charge with every Mac purchased after 1st October 2013.


Create a New Presentation

Before we begin, you must first choose a topic for your presentation. Once you have decided on a topic and gathered the necessary information relating to that topic, you are ready to create your presentation.

Step 1: Launch Keynote

Launch Keynote.
Click Keynote.

Click the Keynote icon in the Dock.

Step 2: Select a Theme

Select a theme.
Select a theme.

Select a theme and then click Choose. For the purpose of this tutorial, I have chosen White.

Step 3: Design

Create your presentation.
Create your presentation.

You are now ready to create your presentation.


Edit Slide

Start by editing the opening slide. As you can see, every Keynote theme includes a title and subtitle already pre-inserted into each slide, ready to be edited.

Double-click to edit.
Double-click to edit.

Double-click the text to edit.

Enter a title and subtitle.
Enter a title and subtitle.

Enter a title and subtitle.

Highlight to format.
Highlight to format.

Highlight the text to format.

Edit the font, size, colour and alignment.
Edit the style of the text.

Edit the style of the text via the Format sidebar located on the right-hand side of the application.

Modify your presentation further.
Modify your presentation further.

Click Setup to modify your presentation further. From here, you can change the theme of your presentation, as well as the size of each slide and other related settings.


Add a Transition Effect

Now, it is time to add a transition effect so that each slide merges seamlessly into the next. Here's how.

Step 1: Select a Transition

Click Animate.
Click Animate.

Click Animate.

Select a transition effect from the menu.
Select a transition effect from the menu.

Click Add an Effect and then select a transition effect from the menu.

Step 2: Edit Transition Effect

Edit the duration and delay of each transition.
Edit the duration and delay of each transition.

Edit the Duration, Start Transition and Delay of your chosen transition, or click Change to select another.

Caption.
Example transition.

Create a New Slide

Next, I will show you how to create a new slide. You can create as many slides as you wish, although it is worth bearing in mind that your audience may lose interest if your presentation is particularly lengthy.

Click the + icon.
Click the + icon.

Click the + icon and then select a template.

View slides via the Slides sidebar.
View slides via the Slides sidebar.

Every slide included in your presentation can be viewed via the Slides sidebar.

Modify the appearance of each slide via the Format sidebar.
Modify the appearance of each slide via the Format sidebar.

You can modify the appearance of each slide via the Format sidebar. Click Background to change the background colour, or tick the corresponding checkbox to add a title, body of text, and slide number.


Insert Image

Images can help illustrate certain information and are used to break up large walls of text. When inserting an image into your presentation, Keynote will automatically display your entire iPhoto library for you to browse, categorised by Event.

Step 1: Select an Image

Select an image of your choice.
Select an image of your choice.

Click Media, Photos and then select an image of your choice.

Edit the appearance of your image.
Edit the appearance of your image.

Edit the appearance of your image via the Format sidebar.

Step 2: Add a Caption

Add a caption.
Add a caption.

Add a caption to accompany your image by clicking Text and then choosing a text style from the menu.

Double-click to highlight.
Double-click to highlight.

Enter your caption and then double-click to highlight.

Edit the appearance of the caption.
Edit the appearance of the caption.

Edit the text style of your caption via the Format sidebar.

Example slide.
Example slide.

Insert Effect

Effects are an excellent way of keeping your audience engaged, and will draw their attention to important information within your presentation.

Step 1: Add an Element

Add a new element.
Add a new element.

Add a new element or highlight a pre-existing one to animate.

Step 2: Select an Effect

Click Add an Effect.
Click Add an Effect.

Click Animate and then Add an Effect.

Select an effect.
Select an effect.

Select an effect from the drop-down menu.

Example effect.
Example effect.

Your selected effect will then be inserted into your presentation.


Add Audio

With Keynote, you can add audio to a single slide or your entire presentation, as well as record your own narration to introduce each slide.

Add Audio to a Single Slide

Click Media.
Click Media.

Click Media, Music and then select a song from your iTunes library.

Highlight the Speaker button.
Highlight the Speaker button.

Once your chosen song has been inserted, highlight the Speaker button.

Edit inserted audio.
Edit inserted audio.

Edit inserted audio via the Format sidebar.

Add Audio to Entire Presentation

Click Setup.
Click Setup.

Click Setup to display the Setup sidebar.

Click Audio.
Click Audio.

Click Audio.

Drag and drop your selected song(s).
Drag and drop your selected song(s).

Drag and drop your selected song(s) into the Soundtrack box.

Adjust the soundtrack settings.
Adjust the soundtrack settings.

Adjust the soundtrack settings.

Record Narration

Click Setup.
Click Setup.

Click Setup.

Click Audio and then Record.
Click Audio and then Record.

Click Audio and then Record to record your own narration.

Hit the Record button.
Hit the Record button.

Hit the Record button to begin recording.

Press the Record button once again.
Press the Record button once again.

Press the Record button once again to stop recording.

Your recorded narration will then be inserted into your presentation.
Your recorded narration will then be inserted into your presentation.

Your recorded narration will then be inserted into your presentation.


Insert Video

Inserting a video into your presentation from your iMovie library will enhance your presentation further, and the video itself can be optimised for iOS to ensure smooth playback.

Select a video.
Select a video.

Click Media, Movies and then select a video.

Optimise for iOS.
Optimise for iOS.

Click Never Optimise, Not Now or Optimise to optimise for iOS.

Your video will then be inserted into your presentation.
Your video will then be inserted into your presentation.

Your selected video will then be inserted into your presentation.

Edit the appearance of your video.
Edit the appearance of your video.

Edit the appearance of your video via the Style tab located on the Format sidebar.

Click the Movie tab.
Click the Movie tab.

Click the Movie tab to tweak your video further.


Add Presenter Notes

Presenter Notes are notes that appear in your presentation for you to read, but cannot be seen by the audience.

Click Show Presenter Notes.
Click Show Presenter Notes.

Click View and then Show Presenter Notes.

Enter a note.
Enter a note.

Enter a note to yourself.


Rehearse Slideshow

Before playing your presentation to a live audience, Keynote includes a feature to rehearse your lines ahead of time.

Click Rehearse Slideshow.
Click Rehearse Slideshow.

Click Play and then Rehearse Slideshow.

Navigate between each slide.
Navigate between each slide.

Navigate between each slide by clicking the cursor or pressing < and > on your keyboard.


Play Slideshow

Once you have finished rehearsing your presentation, you are ready to play it to your audience. Good luck!

Caption.
Click Play.

Click Play.

Your presentation will then play.
Your presentation will then play.

Your presentation will then play to your audience.


Export Slideshow

You can share your presentation with others by exporting it to a different format so that it can be viewed on multiple platforms.

Click File, Export To and then select an option.
Click File, Export To and then select an option.

Click File, Export To and then select an option from the menu. For the purpose of this tutorial, I am going to export my spreadsheet to PDF, although you can also export to PowerPoint, QuickTime, HTML, Images and Keynote '09.

Modify the appearance and functionality of the final article.
Modify the appearance and functionality of the final article.

Click a checkbox to modify the appearance and functionality of the final article (optional), select the image quality and then click Next.

Click Export.
Click Export.

Choose a location to save your document and then click Export. Your presentation will then be exported to the format of your choice.


Wrapping Up

In this tutorial, I have shown you how to create a basic Keynote presentation and export it to a different format so that it can be viewed cross-platform. Did you find this tutorial helpful? If you have a question, feel free to ask it below.

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