Category Archives: Keynote

The History of Apple Keynote

 

Quora has a nice history of Apple’s Keynote software, my favorite presentation solution.

We used it just a few weeks ago, as we always do, for Edelman New York’s annual all staff meeting. Here’s a pic from mission control…

And just a reminder that one of my three sessions I will be teaching at the Presentation Summit summit next month will be all about Keynote. Tickets are still available, and you can get a discount code for registration here.

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Categories: Keynote, Presenting Live.

Fewer Agencies Presenting with PowerPoint…

The good folks at Mirren in partnership with RSW/US have released a new report: New Business Tools: The Definitive Guide, which you can download a copy of here.

The survey of 300 agency executives shows that in the world of advertising, digital, marketing and PR agencies, PowerPoint isn’t as an entrenched tool as it is elsewhere in the business world—at least when it comes to pitching for new business. In fact, more agencies present with Keynote or Prezi (44%) than they do with PowerPoint (32%).

 There are a few more interesting tidbits in the report. Take a look!

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Animating a Movie with Keynote

I recently showed some good examples of movies made with PowerPoint and exported as WMVs (one of the best new features of PPT 2010.) 

Well, actually, you’ve been able to do this with Keynote for some time, and Jakob Jochmann just posted a 2 1/2 minute video called “The Fight for Better Communication.” And it was animated completely in Keynote. Take a look.

And Jakob has also graciously posted the source Keynote file on his blog so you can figure out how he did it.

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Be Like Ken Burns: Zoom and Pan Your Photos

Ken Burns, the documentary film-maker behind The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz and others, knows something about telling a story with images and voiceover. He’s brilliant at presenting information on a screen.

Because many of his films involve subject matter with little or no video footage (and because he never does reenactments), Burns relies heavily on the use of historical still imagery. And to bring this imagery alive, he makes heavy use of a film technique called pan and zoom in which the camera moves closer or farther away from the image and/or moves across the image.

Burns is so associated with this film technique that at one point, Apple actually called it’s automatic pan and zoom feature in iMovie the Ken Burns Effect.

So, what does this have to do with your PowerPoint?

In replacing a series of bullet points with an image, you’ve most likely increased the effectiveness of your message and presentation. But at times, static imagery might start to feel a little…static.

By using PowerPoint’s “Shrink/Grow” and “Motion Path” animation effects (or Keynote’s “Move” & “Scale”), you can be just like Ken Burns and add a sense of movement, depth and drama to your imagery.

Even just a slight pan, zoom in or zoom out can help give a sense of depth and movement to an image. Let’s say you’re talking about NASCAR. A full screen image would be good, but zooming and panning adds a bit of drama. 

Keynote allows you to visually size and move your image end state when applying “scale” and “move” which is a very nice feature. In PowerPoint, there’s a little trial and error involved as you’ll have to make some initial guesses when typing in sizing percentages and setting a motion path. If you do want to zoom and pan simultaneously (which you’ll often want to do to focus in on the perfect part of the photo as an end state), you need to set both animations to run simultaneously by setting the second animation to happen “with previous.” Additionally, if using a motion path you’ll want to select “effect options” and deselect “Smooth start” and “Smooth end.” Otherwise, you’ll get a dizzying effect on screen.

I should point out that if you’re zooming in by a large percentage in PowerPoint, your image will start to pixelate no matter how large the image was when you inserted it on your slide. This is because PowerPoint unfortunately “sets” the image prior to the animation. So, if you grow it by 300%, it will become 1/3 as crisp. Depending on the image and the zoom percentage, you may not notice any difference, but you would not want to use this technique to grow a logo by 500%. Zooming out on an image has no effect on quality, and you don’t have to worry about this issue in Keynote. I will point out that there is a somewhat complicated workaround for this image zooming problem. I won’t go into here, but if there are any power presenters who are interested in learning the trick, just email me and I’ll explain it.

Remember that whole “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” thing? Try it next time you’re putting together a presentation. Take the on screen text from a slide like this, and put it into the speaker notes…

Make your image full screen, and then animate it a bit…  

Make your image full screen, and then animate it a bit….

If you want to see an example of this effect in action from one of my presentations as well as a couple of ways to tell distinct stories with a photograph and this technique, download this file. And, of course, if you have any questions about this topic or anything related to presentation, just drop me an email anytime at nolan@nolanhaims.

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Categories: Animation, Keynote, PowerPoint.

The iPad & Presentation

It’s been 10 days since the iPad release and opinions are still split as to whether Apple’s latest device will change the world or just result in a pricey shrug. After furiously playing and experimenting with it for a week, I have to agree with my friend Jeff Solomon when he says that we will just have to wait for the iPad to teach us how best to use it. 

With regard to presentation, however, I am confident in saying that the iPad has opened up a new and exciting frontier. For me, it has revealed the true potential for what I like to call “3-D Information” and “3-D Presentation” where presentations are no longer linear and where the audience and speaker interact and control information on a level that PowerPoint (and Keynote) just can’t currently conceive of. If you think of your average old linear “PowerPoint” as a textual description of a house for sale, then “3-D Presentation” is an actual tour of the house where you can open up cabinets and rummage through closets. I have written a white paper on what the iPad might mean for the future of presentation which you can download here. 

But for those interested in the immediate here and now (and who might be considering an iPad purchase), here are the 5 ways (as of this writing) that you can convert and show your current presentations on the iPad: 

1. iPad Keynote Application – Apple created a version of their excellent PowerPoint-like desktop software specially for the iPad. The good news is that you can import (via iTunes) existing Keynote presentations as well as PowerPoint files into the iPad Keynote application, edit and then play them off the device. You can even hook up the iPad to an external monitor with an extra adaptor. The bad news is that the Keynote version of the iPad is much more limited in functionality than the desktop version. Depending on the complexity of your presentation, you are liable to lose certain animations, object groupings, unsupported custom fonts and hyperlinks among other things. If your Keynote has embedded video, this should still play on the iPad. PowerPoint files can also be imported into and run out of iPad Keynote, but you’re still liable to lose some functionality. Some problems can be fixed as iPad Keynote is capable of editing and even creating new presentations from scratch. If you get into its groove, you might even enjoy creating and editing on the iPad. But personally it’s still more than a little frustrating for me at this point. 

2. PDF – Turn your presentation into a PDF and the iPad will be happy to display it. However, there is no easy way to get a PDF onto the device. You can email it to yourself, or post it online and view it in the Safari browser. Or you can use a 3rd party PDF viewer app such as GoodReader or PDF Reader Pro which will allow you load PDFs via iTunes. PDF apps are currently a little clunky, but should rapidly improve. 

3. Movie – Turn your presentation into a Quicktime movie file. PowerPoint for the Mac and Keynote will do this for you, although neither creates clickable Quicktime movies anymore, resulting in a self-playing movie with timed transitions and little control.

4. iBook – The iPad is an incredible book reader and fortunately, it can import any book saved in the universal ePub format. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest thing to create or convert to ePub. Adobe InDesign can do it as can a number of other apps such as the free Calibre. An ePub document is more complicated than a PDF and, obviously, it’s more suited to text-heavy documents. User-created ePub book creation is still in its infancy and it will get better as people learn the tricks to getting best results.

5. Photos – Surprisingly, the iPad’s simple, but fast and elegant Photos application impressed me the most as a presentation tool. Save your entire presentation as a series of JPEGs, drop them into an album in iPhoto and sync photos to your iPad. Each album appears as a stack of photos which you easily open and navigate with your fingers. You can even pull a mini filmstrip navigator at the bottom of the screen to rapidly scroll forwards and backwards through your series of photos (slides) or jump to a particular one. If you put different sections of your presentation into different photo albums, you can use the Photos home screen as a type of visual table of contents to move to different parts of your deck. You can also drop Quicktime movies into an iPhoto album and they appear on the iPad in between sequenced photos–no ned to switch to the iPad Video app.

 * * *

In importing and running many different presentations to the iPad, the thing that became clear to me was the iPad cries out for non-linear presentation. Just putting a PowerPoint or PDF on the device results largely in a presentation on just a smaller screen. This is why I’m currently drawn to the Photos app. Of the above currently available solutions, Photos is the one presentation method that feels the most interactive and user-guided. And that’s what “3-D Presentation” for me is about: Allowing for a custom and intimate interaction with the content.

Hopefully, either Apple or another developer will step up and create a new type of presentation software that will not only make use of the iPad, but all the other technologies and hardware that are sure to follow and that are already quietly on the scene: large touch screens, touchscreen laptops, competing tablets, etc.

Again, if you want to read more, take a look at the white paper.

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Categories: iPad, Keynote, PDF.

The Beauty of Shift-Return

As much as I’d like to be, I’m just not a big keyboard shortcut guy. I know one presentation designer who hardly ever uses file menus, and does nearly everything with keyboard shortcuts.

But if you learn only one keyboard shortcut, make it this one:

 

SHIFT-RETURN

This is the shortcut for inserting a soft return into a paragraph of text. You should always look at how your text looks and reads on a page. If, within a single paragraph or bullet point, you need to move a word or words to the next line for better reading or to visually even things out and fix an orphan*, DON’T use RETURN. This will create a new paragraph which can create a new bullet point and space before the line if your line spacing is set up for this. And DON’T just hit the spacebar 20 times in a row. This will cause even more problems. 
SHIFT-RETURN inserts a soft return which maintains the integrity of the paragraph and spacing.
 

Before…

After Shift-Returns (indicated by blue arrows)…

*An orphan is a word, part of a word or very short line that appears by itself at the end of a paragraph.

 

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Categories: Design, Keynote, PowerPoint.

The Beauty of Shift-Return

As much as I’d like to be, I’m just not a big keyboard shortcut guy. I know one presentation designer who hardly ever uses file menus, and does nearly everything with keyboard shortcuts.

But if you learn only one keyboard shortcut, make it this one:

 

SHIFT-RETURN

This is the shortcut for inserting a soft return into a paragraph of text. You should always look at how your text looks and reads on a page. If, within a single paragraph or bullet point, you need to move a word or words to the next line for better reading or to visually even things out and fix an orphan*, DON’T use RETURN. This will create a new paragraph which can create a new bullet point and space before the line if your line spacing is set up for this. And DON’T just hit the spacebar 20 times in a row. This will cause even more problems. 
SHIFT-RETURN inserts a soft return which maintains the integrity of the paragraph and spacing.
 

Before…

After Shift-Returns (indicated by blue arrows)…

*An orphan is a word, part of a word or very short line that appears by itself at the end of a paragraph.

 

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Categories: Design, Keynote, PowerPoint.

Jumping to Slide #…

Ever wanted to skip those 10 slides your boss made you put in on the fly? Ever need to go back to a previous slide to answer an audience question?

Instead of clumsily going into slide sorter or hurriedly advancing through slides, just type in the slide number on your keyboard and hit “enter.” This works for both PowerPoint and Keynote.

Don’t know what slide number you want to go to? Keep a handy cheat sheet with you or print out a page of thumbnails. 

This tip is also great for accessing appendix slides.

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Jumping to Slide #…

Ever wanted to skip those 10 slides your boss made you put in on the fly? Ever need to go back to a previous slide to answer an audience question?

Instead of clumsily going into slide sorter or hurriedly advancing through slides, just type in the slide number on your keyboard and hit “enter.” This works for both PowerPoint and Keynote.

Don’t know what slide number you want to go to? Keep a handy cheat sheet with you or print out a page of thumbnails. 

This tip is also great for accessing appendix slides.

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visual training presentation