Keynote tips before a presentation

In a previous post about Keynote, I had mentioned that this is one of the software packages I used to support while working at Applecare in California. In the five years of answering panicked calls from customers who had problems with Keynote, I have a few tips. That will not only reduce your stress but could save your job, grade or pride.

Keynotes tips for OSX

Don’t Panic

Stage fright!!!! I get it! !

Everyone who ever called me at the call centre asking for support with Keynote has always been in a panic. Personally, I do not blame them. It is a very stressful situation to discover there is something wrong five minutes before you are supposed to be on stage. However Panic is not going to help you. When I say don’t panic … there is a reason

When you panic your IQ drops because your brain is in fight or flight mode. This is not going to help you find a solution to your problem. Remember that if you are about to give a presentation there is a good chance that you are already an expert on the topic and the Keynote slides are just a tool. Nobody is there to see the slides … they are there for you. (Did that just make things better or worse )

Either way, if you relax for a moment take another look at the problem and look for simple solutions. There is a good chance you have overlooked something. The number of people who have called me in a panic to discover they just needed to click and the obvious button is staggering. .. Stop .. take a deep breath and look at it again. (Or call me for support ) I have a ton of Keynote tips

Test the presentation the day before

This is a big one! The amount of sales reps who threw together a presentation and an hour before they were supposed to do the sales report for the VP of Sales is crazy. If something goes wrong you will have hours to fix the problem and will not be in a panic.

I recommend testing it three times. Once with just the technical aspect. Making sure the slides load. Checking the animations. Check for spelling (this is a big one for me) and just to be clear I have a list of things for you to consider

  • You are not to busy to avoid looking like a fool
  • If the presentation is important it is important enough to check the day before
  • IF there is a real problem you can call someone like me and have it fixed hours before the presentation.

Look at the projector before the presentation top of the Keynote tips

My wife wanted to check the venue for our last presentation. I did not think we needed to … Queue nightmare of adapters not working

Kevin C Mason (The guy who should have listened to his wife)

The most abusive calls I have ever received was from customers who show up to do a presentation for a company to find out their projector is 10 years old and does not have any compatible ports. This is not the computers fault. and honestly, there is nothing I can do to help you. If you do not have the right adapter you will just need to run and find one. By looking at the projector hours before (or better yet like my wife suggested DAYS) the presentation you can make sure you have the right adapters.

PRO TIP: Do not call ahead and ask if the projector has an HDMI port. There is a good chance the person who you are talking to has no idea what an HDMI port is. Ask for the Model number of the projector then look it up on Google.

~Kevin C Mason

Adapters are not expensive so having a good selection with you will always be a good idea. Not only will it reduce your stress it will show that you are prepared. You can pick up a few adapters

Avoid Stringing together adapters to work

At our last presentation … You know the one where I should have listened to my wife and visited the day before. (Insert public shame here).

The Projector was actually a current model. However, it was mounted on the ceiling where we were unable to physically reach it. Even though the adapter had TWO HDMI ports that would have worked amazingly with my Macbook the only cable connected was VGA (Do people even have computers that can use VGA? That should have died years before CD Drives)

My thinking was that I would use the collection of adapters, Mini Display port > HDMI > VGA.. Seems easy right .. NOPE the projector would not work.

It is actually worth the time and money if you are going to be giving a lot of presentations to find adapters for any situation without having to string them together. We are actually going to consider getting our own projector and eliminating the problem altogether.

Lucky we were able to expert the Keynote to Powerpoint (See below) and still was able to do the presentation. (Presentation was on Basic Internet Security for Seniors In Lithgow )

Export the file to different formats

There was one customer who called that discovered that the IT support would not allow outside computers to be used inside the corporate building. The problem was that the customer had a mac and everyone else had a PC. So their presentation could not be used.

Having a USB stick with a whole bunch of different formats would have been useful at this point. This will also be useful if the Macbook is stolen before the presentation ( I have had someone call about that too )

When you export from Keynote to Powerpoint you do need to know that a lot of the transitions and animations will not work the way you intend.

Upload your presentation to iCloud the biggest of the Keynote tips

You want a lifesaver this is a big one. One of the really nice things is that you can run the slideshow off a browser. So even if you discover that when you arrive to give a presentation and they will not allow you to use your computer then use them and load your presentation off iCloud (Remember to log out after you are done)

The presentation will actually work out of the browser as if you had installed the software on their computer. Also, you can never lose the presentation.

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