Three confessions: I give presentations. I collect things. I’m a Keynote user. What’s that mean?
It means I collect Keynote themes. The more the merrier. Some are good, some are bad, some are ugly, some are simply made in heaven.
If you’ve seen Microsoft’s PowerPoint or a PowerPoint slide presentation, then you’ve seen what Apple’s Keynote is not. Keynote is better, easier to use, more flexible, and more graphic.
Keynote 3 is the latest version, and many of us expect an updated Keynote whenever Apple gets around to delivering on iLife ‘07 or whatever it will be called.
My husband Jack and I are into presentations. We’re experienced with PowerPoint, Mac and Windows, but over the past few years we’ve fallen in love with Apple’s Keynote, a part of iWork ‘08.
Seriously, a slide show presentation from a computer is a dime a dozen these days. We’ve all sat through more meetings with PowerPoint presentations than I’ve received email from that Nigerian guy who wants to share his fortune with me.
What Keynote does differently is provide an elegant, straightforward way to go from blah lah boring slide shows, to screens that are actually attractive, move the eye from point to point, and keep people awake, looking for the next point.
Apple does all that with a delightful interface, some superb transitions and text animation, all of which combine for a near cinema-quality show ‘n tell.
Keynote presentations start two ways. The first is the outline of what you information you want to get across in the slides. The second is the theme. There’s a whole world of Keynote themes available that go far beyond the meager offerings from Apple.
Among my five favorite Keynote theme makers is Keynote Pro, and my favorite is Pitchboards Pro. This is a widescreen storyboard theme for Keynote with extra slide options, extra screen areas, even HD themes.
Keynote Pro also has themes which are optimized for export to the iPods with video.
An early Keynote theme producer, Keynote Theme Park offers a stack of themes that incorporate transitions with custom chart fills, translucent fills, photo cut outs, and power fills.
These photo cut outs bleed off opposite sides of a slide, which make for ultra cool transitions from slide to slide. Cut outs are designed to keep viewers watching for the next animation.
One of our favorite Mac developers is Jumsoft. They publish Money, Process, Operation, and Relationship—all business and productivity oriented Mac applications. They also publish a bunch of excellent Keynote themes.
Keynote themes seem to range in price from around $5 each up to nearly $25 each, though when purchased in a package of five or 10, the per theme price drops substantially.
If presentations are your thing then you’ll love the tips, tricks, and troubleshooting items at KeynoteUser.
This site offers themes, downloads, tutorials, reviews, and support for Keynote users. Alexis, the Mac360 Value Vixen, was quick to point out that KeynoteUser also has free Keynote themes.
Last but not least on my list is Keynote HQ, which features a large selection of themes, including some that are free, and other utilities you can download to assist your presentation.
My favorites themes come from Keynote Pro and Keynote Theme Park. I love those cut outs.
For the ultimate in Keynote presentations, add a dash of ProfCast and make a movie of your presentation that you can handout. Remember the days when all we got was a stack of paper with each slide and some notes? ProfCast is like broadcasting and recording the whole presentation.
On average, I do four or five Keynote presentations a week for classes or school functions and meetings. A few dozen Keynote themes, beyond those from Apple, make my presentations a Snooze Free Zone™.
Are you a Keynote user? How many themes do you have? Who is your favorite theme maker? Share your Keynote experience in the Comments section below.