Keynote – Presentation mode

I few weeks back I was lucky enough, along with the four other efellows, to attend a session on making presentations using such tools as Powerpoint or Apple’s Keynote. The session was run by Roydon Gibbs, a learning and design specialist. It proved to be an excellent practical and theoretical overview of how to plan and structure your presentation for your audience and the message you are wanting to get across. As all the efellows are presenting at ULearn this year, this was a timely workshop to get us thinking about this event.

We briefly discussed the merits of using Powerpoint vs. Keynote (we did not even get on to discussing the Web 2.0 options like SlideRocket or 280 Slides) and the general conclusion was that Powerpoint was the preferred option due to its superior presentation options. This included the ability to view presenter notes, timer and slide previews on one display and the slides only on a second display.

I came away slightly disappointed as I would rather not use Powerpoint and much prefer Keynote. I decided to investigate this and I am pleased to report that all of these options are also available in Keynote. Very simple really, I don’t know why I have not noticed them before!

Here’s where:

Go to the Keynote preferences and click the Presenter Display tab. Select the desired options from the list.

To preview and edit how this will look on your screen, click Edit Presenter Layout… and follow the instructions.

Now click on the Slideshow tab. Select options as required but take note of the 2 options at the bottom of the window. Your primary display is (usually) your laptop’s display and the secondary display is your projector. Use this in conjunction with the Alternate Display option in step 1.

Done. Admittedly, Powerpoint does allow you to preview all slides when in presentation mode rather than Keynote’s previous and next. This is something that may hopefully be addressed in future versions.

Here and here are some more reading on the Keynote vs. Powerpoint debate.

This is a recommended blog on professional presentation and design, Presentation Zen.

Finally, I did learn something that I never knew before, that by pressing the B or W key during presentation mode the screen fades to either black (B) or white (W). Fantastic – no more propping a bit of paper or a magazine over the lens of the projector to temporarily block the image. This great tip works in both Keynote and Powerpoint.

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