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10 Expert Tips to Create and Deliver a Killer Keynote Presentation

So you’ve got a keynote presentation coming up, and you’re hitting the books to make sure you’re armed with the best plan possible. Besides taking notes from all the greats on TED, you’re reading up about a message structure that works, and looking for the perfect template.

While it seems like you’ve got your bases covered, like all things in life, there’s always a way to streamline the planning process.

According to Aaron Weyenberg , the UX Lead for TED and a self-professed “master of slide decks,” and the wizards behind Apple’s presentation slides , there are a number of tricks of the trade that you can rely on to create a rocking keynote presentation .

Below are some of our favorites. And to easily create a professional-looking presentation , sign up for Piktochart . It’s free and it allows you to make beautiful visuals without being a graphic designer.

1. Do your slides last

While most keynote speakers will typically build their presentation around the structure of a template, Weyenberg says that “building your slides should be the tail end of developing your presentation.” Before working on your slides, you should put together your main message, structure, supporting points – then practice and time your presentation. The reason for this, he says, is that the presentation needs to be strong enough to stand on its own. Approaching a keynote like this requires a shift in thinking.

While a beautiful set of slides is imperative to your presentation, it should not be central to it.

Weyenberg said it best: “The slides are just something you layer over [the presentation] to enhance the listener experience.”

Observe these 2017 Google I/O keynotes, especially CEO Sundar Pichai’s – the role of the slides are to support what the speaker is saying – not the other way around.

2. Get creative with photos

Often times, presenters will be far too literal or cheesy with their image choice. Weyenberg suggests to use images that are simple, yet punchy – and pairs nicely with your spoken words. He says to look for photos that are:

how to make inspiring keynote presentations

3. Simplify charts and graphs

While most presenters will simply drop an image of their charts and graphs into their deck, Weyenberg points out that it might be a bit “unsightly.” If you need to use data to back a point that you’re making, you should make the extra effort to make it more attractive – and this can be done by recreating it in your presentation app.

There are a couple benefits to doing this:

weyenberg graph, typography in charts examples

4. One theme per slide

According to the designers of Apple presentation slides, less is certainly more. Trying to cram too many ideas on one slide can only work to your detriment. Beyond ideas, the same goes for statistics.

Let’s play a little game: For the following idea, how many slides would you use? “The developer program is incredibly vibrant. We have over six million registered developers. Demand for this show has never been greater. We sold out in just over a minute [71 seconds].”

While the average person might think that 6 million and 71 seconds would belong on the same slide and be short and sweet enough, let’s compare it with what Apple’s CEO Tim Cook did.

He only leveraged two slides: The first said “6 million,” and the second: “71 seconds. Sold out.”

how to make presentation attractive

5. Create a visual experience with data

Taking a leaf again from Apple’s presentation book, once you’ve gotten the hang of having just one stat per slide – you should also make it as visual as possible.

visual presentations

One data point per slide, combined with it being visually interesting – is sure to be memorable.

6. Practice Really Makes Perfect

Imagine the late Steve Jobs, a legendary keynote presenter, still rehearsed for months before a presentation. According to Brent Schlender , one of the co-authors behind the Steve Jobs biography “Becoming Steve Jobs,” Jobs would rehearse and prepare “exhaustively” for all of his public appearances.

Despite being a natural on the stage, Jobs never would wing it, he came to the show well prepared.

“I once spent an entire day watching him run through multiple rehearsals of a single presentation, tweaking everything from the color and angle of certain spotlights, to editing and rearranging the order of the keynote presentation slides to improve his pacing,” remembers Schlender.

While you may not be a perfectionist like Jobs, you are likely also not nearly as good of a presenter as he is – so practice really makes perfect in this case.

7. Tell A Consistent Story

Circling back to Weyenberg’s tips – he suggests that in a good slide deck, every slide should feel “like part of the same story.” Think of your deck like a story – every slide should feel cohesive to the big picture message you’re trying to communicate – as opposed to random ideas juxtaposed together.

You can do this by:

8. Less is more

We explored the less is more concept earlier in the article by suggesting you keep to one idea per slide. The same can be applied to text.

When it comes to creating slides for your next keynote, the cardinal sin is a slide with ample text that is verbatim of your spoken presentation.

What this does is encourage people to keep their eyes on your slides instead of listening to you.

Weyenberg also points out that a text-heavy slide forces the brain to multitask between focusing on what it’s reading and hearing – which is quite difficult and will compromise your presentation.

bad presentation example

9. Consider topic transitions

While you want to make your slides look like a cohesive unit, you want to also keep in mind that making every slide look the same may be boring. Weyenberg suggests to:

For example, if your overall slides have a dark background with light text, you can use transitional slides that have a light background with dark text. This way, they’ll still feel like they’re from the same presentation family without being completely uniform.

10. Tell a captivating story

It is fitting that our final tip comes from likely the greatest keynote presenter of all time. The late and great Steve Jobs had the ability to captivate and inspire his audience with his talks, and that’s because he was a very good storyteller. And that’s the golden leaf that you can take from Jobs’ book today.

Always aim to tell a captivating story.

One example is perhaps when he introduced the iPod: “In 2001, we introduced the first iPod. It didn’t just change the way we all listen to music. It changed the entire music industry.” Listen to Steve Jobs weave a story about the digital music revolution when unveiling the iPod.

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Pro Speakers on How to Give a Perfect Keynote Presentation

Allie Decker

Updated: January 13, 2021

Published: November 03, 2020

Two years ago, I was asked to give a presentation about my HubSpot article on emotional marketing . It was by far the most exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience of my professional life.

Pro Speakers on How to Give a Perfect Keynote Presentation

I don’t necessarily hate public speaking. However, leading up to the event, I felt the full responsibility of not only delivering a good presentation but also teaching the audience valuable , actionable information — and that was very intimidating.

I wanted to do a good job, and I wanted to be a good teacher.

→ Free Download: 10 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

Therein lies the importance of keynote presentations : to be effective, they should be educational and entertaining. Do you have a keynote presentation in your future? Read on for some advice from professional speakers.

First, what is a keynote presentation? Glad you asked.

You may also be tasked with a keynote presentation in order to secure funding, make a sale, or update stakeholders or executives. Whatever stage you find yourself on, delivering a keynote presentation is an important responsibility as a public speaker.

How to Give a Perfect Keynote Presentation, According to the Experts

I spoke with four professional speakers on how to deliver a near-perfect presentation. Here are five pieces of advice they shared.

1. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

When it comes to public speaking, practice quite literally makes perfect. Every expert I spoke with mentioned how frequently they rehearse their presentations.

“However much you think you need to rehearse, rehearse 10 times more than that. When you show up to a concert, you expect that the musicians know their songs, and you certainly don't want the first time they try to play it to be right there on stage. You owe your audience and the folks hiring you to speak the same respect,” said Melanie Deziel , international keynote speaker and founder of StoryFuel . (She received this advice herself from Michael and Amy Port at Heroic Public Speaking .)

Melanie Deziel keynote speaker hubspot

Provided by Melanie Deziel

As more presentations and events become fully virtual, the likelihood of technical difficulties also grows. Rehearsing your content can help you weather any interruptions or last-minute changes.

Rehearsal not only leads to content mastery; it allows freedom in your presentations. “The more you rehearse and become comfortable with the content, the freer you'll be to take chances, experiment, and truly focus on your delivery, rather than trying to remember what comes next,” shared Deziel.

How do these experts recommend practicing your presentations? “[Use] a mirror,” said Olivia Scott , keynote speaker and founder of Omerge Alliances . “I take the time to see how I'm being received, I look at my body posture, and I look at everything to make sure that I feel good about what I'm delivering. This isn’t exactly a tool or technology, but it's a way to practice and rehearse.”

olivia scott keynote presentation hubspot

Additionally, consider asking friends, family, and trusted colleagues to listen to your practice runs and provide feedback on your presentation.

2. Ask for feedback.

Speaking of feedback, expert orators know to ask for it on a regular basis — from friends, peer groups, mentors, audience members, and clients. “Find a support crew and connect with other speakers in the industry,” mentioned Karen Hopper , keynote speaker and data strategist at M+R. Hopper personally recommends Shine Bootcamp , which provided her with lifelong friendships, helpful feedback, and a priceless education about public speaking.

Karen Hopper keynote presentation hubspot

Provided by Karen Hopper

“We help each other with feedback on our pitches, topics, outlines, and presentations, and we celebrate each others' wins,'' said Hopper. “ ... It’s well worth surrounding yourself with people who will cheer for you and who will give you honest feedback — the fastest way to get better is to ruthlessly seek out that feedback.”

Clients can also be an incredibly helpful source of feedback. If you’re asked to speak at an event or conference, consider asking the people who hired you. “I ask my client for their reaction immediately after every presentation. It’s important to know how they felt, and whether the presentation achieved their goals. Every time my client is happy, that’s my most successful presentation,” said Jeff Toister , keynote speaker, author, and customer service expert.

jeff toister keynote speaking hubspot

Lastly, the best feedback often comes from the source — in this case, your audience. Whether you ask questions during your presentation (which we’ll discuss next) or ask for feedback following your presentation, it’s never a bad idea to know what your audience thought about your keynote.

Feedback may look different if giving a remote keynote presentation, but it's still possible.

“It’s been a creative challenge to adapt a talk I'd hoped to give in person to work in a virtual environment. It's much harder to tell how your talks are received online, without being able to see nodding and note-taking and hear laughter and clapping. But all the feedback I have received [over email] indicated that my talk successfully changed the way many people are thinking about their content idea generation process, and that was the ultimate goal of the talk: to change how people think ,” shared Deziel, referring to her recent keynote at Content Marketing World 2020.

3. Engage your audience.

Nobody likes being talked at . Sure, delivering a keynote presentation involves you doing most of the talking, but it doesn’t have to be a one-way conversation. Many of the experts I interviewed encouraged some sort of audience engagement or interaction to enhance your presentation.

“People love to be involved in a presentation. Rather than explain a concept to my audience, I find a way to have them experience it,” said Toister. “For example, when I share how multitasking hurts productivity and causes us to make more errors, I have the audience try a brief multitasking exercise so they can experience the problem themselves.”

Did you know that audience engagement levels drop considerably (14%) if a presenter does most of the talking, versus if the audience talks just as much? Moreover, 64% of people believe that a presentation with two-way interaction is much more engaging than a one-way presentation.

Presentation engagement also takes practice — just like your presentation content itself. “ ... Entertainment comes from the performance itself: the way in which you deliver that content and the energy you bring to that delivery. This is a separate skill you need to practice. Work with a coach, watch back recordings of yourself to identify opportunities to improve your craft, and watch videos of top-notch comedians, poets and other speakers to see what you can learn from them,” encouraged Deziel.

Lastly, as important as engagement is, don’t let technology stand in the way. While smartphones and polling software can make audience interaction easier, they can also get in the way of you connecting with your audience. “I prefer to just have people stand up, raise their hand, or clap to participate in the poll. It gets the audience moving, and I don’t have to worry about WiFi connections or whether the polling software is working,” said Toister.

4. Prioritize your content as much as the delivery.

While entertaining and interacting with your audience is helpful and exciting, it shouldn’t take precedence over your presentation content itself. “Nearly all of what the audience can learn from you comes from the content: the stories you tell, the examples you share, the facts you cite and the other information you explain. Carefully crafting those materials and testing it out ensures that the audience will get the information they were promised from your session,” said Deziel.

Tools like PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, and Canva can help you hone your content and develop a story within your presentation. A 2018 Prezi study (another presentation tool option) showed that 90% of people believe a strong narrative makes for a more engaging, interesting presentation. Data can help form arguments and explain facts, but stories stay with your audience long after your time on stage.

Storytelling is yet another way to engage with your audience, especially by evoking emotions like humor. “It’s entertaining to ask questions, saying, ‘Can anyone relate to this? Has anyone ever had this type of experience before?’ and then getting them involved with some laughter around those experiences. Laughter always helps,” said Scott, who presented at INBOUND 2020 .

Hopper, who was also a Breakout Speaker at INBOUND 2020, agreed: “Don't be afraid to be funny or drop in jokes — there are studies that show that laughing actually helps your brain retain information better, so not only will your audience have a good time laughing with you, but they'll also get more out of your presentation. It’s a win-win!”

5. Focus on the audience.

Finally, everyone can agree that public speaking is either revered or feared. If you relate to the latter and find yourself nervous when giving presentations, turn your focus on the audience.

“Speakers easily get nervous when they focus on themselves and worry too much about their own performance. Focusing on your audience first takes the nerves away and redirects your attention to making sure your audience gets something of value from your keynote,” shared Toister.

That’s the goal of a keynote presentation — to provide value to your audience. Regardless of what story you’re telling, what tools you’re using, or how you’re engaging the crowd, as long as you deliver a presentation that inspires your audience to think differently — even for 30 minutes — you’ve given a perfect keynote presentation.

Note: HubSpot Marketing teams reserve the right to use guest blog author’s likeness across our content as we see fit, including but not limited to HubSpot’s social media channels.

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6 Tips and Tricks for Amazing Keynote Presentations on Your Mac

If you use Keynote on your Mac, take note of these essential tips and tricks to make your Keynote presentations stand out.

Keynote is the simplest way to make a beautiful presentation on your Mac. If you pick a template you like and let the defaults do the trick, you'll most likely end up with something you're proud of. However, you've got a lot more options than just the basics.

When using Keynote, you can easily transition between different slides. On top of that, you can jump around however you feel necessary—along with much more. Here, you'll learn the best Keynote tips for making amazing presentations in macOS.

1. Master Keynote's Slide Transitions

Transitions and animations are the two biggest reasons to use Keynote for making a presentation. To add a transition effect, select the slide from the slide navigator on the left. From the top-right corner of the window, click on the Animate tab.

Then, select the Action option, and you'll see a big blue Add an Effect button.

When you click on it, you'll be able to select from more than a dozen effects. In the example below, we've used the Confetti effect.

Once you select a transition, you'll be able to define the duration, the direction, and the start time.

2. Animate Individual Objects on the Slides

Keynote lets you control exactly when and where your objects show up. You can animate these by going to Animate > Build In > Add an Effect .

Click the Preview button to see how it looks. If you want to animate multiple objects together or one after the other, select all of them when defining the Build In effect.

When multiple objects are involved, click the Build Order button from the bottom of the sidebar. Here, you can define the order in which the objects appear on the screen.

3. Master Magic Move

Magic Move lets you directly move an object from one slide to another, with complete control over the animation.

First, place the objects on the slides the way you want. From the Slide Navigator , duplicate the slide by using the Command + D shortcut.

Now, change the position of the objects on both slides. The first slide will have objects in the default state. In the second slide, position the elements where you want them to end up.

Select the first of the two slides (not both), and from the sidebar, click on the Animate tab. From the Add an Effect section, choose Magic Move .

Preview it, and you'll instantly see a smooth animation going from one slide to another. Keynote takes care of the transition and animation automatically. But if you want, you can change the duration, match it with text instead of objects, and define when to start the transition.

4. Edit Your Slide Layouts

If you're working on a big presentation, you'll probably want your styling to be consistent. To achieve this, you can use the feature that lets you edit your slide layouts—which will allow you to define layouts and designs you use frequently.

Finding this feature in Keynote is simple. On your Mac keyboard, hold the Control button and click on a slide with your trackpad. Then, choose Edit Slide Layouts from the context menu.

After selecting Edit Slide Layouts , you can adjust numerous areas of your Keynote slides. For example, you can include a title and photo—along with several other things.

When you're finished, hit the blue Done button at the bottom, and you'll have something that better fits your needs.

If you aren't a big fan of the presentation layouts in Keynote, you can always consider picking from various Keynote alternatives .

5. Customize Your Toolbar

The more you use Keynote on your Mac, the more you'll figure out what does and doesn't work for you. You'll also probably notice that you use some tools more frequently than others. Having easy access to these is a good idea if you'd like to work more efficiently when creating your presentations.

Customizing your toolbar in Keynote is quite straightforward. When using the app on your Mac, you'll first need to go to the View menu from the macOS menu bar and choose Customize Toolbar located at the bottom of the dropdown.

A pop-up window will appear; here, you'll see a huge range of icons and other things you can move around. Moving these is the same as if you wanted to change icons on your iPhone or iPad; you can drag and drop the features you most frequently use.

When you're done customizing your toolbar, you can click the Done button in the bottom right-hand corner.

Keynote isn't the only way you can customize on your Mac . You can change several areas on your computer—color schemes, icons, and sounds, to name a few.

6. Use Action Buttons for Shapes in Keynote

As you create your presentations in Keynote, you might want to use shapes for several reasons. You can use them to create graphics , and they're also handy for breaking up your text—among numerous other things. One of the app's best hidden features lets you turn any shape into more of an interactive button.

You can use the action options for shapes in Keynotes to jump to a different slide. But that's not all; they're also handy for opening web pages and even ending the presentation.

First, you'll need to add a shape to your Keynote presentation. You can do this by selecting Shape from Keynote's toolbar at the top.

Choose the shape you want to add to your presentation and select it. After that, use the Command + K keyboard shortcut.

Expand the dropdown menu, and you can choose whether you want your shape to link to a slide, a website, or something else.

After choosing the purpose of your shape in Keynote, complete the remaining steps that your Mac prompts you to do. You can then use your shape to supercharge how your presentation functions.

Get More Advanced With Keynote Presentations on Your Mac

If you use a Mac to create your presentations, you might want to use Keynote for several reasons. Its interface is user-friendly, and you have plenty of customization options. On top of that, the app makes it easy for you to move around to different slides and various other things—giving you more control over what you're trying to do.

Now that you've read these tips, you should have a better understanding of how you can improve your presentations and wow your audience. You've learned all about adding effects, skipping to different slides, and more.

keynote presentation best practices

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7 Tips to Create Powerful Keynote Slide Decks

keynote presentation best practices

Pow­er­ful Keynote slide decks that get your mes­sage across effec­tive­ly are more impor­tant than ever, with the rise of online pre­sen­ta­tions and remote events.

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Our sto­ries are wired to teach, empow­er, and leave a lega­cy through our knowl­edge. When done right,  Keynote  pre­sen­ta­tions and brand sto­ries will leave a last­ing impression. 

How­ev­er, too much sto­ry can also over­whelm, bore, or con­fuse —so any­time we make pre­sen­ta­tions for our brand, we want to focus on expe­ri­ence rather than infor­ma­tion over­load. We often become so excit­ed about a par­tic­u­lar sub­ject, that we end up shar­ing too much infor­ma­tion in one slide. So how can we cre­ate a pow­er­ful Keynote?

7 Tips to create powerful keynote Slide Decks

1. start with a plan.

Before you pur­chase a tem­plate online, hire a design­er, or design your own Keynote tem­plate,  define what you want to accom­plish with each pre­sen­ta­tion. The three things you want to define are:

2. Write Your Copy

Your copy and the design of your Keynote pre­sen­ta­tions or tem­plates need to work hand in hand. Write your con­tent before you pur­chase a tem­plate online — you want to know what your copy will entail before you do, so you don’t end up wast­ing time fig­ur­ing out how to fit copy into the design. 

Keep in mind that the copy on your pre­sen­ta­tion is there to  guide  the ideas, not  be the pre­sen­ta­tion. Oth­er­wise, peo­ple will spend their time writ­ing notes from your copy, instead of lis­ten­ing to your presentation. 

keynote presentation best practices

Too much copy makes a dif­fer­ence — you can see that in the dif­fer­ence between the slide above. The first one is crowd­ed with too much info, where­as the sec­ond is clean, and denotes key prompts for your talk­ing points. Chances are, your eyes pre­fer the sec­ond, and that is all you need to know about how it will affect your viewer!

keynote presentation best practices

3. Set a Template Structure 

Set­ting a tem­plate struc­ture will allow you to focus more on the con­tent deliv­ery than hav­ing to refor­mat your Keynote every time you cre­ate a new pre­sen­ta­tion. Plus, this helps you estab­lish  brand con­ti­nu­ity . 

Start with mak­ing a sim­ple list of the slides you know you will need for any type of pre­sen­ta­tion you do. Think of this as your Keynote tem­plate blueprint!

4. Avoid Using Bullet Points

f you are using bul­let points today, you can say good­bye to them. They are dis­tract­ing — and that takes away from the val­ue in your infor­ma­tion. Instead, try some­thing like this:

keynote presentation best practices

Cog­ni­tive sci­en­tists  say we can only focus on 3 key points at a time. Try to keep each slide to 3 points — max­i­mum 5.

5. Use Visuals to Support Your Narrative 

When it comes to visu­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the expe­ri­ence your view­ers have with your con­tent  is cru­cial  for them to  remem­ber  what you said. 

Our brains are wired to con­nect with visu­als first —  espe­cial­ly though col­or . When you deter­mine what visu­al con­tent you need, not only will you save time (and headaches), but your Keynote design process will have far more clar­i­ty than when you start with a tem­plate first and make your con­tent work with that.

6. Establish Content Hierarchy 

Deliv­er­ing val­ue doesn’t mean show­ing an entire sto­ry in one slide. When you cre­ate con­tent hier­ar­chy, you improve a viewer’s expe­ri­ence.  If you aren’t sure about how you can estab­lish this, think of what we call the High­rise Effect for Hierarchy.

keynote presentation best practices

This means struc­tur­ing your con­tent through text and its font size to fit the lev­el of impor­tance: the high­er the “peo­ple” are in the high rise, the greater their impor­tance, reflect­ed by their larg­er font size. 

7. Design a Template to Fit Your Needs

Design­ing an Apple Keynote pre­sen­ta­tion that fits your needs allows you to con­vey your mes­sage effec­tive­ly while rais­ing brand aware­ness. Done right, it will save mon­ey and time. If you aren’t a design­er, it can feel over­whelm­ing — but it doesn’t have to be so! We’ve got you cov­ered with Nicte’s LinkedIn Learn­ing Course that gives you the tools you need to achieve your pre­sen­ta­tion goals. It’s called Cre­ate Pow­er­ful Pre­sen­ta­tions in Adobe Keynote.

Con­nect with us below and we’ll send you addi­tion­al resources to give you peace of mind as you cre­ate stand­out Keynote presentations!

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Nicte Creative Design

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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Presentation Guru

Presentation Guru

13 pro tips to ace your keynote presentations.

keynote presentation best practices

If you are one of those 588 million Apple users worldwide , own a Mac and use iPhone and iCloud; then you’re no stranger to the Apple ecosystem and its own exciting presentation software called Keynote. However, you still might not know how to use several tools that can make your presentation appealing. For students and teachers, Keynote should be a go-to presentation  tool because the iOS version gives you a desktop experience that rivals can’t compete.

Before coming to the questions you need to ask when editing presentation content , we are sharing some fantastic features of this popular PowerPoint alternative you might now know. For the next time you’re on stage for any presentation, make sure that you incorporate these sixteen keynote tips and create a killer slide deck to impress the people you are presenting to and stand out among all the presenters.

1) Use a Pre-Built Template Design

Keynote template selection

Image courtesy of https://www.dummies.com

If you are worried about your upcoming presentation assignment and you are out of ideas, then don’t hesitate to choose keynote presentation templates. Using the pre-built Keynote templates will save your time as you don’t need to download PowerPoint or third party templates. Apple has designed its own range of templates with a powerful and aesthetic feel. Since Keynote software application is designed by Apple, you’re not going to find similar template designs on Windows or any other operating system.

Also, they give you a quick start to create an eye-catching presentation as you get your hands on numerous layouts, tools, and elements to use quickly. It’s a plus point because most of the themes and templates in third party apps have been used in countless projects. You can always check out this article for some alternative powerful presentation formats .

The appealing themes and tools can help you to develop a consistent story. It is important to choose a template that fits with your story.

Bear in mind that minimalism is the new trend. If you don’t know how to create your first Keynote presentation professionally, go for minimal and modern templates that you can easily manage. You’ll find numerous Apple Keynote templates with a clean outlook and elegant aesthetic. A simple skewed photo in the middle of the screen with plenty of white space on the right and left gives you enough room to combine decorative elements with elegant typography.

You can design your own template design or customized supportive slides. If you simply want to add new slides in a template, make sure that they match with the original keynote presentation that you selected on your own.

2) Customize Your Toolbar

customize your toolbar in Keynote

Image courtesy of https://24slides.com/presentbetter

If you go for a head-to-head comparison of PowerPoint vs Keynote , you will know that navigating the workspace in Keynote isn’t hard. But a lot of times, the default toolbar does not have the feature we frequently use in our presentation, and you have to go to the menu bar to pick the desired tool, which makes things hectic for you.

Now you don’t have to open your menu bar again and again. Simply go to view and select the customize toolbar option and a box will appear where you can drag and drop your frequently used option. For example, if you find yourself repeatedly using charts, add a slide, and adjust image options, then you may want to add them. The best thing about a customized toolbar is that you can always undo it and return to the default settings.

3) Choose A Set Of Icons & Stick To It

Selection of icons in Keynote

A common mistake that most students do is using multiple different icons and symbols in their presentation. It is advisable to use a single set of icons matching with your theme and stick to them throughout. Apple has terrific icons that you can play with. According to presentation experts, when we use the same set fonts and illustrative elements, our entire presentations look cohesive even though you use different designs in each slide.

While this point makes sense, you have to be careful about the selection of icons. Make sure that the combination of a collection of icons wide enough to cover the essential needs of your topic. If you have limited content and the topic is more self-explanatory, then you don’t even need icons. Enlarged bold fonts are enough.

4) Pick Your Font Pair

Font pairing in Keynote

Image courtesy of https://24slides.com/presentbetter/first-keynote-presentation/

It looks like the easiest and fun task, but it is not. Why? Because the font you choose can impact the readability factor. And what is the whole point of presenting to an entire bunch of people if they can’t read what you are showing to them? Not only this, but the fonts you use also leave different impressions on your audience. Some fonts are professional while some are funny and even scary-looking.

Therefore, select clear and comprehensible font sizes. It is recommended to use easy-to-read standard fonts like Helvetica or Cambria. But if you really want to add some decorative element in your presentation, then pair your standard font with Freestyle Script or Lobstor font, which best matches with its look.

5) Use Text To A Minimum

Use text to a minimum in keynote

Image courtesy of https://elements-preview-images.imgix.net

Now you’ve selected the appropriate fonts; it is essential to make sure that you put less text in your slides regardless of the presentation software you use. If your presentation is about a research paper and you don’t know how long an abstract should be,  then don’t worry. You don’t need to add paragraphs. Nobody wants their audience to read out the screen.

If they start reading, then there will be no reward for them to listen to you. Therefore, you should avoid adding extra information and additional features because it will only make your slide look wordy and messy. You are up on the stage to speak, and the people sitting in front of you want to listen.

6) Make Visuals Your Friend

visuals to choose from in Keynote

Image courtesy of https://elements-cover-images-0.imgix.net/

You must have heard that a picture speaks louder than words. Imagine your presentation slides as pure audiovisual material. Adding imagery in your presentation is top tip for creating an engaging virtual presentation . It makes it more appealing and increases the recall rate of the audience. Always use images and illustrations that can reinforce the message and help the listeners understand the main points. The right pictures can tell their own story and, this way, you don’t need to put much effort into explaining your position.

With Keynote, you can customize your slide by playing with images. Simply drag the image from your Mac and drop it on your presentation screen. Another way is to go to your toolbar, click photos, and select the image from your photo gallery and drag it on your slide.

7) WOW The Crowd With Animated Effects

Use animated effects in keynote presentations

Image courtesy of https://tr3.cbsistatic.com

Who doesn’t like animations? In fact, they bring liveliness in your content, and they are powerful enough to add consistency to your story and make it more captivating. If you want to add animation as you move from the current slide to the next slide, click on the ‘Animate’ button, and you’ll see some options on your screens. The four options are;

If you need these effects on any object or picture, then click on it and choose the animate option from your toolbar. You have the option to adjust the color, delay, duration, and more of your chosen effect.  

8) Use Text Boxes

keynote presentation best practices

Image courtesy of https://static.makeuseof.com

If you own a Mac, then you probably know that Keynote presentation software is preinstalled in Mac and is free to use. To use features available on Keynote and make your presentation beautiful, you don’t need to be a graphic designer. For example, you can use the textbook option from the toolbar, and this way, you can give particular space to essential points on your slide. You can also use textbox when you have less space, or you don’t want to increase the size of your text from the rest of the body text.

Textbox allows you to make important points, and statistics pop out from the slide without the need to increase the text size or make it bold. As long as the text is placed in a textbox or highlighted with a different color, it will be viewed as crucial information.

9) Add Catchy Illustrations

If you want to add the magic of creativity in your presentation, add unconventional illustrations and infographics. They are powerful and add an intuitive sense of informality to your presentation. You can even add comments and illustrations drawn by your hand on your iPad with Apple Pencil.

10) Don’t Be Afraid To Try Colors

experimenting with colours in keynote

Image courtesy of https://discussions.apple.com

The biggest myth is to stick with a single color, or your presentation will look like a clown. With Apple Keynote, you will get versatile presentation templates that are not based on one or two colors. The premium themes have unique modern texture designed with larger color palettes. The best thing about the color palettes is that the colors are vibrant, with huge color mixing options. You can create your customized color palette, just like the toolbar.

All you have to do is open the ‘Color Picker’ and create your own color scheme for your project. In case you are out of ideas, choose a default color palette from the list and try it.

11) Edit The Slide Or Change The Look

You can change the whole outlook of your presentation if you feel that the design and the content are a mismatch. You can discard your old theme at any time and pick a new one. Just click on the document button and go on the change theme option. The good thing is that while changing your theme, you have the opportunity to keep the customizations you’ve made previously. For example, if you don’t want to change the theme but keep the text color, then click on ‘keep your style changes.’ Moreover, if you feel like going back to your old theme, then you can always undo it. You have both options.

12) iCloud Keynote

Keynote in the icloud

Image courtesy of https://cms-assets.tutsplus.com

Now you can work on your presentations on any Apple device. With Apple Keynote presentations, you get the ability to store and edit your slides on other Apple devices. To do this, you need to open your Mac and sign in to iCloud. As soon as you enter your Apple ID and password, your Mac will be connected to iCloud, where you can save every data, including documents, photos, contacts, and Keynote presentations. This means that you can create your original Keynote presentation on Mac continue editing on your iPhone while lying on your bed.

13) A Lot Of Practice

Steve Jobs

Image courtesy of Ben Stanfield/Flickr

Last but not least, good things take time. If you consider yourself as an experienced speaker, then let us tell you that even the renowned keynote presenters prepare for a speech months before . So, if you rehearse exhaustively, your chances of success would increase immensely. Practicing allows you to deliver the content in an interesting and helps you to pick the right clothing, gestures, hand movement, and even the time of appropriate intervals.

Don’t just read your presentation. You are big enough to understand that your audience is capable of reading, and that’s why you shouldn’t be reading the slide for them. Your presentation should provide you with a context filled with visual aid and illustrative elements. Take your presentation as an outline and build your arguments around it, just like you do in casual daily conversations.

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t read the content at all. But identify the right speed. It shouldn’t be very high or shallow. If you are reading out fast, it doesn’t mean that you are confident, but it means that you are nervous or lack presentation skills. Experienced speakers take regular pauses to emphasize the main points. And if you’re struggling, remember there are some amazing online apps to help you deliver killer speeches and presentation.

The Bottom Line

Apple users now have the opportunity to take their presentations to a new level with this fantastic Keynote presentation software. You don’t need to waste your money on buying online templates. Now, you’ve finally learned that Keynote is easy to use, start working on your upcoming presentations and amaze your audience.

Melissa Calvert

Melissa Calvert

Latest posts by melissa calvert ( see all ).

keynote presentation best practices

free ppt templates

9th August 2020 at 2:52 am

thx for your share, these are all good advice, for starters, try using templates to quickly create a beautiful presentation, we have made a lot of professional and customizable presentation templates, ready to download and use.

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17 Presentation Techniques For A Great Keynote

17 Presentation Techniques For A Great Keynote

How much time do you take to design your presentation? Days? Weeks? Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you find the right design elements? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could create a remarkable keynote presentation in a day or two? I think anyone can do it, if they pay attention to the following presentation techniques and manage to combine them in a way that helps them put the right ideas in the right context.

Also read:  7 Things To Improve In Your Keynote Speech Presentation

Achieving presentation flow is a challenging task. Not everyone has a knack for design. So pay attention to each of these ideas, both the simpler ones and the more complex, and make your own combo to improve delivery and convince your audience.

1. Visuals are your friend

Using different types of visuals can be a great way to help your audience remember and react. Photos, illustrations, icons, symbols, sketches, figures, and diagrams are much more easy for the brain to retain than words. Think of a company logo for example - how many times has your brain recognized the logo even before you remembered the name of the brand?

Another great thing about using imagery is that it makes you more charismatic. It seems that speakers are seen as more charismatic when otherwise identical speeches contain more imagery . Here’s a great example - a former US president’s inaugural address was rewritten to create low and high imagery versions in an experiment. The audio recordings of the two speeches were played for the participants to the study who were randomly assigned. After listening to the speech, they provided ratings on various summary leadership measures. The result? The speech with high imagery was attributed to a more charismatic person.

2. Keep the presentation short and to the point

Thousands of psychological, neurobiological and social science studies have been conducted on how humans “pay attention.” The famous Microsoft “study” claimed that the human attention span went from 12 seconds on average in 2000 to just 8.25 seconds in 2015, which is shorter than that of a goldfish. What most of these studies concluded is that, most of the time, we don’t pay attention. It’s just how our brain works.

Keep your presentation short and sweet and, more importantly, simple. Even if your ideas are complex, you need to find a way to help your audience focus and follow your speech. Make sure your slides are not too busy if you want the audience to listen to you instead of reading slides.

keynote presentation best practices

3. The rule of three

This is a rather well-known technique that’s based on the fact that people tend to only remember three things. When you design the flow of your presentation, work out what the three messages that you want your audience to take away are. Then, structure your presentation around them, using the right design elements to separate the three.

The same rule can be applied to an individual slide -  it’s recommended that you use a maximum of three points on a slide. Make sure that they aren’t bullet points or presenter notes. Those should not be on the screen when you’re doing a keynote speech. If Google's CEO does not  use bullet points , neither should you.

Also read:  5 Pro Tips For Giving Better Presentations

4. Focus on telling stories instead of throwing numbers

Even if you have a technical or scientific topic to present, you still need to tell a story. That is the essence of a keynote speech, to be memorable, emotional, compelling. And that means storytelling.

Tell stories and anecdotes to help you illustrate your ideas and your research. This will definitely make your presentation more effective and memorable. In a UCLA study , students were asked to recall a series of speeches they had heard. Only 5 percent remembered any individual statistic, while 63 percent remembered the stories presented in those speeches.

“Things are not what they seem.” It’s that to get people to sit on the edge of their chair or to get them involved in your story, the audience has to constantly discover something new.

Howard Suber, UCLA

keynote presentation best practices

5.  Know what slide is coming next

Memorizing every single word in a presentation is not a good idea. That’s why you shouldn't have chunks of text altogether. But knowing what slide comes next is a must. Even if you are an amazing speaker and you’ve been really busy so you've had the presentation made for you, go through it at least once before.

It helps to build trust and keep the audience engaged when you say “On the next slide [Click] you will see…”, rather than than act confused when the next slide appears. It will also help with the flow of the presentation.

6. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

Practice is key for public speaking. Many experts say that rehearsal is the biggest single thing that you can do to improve your performance. This technique will make you so comfortable with the presentation content that you won’t need notes or prompts and you’ll appear conversational but knowledgeable.

Perform your presentation out loud at least four times. You can try something different each time: one in front of your friends or colleagues, one alone and one in front of a real scary audience, for good measure. You should also try to do a video recording of a rehearsal. It will help you spot improvement points, from how you are standing, if you are jangling keys, to how well your presentation is structured.

keynote presentation best practices

Also read:  Use These Presentation Apps To Rehearse Anywhere

7. Have an emergency plan

This does not include running off the stage. But it is a well known fact that something is bound to go wrong. It’s either the projector, the lights, the audio, the laptop, the fonts, etc. It’s always good to have a back-up plan. This way you won’t be blindsided, stressed and confused in case something goes off track. A useful tip is to check out the presentation room beforehand, so that you know what could go wrong.

Murphy’s kit: Have a printed out set of slides, data stick of your presentation and a laptop with your slides on it.

8. Involve the audience

One of the most powerful presentation techniques is inviting the audience in and have them contribute in some way. This will get them emotionally invested and it will differentiate you from inexperienced, nervous speakers.

Plan a inclusion of the audience in your presentation somewhere. It can be a slide with a question, a game or just an empty slide to help you connect with people and re-gain their full attention. Here are some ideas for audience activities–from a simple show of hands, to requests for brief personal input, to role playing and games, to small group exercises- and their merits:

IoT for Enterprise

9. Don’t read off the slides word for word

Please. Your audience is surely capable of doing that for themselves. They don’t need you to be standing in front of them reading off the screen.

Build your presentation in a way that it provides context for your speech, with visual elements and clear, simple ideas. Use your slides as outlines or conversation points that you build on, just like you would in a normal discussion. Experienced speakers often use slides to add a quick parenthetical note to something they’re saying to the audience.

10. Find the right speed

Most people go too fast. Mostly because they’re nervous or they’re pressured by the time constraints of the format. It’s really easy to rush through your content and speak very quickly, especially if you’re panicked. But it’s much easier for an audience to engage with your content and remember something if your delivery falls into a natural rhythm. Pace yourself and remember to punctuate your speech with pauses to emphasise key points.

Here’s a great exercise shared by Sims Wyeth , who learned it from Marian Rich, a voice and speech teacher in New York who worked with many famous actors to help them improve their vocal presence.

“The exercise will teach you that your voice is a wind instrument, and you must have ample air in your lungs to play it well.

Mark a paragraph / in this manner / into the shortest possible phrases. / First, / whisper it / with energetic lips, / breathing / at all the breath marks. / Then. / speak it / in the same way. / Do this / with a different paragraph / everyday. / Keep your hand / on your abdomen / to make sure / it moves out / when you breathe in / and moves in / when you speak.

Before you whisper each phrase, take a full bellyful of air and then pour all the air into that one phrase. Keep your throat open, and don't grind your vocal chords. Lift your whisper over your throat. Pause between phrases. Relax. Then, take another full breath and whisper the next phrase. Whisper as if you were trying to reach the back of the room.

Once you've whispered the paragraph, then go back to the start and speak it in a conversational way, but again, pour all the air into each phrase and honor the silence between phrases. I can't stress that enough. Take your own sweet time at the forward slashes.”

If you’re more of a slow talker, with a constant calm rhythm, you might run the risk of boring the audience. Keep people awake and interested by learning to increase your speaking speech without losing articulation and thought clarity. Start by learning what makes you slow. Record a one-minute monologue on tape and use a stopwatch or second hand; listen for the following types of slow spots.

keynote presentation best practices

11.  Include some humor

Humor can be one of the most powerful techniques for giving a great keynote presentation. You can use it in the beginning to relieve the tension in the room and help ease the transition into the bulk of the content. Appropriate humor that's true to you let's your audience get a sense of your personality and makes for a memorable presentation.

If you’re not a natural punster, do not despair. Anything can be learned. Here are a few techniques you can try:

12. Follow Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule

Guy Kawasaki wrote that a presentation “should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points”. Although this was meant for entrepreneurs creating pitch decks, it’s a useful pointer for keynote speeches as well, especially from a design point of view.

Opt for a legible font and type size. Don’t use eccentric fonts that will make it impossible to make out the actual words. Stick to standard, easy-to-read fonts, preferably sans-serif (fonts such as Arial or Helvetica).

13. Pause from time to time

Both in your speech and in your presentation, white space is an important component. Whitespace is a fundamental building block of good design. Its one of the first thing any visual designer is taught. However, to many speakers it is simply a waste of space that could be used to better promote their message or express an additional idea.

Speech pauses allow you to punctuate your spoken words, giving your listeners clues as to when one phrase, one sentence, or one paragraph ends, and the next begins. Brigitte Zellner notes that pauses “participate in rendering human communication more intelligible. (...) In other words, pauses “stick out like sore thumbs”, and thus may occupy “beacon” positions in speech, serving to structure the entire utterance for both speaker and listener.”

keynote presentation best practices

14. Try some icebreakers

Why not reference some fun facts? Or have audience members introduce themselves? The most effective keynotes are both informative and enjoyable at the same time.

“For the brain to remember, presenters must deviate from a pattern in some significant way.”

Carmen Simon, co-founder of Rexi Media

Although not everyone is comfortable with icebreakers it doesn’t hurt to try one or two and see how they work for your keynote. Here are some different icebreaker ideas.

15. Make it thematic

Another out of the box idea is to make the most of an upcoming or recent event/holiday/movie release etc. and create a thematic presentation. Go for a memorable appearance, costume and all, and a well-designed presentation to accompany your speech. Get the audience to remember your presentation by connecting it to something they like or even dislike. The emotional connection will help spark a valuable conversation and it will increase the chances of people remembering your ideas.

Connections among elements in memory can make a real difference. Art Markman uses the analogy of a bowl of peanuts in his book Smart Thinking. He says that if you take peanuts out one at a time, you get three peanuts when you reach into the bowl three times. But, if you pour caramel over the peanuts, then when you pull one out, you get a whole cluster. After you draw from the bowl three times, you may have gotten almost all of the peanuts out. Memory functions in a similar way. By encouraging connections among the key points in your talk, you help pour caramel over the peanuts in memory and increases the amount that people remember from what you present.

17 Presentation Techniques For A Great Keynote

16. Stay connected

Make sure you have an offering for the gods of social media. A tweetable bit on a slide, a hashtag to connect online and to encourage comments and debates or a website with online resources. Connect this technique with the one on involving the audience and you’ll get online engagement as well as offline.

Your “tweetables” should resonate with the audience and to do that they need to be catchy. Use strong verbs and keep it short. Think about what you want your audience to take away from your presentation.

17. Share your slides after the event

It’s nice to build a long term relationship with your audience. After all, they will be the ones ensuring your the growing reach of your ideas. Sharing your slides is a great way to help them recall the content of your presentation. It’s also a great way to encourage engagement after the event so don’t forget to include the date, time and title of the presentation as well as your contact details.

Let them know that you’ll be making the slides available from the very beginning of the presentation so that they don’t feel the need to spend too much time taking notes instead of watching you. But don’t share your slides before the presentation otherwise you’ll spoil the show and give people an excuse to leave without watching.

What are some other powerful presentation techniques that work for you?

10 Steps to becoming a Keynote Speaker 0

If you’re looking to step up your public speaking game, check out these 10 easy steps to becoming a keynote speaker!

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Keynote for Apple Mac: 15+ Top Presentation Tips & Tricks for 2019

Jay Inman

For many people, presentations are overwhelming. They struggle with the delivery or design of the slides, and the result is a mess that bores audiences. But with a few proper Keynote tips, you can deliver a successful Keynote presentation that wows the audience!

Great looking Keynote slide

Taking cues from Apple's iconic production introductions, we can learn a lot about how to use Keynote to make great presentations. In this tutorial, we'll check out top tips for how to build Keynote presentations.

Also, before you jump into these quick Keynote tips be sure to grab a copy of our free eBook:  The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations .  It'll help you master the presentation process, from: initial idea, through writing, design, and delivering with impact.

Making Great Presentations eBook Free Download

15 Top Tips for Keynote Presentations

Every presenter can benefit from these Keynote presentation tips. Each of the 15 tips below will help you improve your delivery or the Keynote slides visuals you share. In either case, they're sure to improve your Mac Keynote presentation.

We've also got longer-form resources that'll teach you to use the features in full. Make sure to jump to the tutorials embedded in the Keynote design tips below to master the skill completely.

1. Borrow From Apple Presentations With  Built-in Themes

If you're looking to capture the spirit of the well-known, minimalist Apple presentations that Steve Jobs made famous, try out the built-in themes.

The base for any Keynote is the theme. It controls the fonts, color scheme, and more. When choosing a theme, I recommend sticking to the simple ones that'll showcase your content without distractions, such as the minimalist Apple presentation styles that are included.

To select a theme and get started on crafting your Keynote, open the Keynote application and go to File > New or press the Command+N keys. Apple provides dozens of ready-made presets for use. Make sure to choose between Standard and Wide based on the format of the screen that you'll present on.

Choose built-in Keynote template

However, this isn't the only way to style your presentation. We'll talk more about using premium Keynote design templates in a tip below, but here's a sneak preview of 19 of the best options:

keynote presentation best practices

2. Use and Format Text Carefully

The basis for most Keynote presentations is text that explains your points. But, text in Keynote slides is a double-edged sword: essential for the explanation, but it must be used sparingly. Presentation experts recommend only four or five words per bullet point, and only four or five bullet points per slide.

Ultimately, you'll want to use as few words as possible to present your information. Keynotes loaded with text will bore and overwhelm your audience. Speaking points should be the basis for most presentations.

Less text more focus

The Mac Keynote presentation is simply there to reinforce your main ideas and your structure, and also to communicate visually when needed. Bullet points are prompts for concepts or ideas on which you can expand.

Consistency in font use is also very important. This means that you pick one or two fonts and stick with those throughout. Use consistent font sizes in certain places throughout the Keynote and you'll build a uniform presentation.

Clean Typography Example

Color (or often, the lack thereof) is key to presenting text well. Generally speaking, you should use black or dark grey for most of your text. For lines or headers that you want to accent, use a color that fits with your theme to ensure your text is smoothly integrated in your Keynote presentation.

3. Present Data With Graphs and Charts

Keynote has some incredible three-dimensional charts and graphs. Whenever you've got data sets to communicate, don’t hesitate to dive into these tools and create a beautiful visual. Generally, pie charts are used to show percentages, bar graphs show comparisons, and line charts show trends over time.

Charts are essential to carefully presenting data. Instead of overwhelming your audience with lists and numbers, charts provide a visual look at information.

To create one of these visuals in Keynote, go to Insert > Chart and select the appropriate chart for your use. The chart will appear. Enter your data to start building visual stories for your key metrics.

Update Chart Data Keynote

4. Use Animations Wisely

Animations are the Keynote effects that bring objects onto or off of a slide. They're ideal for bringing objects on or off a slide with an impact while speaking. Add them from the  Animate menu. 

To add an animation to your Mac Keynote presentation, select an object, then click  Add an Effect  from the menu. Then, pick an animation effect from the drop-down.

Add animations Keynote presentation

Just make sure to use them sparingly and keep the transition time to a minimum. Also, only use the more movement-based transitions for elements that you really want to accent. The idea is to animate objects with the proper timing to support your speaking point.

Make sure to check out this full guide that shows you how to use Keynote animations:

keynote presentation best practices

5. Plan for the Presentation

Keynote includes some great functionality to improve your speaking during your presentation. With Keynote for iOS, you can use your device as a remote for your Keynote presentation.

Keynote also includes a Presenter Notes  section. Basically, for each slide, you can add detailed notes about how and what you're going to speak during that slide to coincide with what's on the screen. This could include your outline, facts, statistics, keywords, etc. To view and edit presenter notes, just go to View > Show Presenter Notes . 

Keynote speaker notes

Best of all? You'll see your Presenter Notes while using Keynote for iOS on your device, so you can use it as your speaking cue tool.

6. Use Flowcharts to Show Processes

As we discussed above, Mac Keynote presentations should avoid text-heavy slides. They'll lose your audience's attention. For step-by-step processes, it's a great idea to use a flowchart instead of describing a process. 

Use flowcharts in a Keynote presentation to map out a project, show the history of events, or explain a business process.


Check out the tutorial below for a complete guide to flowcharts:

keynote presentation best practices

7. Tell Stories With Timelines

One of the most powerful storytelling tools is a timeline. It helps an audience connect the past to the present and relate events. That's why I consistently recommend using a timeline as a tool that links events together in sequence. With a timeline, you can craft the history of events that lead to the present—or even into the future.

Timeline Slide Rubick

Learn how to use a timeline in your next Keynote presentation with this tutorial:

keynote presentation best practices

8. Use Templates as a Keynote Design Headstart

Earlier in this tutorial, we briefly reviewed the built-in Keynote templates that you can use to design your presentation. But, it's not the only way that you can rapidly design your next Keynote presentation. 

If you only remember one Apple Keynote presentation tip, it's this: use pre-built templates from the professionals. When you use pre-built Keynote presentations, you save time and have hundreds of visual ideas for building your presentations.

There are two great options for sourcing the Keynote presentation templates that set you apart from your peers: ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Envato Elements , and ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">Envato Market . Elements is an all-you-can-download option for Keynote presentations, while Envato Market allows you to pay one by one for templates.

If you want to see round-ups with the best templates from each marketplace, check out the Apple Keynote presentation examples below:

keynote presentation best practices

9. Grab the Audience's Attention With Each Slide Change

A strong opening will grab the audience's attention at the outset of your Mac Keynote presentation, sure. But here's a Keynote tip that you should keep in mind: you should try to re-establish attention and interest on each and every slide change.

My favorite way to do this is to use  Magic Move,  a Keynote presentation transition effect that links Keynote slides together. It's one of those effects you've got to see in action to have an appreciation for what it can do. This Apple Keynote presentation tip will help you refocus on each slide change:

keynote presentation best practices

10. Revisit Your Slide Sequencing

As a writer, one of the most important steps is zooming out from your work and ensuring that the order of the content makes sense. This is just as important when it comes to giving presentations. What if you re-ordered your Keynote slides in a new order that brought your message together in a way that really helped you reach your audience?

One of my top Apple Keynote presentation tips is to use  Light Table View  to do just that. Use the  View > Light Table  menu option to see all of your slides with a top-down view. Drag and drop the thumbnails into a new order to re-sequence your presentation.

Light table View

When you use Keynote's Light Table View , you've got a complete view of your presentation. It helps you consider the message as a whole. Consider using it to re-sequence your Keynote presentation.

11. Make Your Keynote Presentation Shareable

You may need to share your presentation with others. And the fact of the matter is that Keynote isn't the most popular presentation software. That's why it helps to convert your presentation to other formats, so that anyone can open it.

For a Keynote tip to convert your presentation to more popular formats like PowerPoint and PDF, check out this tutorial:

keynote presentation best practices

12. Add More Visuals to Your Keynote Presentation

Audiences have come to expect visual-heavy presentations. That means beefing up your Mac Keynote presentation with images, video clips, and graphics. It's one of the best ways to add variety to your slides.

Another advantage of using ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Envato Elements is that it includes stock imagery and graphics. The same subscription that gives you access to unlimited Keynote templates also unlocks stock images and graphics that can bring your presentation to life.

Images on Envato Elements

Check out the tutorials below for a complete guide to working with images and video in Keynote:

keynote presentation best practices

13. Accommodate Your Audience with Keynote Live

One of the most important Apple Keynote presentation tips is to accommodate your audience. That means making arrangements so that as many people as possible can join you to watch your presentation.

That's why I love  Keynote Live,  which enables you to broadcast your presentation online. Even if your audience can't gather in the same room, Keynote Live can bring everyone together to hear your message.

Check out the full tutorial below to learn how your Keynote presentation can reach anyone:

keynote presentation best practices

14. Master the Art of Keynote Layouts

Sure, the Mac Keynote presentation exists to serve your speaking points. But knowing your way around the app is crucial to working quickly and re-allocating your time to research and prep for your presentation. Check out the article below to make the most of your Keynote slide layouts:

keynote presentation best practices

15. Align the Presentation Style With Your Purpose

Above all, your presentation should align with your purpose. Every slide deck can be customized for the message, and it helps to choose visuals that match the category.

One thing that helps you to ensure alignment is to use topic-specific Keynote templates. On template libraries like ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Envato Elements and ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">Envato Market , there are thousands of highly tailored templates for practically any purpose.

An example of this is pitch deck templates. It's a specific category of presentation that's got some specifics that the audience will expect. Learn more about this presentation format below:

keynote presentation best practices

Make a Great Keynote Presentation Today

Now you know how to make great Keynote presentations: from using theme settings, to working with text and graphics professionally, to applying simple animation, and more.

With these 15 Apple Keynote presentation tips in hand, putting together memorable presentations in Keynote is a breeze. Ultimately, make your presentation something that you would want to watch. Remember that a Keynote presentation is designed to reinforce your delivery instead of substituting for it.

Download Our (Free) eBook on Making Great Presentations 

We also have the perfect complement to the quick Apple Keynote presentation tips in this article. It'll help you learn how to write, design, and deliver great presentations—deconstructing the entire process:

Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation

Grab  The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations  now for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. Get your ideas formed into a powerful presentation that'll move your audience. 

Start Using These Keynote Design Tips Today!

You've just learned more about how to use Keynote, including some Keynote design tips. We've also shared Apple Keynote presentation examples from the ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">professionally-designed pre-built presentation templates on Envato Elements and ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">GraphicRiver .

Why note download a template and start using these Keynote design tips for your next presentation?

Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published in September of 2013. It's been comprehensively revised to make it current, accurate, and up to date by our staff--with special assistance from Andrew Childress .

Jay Inman


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