A Tip To Make Your Keynote Presentation Shine

One of the basic tenets of a good slide show is that there is a minimum number of words on each slide. Think of your words as thought generators rather than information. You are there to share the information.

There is a cool visual that you can use to splash one sentence or heading on a slide and have each piece of text appear individually, and with a bit of pizazz.

To have information appear and disappear on a slide use these steps.

Select the slide you want to use. It helps to use one with predetermined elements such as the placement of central information as demonstrated below. It will also contain recommended font size and color that work well with the background. After you get comfortable with this method you can experiment with placement, font, etc.


Enter the text you want featured into the text box. If there is too much text to fit nicely in the suggested box, double click on the box lines and make it bigger by dragging on the corners. Remember though that your text is a thought generator, not a complete description.


Once you start rearranging the sizes of text boxes you can center them once again by right-clicking in the center of the box. Guide lines will appear when your text box is once again centered.


When your text is entered to your satisfaction, you can start the animation process. Click on the Animate option in the top right corner of your Keynote screen. You will see options for “Build in”, “Action”, and “Build Out”.


Highlight the text box in question. If you want the text to appear when you open the slide, simply click on Build Out” and then click on “Add an Effect”. Choose your effect. Don’t get so flamboyant that you distract from your message.

When I choose Disappear the app will show me that this is my first action and that it will happen all at once.


Now I have two choices. I can enter my second line of text right on top of the first which makes for a smooth transition, or I can place it elsewhere on the page. Start by copying your existing text box and pasting it somewhere on the page. Delete the old text and enter the new text. To place it on top of the existing text just drag the text box to the appropriate point. This animation activity will take two steps. The text box should still be highlighted.

First choose “Build in” and select your action. Then choose “Build out” and select that action. In this sample I choose appear and confetti. Continue this process as many times as needed. The latest version of Keynote will assume you want to continue the pattern so you don’t have to make the same choices over and over.


My finished slide looks like this before I tell the slide show to play.


And when viewed by an audience, the slide show will look like this. Although this movie moves through the slides automatically, in real life you get to talk as much as you want and then manually click for the next topic.

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