Presenting your work with Powerpoint, Keynote and other softwares
Part I: Presentation Overview (20 mins)
The aim of this workshop is to take you beyond the basic technology of presentation software applications (Powerpoint and Keynote) to point to ways that you can harness the software to help you make an impact with your presentation. However, even if your presentation is beautiful and inspiring, its effect can be lost if your own style in terms of body and voice is ineffectual. So I will also be addressing this important and often overlooked aspect of presentation.
General pointers about presenting your work
· I will be talking about voice projection and demonstrating a couple of breathing exercises you can do. The main point here is that if you don’t support your voice with the muscles of your body, your voice will go “off the breath”, and then you are guaranteed to lose your audience.
· How to control nerves and nervous habits that may divert your audience from your presentation.
· When and how to read from a script. How the software can help you.
An Overview of Presentation Softwares
In this workshop I will be focusing on two principal presentation software applications: Microsoft Powerpoint, which is now virtually identical on both PC and Mac platforms and Apple’s Keynote 3, which runs only on a Mac but articulates well with Powerpoint. In order to show your presentation to an audience, you will need to show it through a laptop (Mac or PC) which has the program installed, and which is connected to an LCD projector.
There are alternative workaraounds, including presenting through a Web browser, that I will discuss in Part III.
Presentation software is ‘slideware.’ It can enhance a lecture. It can act as the basic “notes” for your lecture. It is, however, potentially much more than a “slideshow”.
Some people love Powerpoint, among whom is David Byrne, responding to the critique by Edward Tufte (see below)
Some Dos and Don’ts in using Presentation Software
A major critic of Powerpoint as a presentation tool is graphic designer Edward Tufte (answered by David Byrne),
Tufte and others (maybe your undergraduate students) have some suggestions as to what you should not do in Powerpoint and Keynote. Some of these have to do with presentation in general:
· Minimize your use of bullets (but it’s such a temptation!)
· Minimize the amount (but not the size) of text on a slide. If you are going to say the text, there is no need to have the full text on the slide (unless you want students to read it for you)
· Think of the rhythm of your presentation and how it synchronizes with your own commentary. So don’t have a slide up for too long, but conversely don’t whiz through a bunch of slides to make everyone seasick.
· The strength of presentation software is its ability to juxtapose different media (especially appealing to our audio-visual senses), and to add movement to these media through transitions and animation. Audiences love movement and (contrary to what you may have heard at grade-school) it does not detract from the scientific or professional value of your content.
Just a reminder: Powerpoint and Keynote will not act as:
· A replacement for a good paper or intellectual thought or even a good drawing on paper.
· A replacement for human interaction.
· A replacement for decent organization of information.
Forms of Content/Media that go into a digital presentation
Content for your presentation will depend on your topic, your style (you are more wordy or more into imagery; you are more didactic or more poetic). But it will also depend on what is out there that you can access and use (legally and in practice).
Your options include:
· Still Images:
· 35mm slides (scanned by you or professionally)
· Photographic prints (scanned)
· Drawings, maps, charts: these are often better when drawn in Powerpoint itself.
· Digitized images (these may need to be modified in Adobe Photoshop)
· Movies: Digitized Video as Quicktime movies, Flash movies, QTVR
· Sound-clips: voice (including your voice-over, music, sound effects)
· Text: this is better written in Powerpoint directly on the slide
· Links to websites (you’ll need the URLs)
At this point I will mention the importance of citing the source of your media (even in a presentation) and some Intellectual Property issues, but I don’t have time to go into a big discussion of what you may or may not use in your presentations.
Useful resources include the California Digital Library and Calisphere
Creative Commons focuses on the nature of different access licenses from Copyright, through Some Rights Reserved to Fair Use and Public Domain: .
The University of California Copyright education page:
Part II: Adding content to your digital presentation (50 mins)
The steps that go into adding content to your presentation include:
Selection of content
Preparation of the content (digitizing, correcting size and format, manipulating etc). This will be done using other software (Photoshop, iMovie, Quicktime) or within the software programs themselves
Placing content and creating the slide
Enhancing the slide with transitions between slides and animations of objects within a slide.
Powerpoint and Keynote act very similarly in these different steps, but sometimes one or the other is better at it (I will point this out as we go along).
In this 90 min workshop I obviously don’t have time to go into detail of “how to” at each of these steps. However, there is a website for this workshop where you can download DIY tutorial movies that describe the steps in more detail.
Selection of Content
Your content may be owned by you, but it as likely to have been created by someone else. When you use any of these media – whether from a book or scraped or downloaded off the Internet – in your presentation, you are remixing them and creating something new out of their work. I am very much in favor of this process and the Open Knowledge movement (along with the Creative Commons people). I am part of the OKAPI project (Open Knowledge and the Public Interest) that is developing a serious resource for anthropological teachers and researchers.
In this process of remixing, you the creator of the remix might want to think about how you feel about sharing your own media and presentations….
Remember to note the source of what you access and re-use – even if they are your own media. I will show you a couple of tricks to scrape/download images from the Internet. I will also show you a couple of on-line sources of images.
· 35mm transparency (film) slides and printed images: are scanned (at minimum 200 dpi) to create their digital counterpart. In Adobe Photoshop or an equivalent image editing software you can prepare the image for the presentation software (see below).
· Digitized/scanned images: In Adobe Photoshop or an equivalent image editing software (e.g. iPhoto) you can manipulate their color, brightness, contrast, size. Most importantly you need to make sure that all images (esp. those images scanned at 200 dpi) have a resolution of 72 dpi and that they are (if possible) big enough for a full-screen picture (800×600 pixels) but not much bigger than this. If you do not follow these suggestions your file size will be too big and especially Powerpoint will crash and that will be embarrassing! Here are the recommended settings:
· Resolution: 72 dpi.
· Image size not larger than 800×600 pixels (ca. 7.5 inches wide).
· Save the image as a JPEG image, name the file: filename.jpg. with Maximum quality (10) for color, and High (6-8) for B/W.
Note: In Powerpoint and Keynote you can adjust a number of properties of photographic images in the properties inspector: brightness, contrast, transparency, trim. You can even adjust the size, but this should be done as much as possible ahead of time with Photoshop. In Powerpoint and Keynote, you can draw and write on top of your imported pictures both before and (Powerpoint only) during your presentation.
· Line drawings, charts, tables: can be drawn in Powerpoint itself, but you can also import them as a pict-, jpeg- or tiff-formatted file from any vector drawing program (Freehand, Illustrator, Canvas, CorelDraw etc.). NOTE: It is generally easier to read and more pleasing to the eye if the drawings and charts are produced in Powerpoint and Keynote. Both these applications have the ability to create very beautiful tables and charts from data imported from a spreadsheet (eg Excel) or from data you enter while in the application (I’ll demo this).
· Movie clips: This is where the two applications differ somewhat. Keynote is very good at displaying movies, and can handle quite large files. For both programs you should export your movies into Quicktime format (using Quicktime Pro $29 or another movie editing program, eg iMovie) choosing the following settings:
· MPEG4 compression (or H.264),
· 740×480 pixel size;
· sound uncompressed 44 mhz 16 bit
One minute of movie footage = 4 MB of file size. If the movie is too large for your slide its dimensions can be reduced in Powerpoint and Keynote, but its file size will remain the same (this principal holds true for still images). Keynote, unlike Poiwerpoint it cannot display QuicktimeVR movies. You can also import Flash movies (.fla) into both programs. Keynote will display movie controls while your presentation is running, Powerpoint will not.
· Sound:In Powerpoint you can record your commentary as voice over so that it goes along with the slides. In both programs you can import sound files (.aiff. mp3, .wav) and place them on each slide. Settings for sound should be: uncompressed 44 mhz 16 bit. You can record them using a number of applications (including Audacity: a free cross-platform, user friendly audio editing program: (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/). As with movies, you can set the sounds to play after a time delay or on a mouse-click (see below) NOTE: Powerpoint 97/98 does not support mp3 files, Powerpoint 2000/2001 and later versions do.
· Text: this is best written in Powerpoint or Keynote. You can import text files from Word but they are generally unreadable. In both presentation applications you have a wide variety of fonts, sizes, colors. And Powerpoint allows you to do those silly text manipulations. You can add borders, and shapes as backgrounds for your text. Powerpoint has a larger range of such shapes that are made to be filled with text. But Keynotes has a better rendering of fonts.
· Storing and Organizing your Content: Keynote is much better than Powerpoint about embedding files such as movies and sound files. Powerpoint needs all the associated files to be easily accessible near the presentation file. Whichever you are using, it’s a good idea to put all your content media into a single folder that you could call “Assets” or “Media” with folders inside this called “images”, “movies”, “sound”. This is good practice, and will also be essential if you want to move your presentation from one physical place to another. In the later versions of Powerpoint you can save the file as a Powerpoint Package which collects all the media you have used in the presentation into a separate folder that you can move from one place to another.
· General Rule for Content Preparation: Small is Beautiful! As a rule, all media need to be as small as possible in terms of file size, using intensive compression formats (jpg, tiff, png, mp3, mpeg4, etc.). You can assume that low resolution will look fine on your screen.
Placing content and creating the slide
For many of these steps I will not go into detail at all in the workshop but will indicate that there exists – or will soon exist – a tutorial which demonstrates the step.
1. When you open Powerpoint (P) or Keynote (K), you will be asked if this is a new or existing presentation. It will be new. If you don’t want to use the ready-made themes, choose “Blank presentation”(P) or “white” (K). The Keynote themes are very attractive. I usually avoid using the ones in Powerpoint. You can find the Powerpoint themes in the Project Gallery under “Presentations”.
2. In both applications you can choose a slide format. By default, the opening slide will be a title and sub-title. When you add a new slide the format by default will be Title at the top and bullet text filling the slide (eeek), but you can easily change this. You can get rid of the text boxes by selecting them, and then going to Menu: Edit>Clear or hit the delete button. You can go to the Format menu and choose Slide Layout (P) or View menu and choose “Show Master slides (K) and choose the layout you want. I actually prefer to choose the one with Title at the top and nothing else, giving me the freedom to put content wherever I want it.
3. Examine the toolbars at the top of the screen. If you press on an icon and wait for a couple of seconds, a label of what the icon does will pop up. You can hide or show other toolbars by going to the top menu bar and choosing: View>Toolbars (P). Powerpoint has a very useful “Drawing” toolbar. Most of the icon commands are repeated in commands in the top menubar (but these are harder to find). If you need help, there is a useful help menu in the top menu bar. Both applications have a more detailed set of options in the “Formatting palette”(P) and Inspector (K) which we shall use frequently later in the workshop.
4. You can view your slide-show in several different ways (choose the view in Menu>View) or in the toolbar at the bottom left of the screen (press and hold on an icon for a description of what it is to pop up)(P)
(*see movie) :
· Slide-sorter view (P) or Light-table (K):Thumbnails contain some indication about transitions, hidden slides, timings. In this view you can move slides around, or discard them, or hide them from view.
· Slide View (P) or Outline and Navigator(K): this is the view you use for composing the slide and adding content. The titles of the slides are indicated down the left-hand side. In this view you can also see and compose the notes that go with the slide (maybe script)(P). To compose notes in Keynote you need to change to a view called Navigator. Here you can’t see titles, but you get a true thumbnail down the left side.
· Slide Show view: this is the view where you can rehearse and run your presentation. And see if there are problems. In Keynote you simply press the Play button to gain this view. Both applications allow you to use Presenter Display while you play your show. This is a kind of secret view you have of your notes and timings etc.
· Notes View (P): this is useful to a certain extent. Here you can import (from MS Word) and/or write a text that goes with the slide for your voice-over. You get a small version of the slide in this view. Here you can also write notes as you plan your show. And in the latest version of Powerpoint you can use your notes as your script while you present your project. This is also useful for composing handouts of your presentation.
5 Using the Slide Master View: (View>Master). To help you create a consistent “look” to your presentation, you can start by creating a Master Slide.. Here you can set the color scheme for your presentation, font type and sizes for text. Here you can also add other elements that you want to appear throughout your presentation such as a banner, the date, mini-title, or slide number running through to presentation (*see movie).
SAVE your work frequently
You will add content to your slides in Slide View(P) or Navigator (K). You start to construct your first slide, then add a new slide and so on. Menu>Insert>new slide (P) or hit the + sign (K).
6. Adding Images or Movies. Insert>Picture>from file or clip art (P) or Insert>Choose…(K). This will prompt you to find a media item on your hard drive. Once the image pops onto your slide, you can move the image around to a desired position. I will demo changing the size of the image, crop it, and other tricks
7. Adding Text: You can add a text box for a caption for your picture (and/or to cite its source). You can also insert a bulleted text box. You can change the size of your font by selecting and changing it in the Formatting Palette (P) or Inspector (K). Make sure your text is READABLE on screen (min. 16pt; PCs : use Internet ready fonts)!
8. Drawing: Powerpoint’s drawing toolbar (Menu>View>Toolbar>Drawing) is much better than Keynote’s Shapes. I will demo some of these useful tools. Tables and Charts on the other hand are good in both (*see movie).
Composing your slide: You will have a lot of elements on your slide: images, text etc. Try not to make it too crowded – it’s better to spread out on to more slides. And try to keep the positioning of titles etc. relatively consistent. You can layer images and text and drawing in the Drawing toolbar. Here you can also group and align your elements.
Enhancing the slide
Slides are greatly enhanced by the use of transitions between slides and animations of objects within a slide.
· Slide Transitions are created in Menu>Slideshow:Slide Transition (P) or the Inspector (K). Here you can specify whether you want the transition to the next slide to happen on a click of the mouse, or after a certain number of seconds delay and what kind of effect you want. I have to say that it is in slide transition that Keynote excels. But beware of using too many different transitions in a single presentation, or of using some of the more outrageous transitions to frequently. You will be fine if you just keep with a slow Dissolve
· Animation can, like transitions, be overdone and become tiresome. However, I will demonstrate that with carefully planned animation, layering, and transitioning, you can create the illusion of a moving show or an interactive presentation.
· To animate an object on a slide you simply select it and then go to the Menu>Slideshow>Preset Animation or Custom Animation (you can access this also on the formatting palette (P) or go to the Build Inspector (K).
· In the Custom Animation (P) and Build Inspector (K) you can specify a specific animation (which can include a sound) when the object appears and when it leaves the screen
· You can specify the sequence of animations of different objects on your slide. This can get quite complex, as I’ll show in the workshop. It means that you can have several objects layered one of top of the other on a single slide, but showing up only one at a time. Keynote has a particularly elegant way of organizing this. Its animations are also very beautiful.
· You can specify the timing of the animation to start on a mouseclick, or automatically with or after another animation or the slide transition. Both Keynote and Powerpoint animate text by paragraph, but Powerpoint is especially good with its animation of text, allowing each letter or word to be animated, and change color.
Hyperlinks are another way of animating your presentation and giving the illusion of interactivity. They also enable you to link your presentation to the Internet. In both programs you can select an object on your slide and have it link to a another slide in your presentation, or to an Internet URL. With the latter, during your show, the hyperlink will take you to your web browser (so you need to make sure you are connected to the Internet), but will automatically bring you back into your presentation at the correct place (*see movie).
· Powerpoint has some preset hyperlink buttons (Slideshow>Action Buttons). But you can also make your own, or choose a picture.
· To add a hyperlink go to Men>Slideshow>Action Settings (or choose Hyperlink in the Formatting Pallette)(P) or Inspector>Hyperlinks (or Insert>Text Hyperlink)(K). In Powerpoint, this is where you can also associate an object with a sound….
· In Keynote, if you are already linked to the Internet, you can show an active screenshot of a webpage within your show which will take you to your browser.
Part III Ways to Output your Powerpoint or Keynote presentation
Viewing and Running your presentation
· Rehearsing: As in any other performance enterprise (and your presentation is no different) the more you can rehearse, the better will be your performance.
o In SlideSorter (P) or Light-table (K) view, you can view your presentation as a whole, and decide on the final order of the slides and perhaps decide to hide some (Slideshow>Hide slide – P; Slide>Skip Slide – K) (*see movie).
o If you need to add a script you can add this to the “Notes” (see above). But in your presentation, this will only be useful if you have the Presenter Tools activated (next note)
o In the latest version of Powerpoint and in Keynote you can have a secret view of what you are presenting during the presentation itself. Unless you have a second monitor, it is hard to practice with these tools until you are connected to the projector. In Powerpoint (Slideshow>View Presenter Tools), you cannot edit the Presenter Tool interface, but you will see time and notes, and current and future slides. In Keynote (Keynote>Preferences>Presenter Display) you can precisely edit the secret display to show what and how you want. Very useful. (*see movie)
o Once you are running your presentation, Powerpoint and Keynote both have keyboard shortcuts to advance slides etc. In Powerpoint, you can also use a pen and pointer, but not when you have Presenter Tools activated. In Keynote, to activate the pointer, go to Preferences again and go to Slideshow and click on “Show pointer when mouse moves”.
o Practice, Practice, Practice. Don’t speak too fast, nor in quick bursts with long pauses (à la George Bush). Just speak with a regular rhythm. If you have to speak fast to get everything in, risk telling your audience a little less!
Preparing for the Road trip: Most times your presentation will happen away from your home and office. Whenever you can, use your own laptop and run your presentation from that, especially if you are a Mac user and they want you to put your presentation on a PC, or vice versa. But that’s not always possible, so I will demo some workarounds:
o You will need to save your presentation to movable media, such as a Flash Drive, an iPod, or an external drive, or a CD-ROM. Going from Mac to PC I would recommend a Flash drive or iPod over a CD. You should copy your presentation onto the receiving laptop. Don’t try to run it from the removable media.
o When you save your presentation to the removable media you will need to make sure that all the media that you used in your presentation, especially movies and audio files, are kept with the presentation. This is especially important with Powerpoint presentations. In fact the best way to do this in Powerpoint is to Save your presentation As a “Powerpoint Package”. In this case Powerpoint saves these media files in a folder with the show itself. When you move the package to another laptop or drive, try running the show with the original computer no longer attached. Sometimes Powerpoint pretends it can’t find the relevant files so you prompt it to Search. Once it finds one, it will find the rest easily. Also if you have moved your Powerpoint to a different platform, make sure it still looks as it is supposed to look and behave – another thing to practice at home before you hit the road.
o Keynote users: your presentations will not run on a PC platform BUT you can export your presentation quite well to Powerpoint: File>Export>Powerpoint. Make sure you follow the guidelines in the previous note for saving as a package. And make sure that the transformation to Powerpoint worked OK.
Connecting to LCD projectors: This is always a challenge. Most LCD projectors run on the same technology these days so connecting is not such a problem. (Turn the Projector on; let it warm up; then connect your laptop). Try practicing with a projector at home before you travel. Make yourself familiar with your laptop’s display options. Get some help at your home base before you travel. I will demo some of the connecting tricks for Mac users, but am less familiar with PCs. Mac users, don’t forget to bring your little adaptor. I always carry mine with me. Many projectors don’t have speakers built-in, so if sound is important for your presentation, bring your own mini-speakers that plug into the laptop.
Other export formats:
There are various other formats in which you can use and export both Powerpoint and Keynote presentations. You would be surprised the number of ways in which you can use these programs (*see movie):
Self-running as in a “kiosk”, looping round and round, useful as a poster or other exhibit: File>Save as>Powerpoint Show
Instructional tutorial slide-show with recorded voice commentary: Powerpoint only: File>Save as>Powerpoint Show (P). BUT for Keynote users, I’ll demo a very neat way to do this using SnapZPro (sorry, Mac only)
A linear movie (digital story) with or without recorded commentary: File>Save As>Powerpoint Movie (P) or File>Export>Quicktime (K). In both cases you would create a Quicktime movie, whose settings will vary according to need. In Powerpoint the default is a 640×480 movie whose size you can change later using Quicktime Pro. In Keynote you have many more size options.
Individual slides saved as image files and printed as overhead transparencies or on paper. Keynote allows you to save image files of each “Build” or animation layer of a slide.
Don’t forget that you can copy and paste slides from one Powerpoint or Keynote presentation to another.
Both programs allow you to export your presentation to the Web, by converting it to html. What is produced is an interface for a slideshow. Unfortunately animation is lost, but hyperlinks are retained. The html file that is created can be edited in a web editing software such as Dreamweaver. You might find the show is exactly as you want to upload it to the Web: File>Save As>Web Page (html) (P) or File>Export>HTML (K). Powerpoint allows you to preview your web page before actually saving it. This can be useful by showing how large the file is going to be. For a smaller file size, it is useful for both html and pdf exports to simplify the background to white before export. Alternatively, Basic HTML can be used to construct a presentation from scratch. HTML gives you the flexibility of using media plugins that are non-embeddable or have limited control within PowerPoint.
You can transform your presentation into a pdf file which can then be printed. This is very easy in Keynote. Again you will lose animation and many hyperlinks. File>Export>pdf. The process is a little complicated in Powerpoint if you are on a PC. But involves creation of tiff image files from your slides and then importing these into Adobe Acrobat software.
Keynote presentations can be exported as Flash movies that can then be edited in Adobe/Macromedia Flash
Alternatively, this standard web development tool can be used to build dynamic presentations that are already within a powerful web-ready format.
Powerpoint and Keynote can both be used very usefully as brainstorming, design, and conceptualization tools, creating the illusion of something that is finished, even though it may be in its early stages.
Some useful links
Keynote 3 (w/iWork $79) Mac only
Quicktime Pro 7 ($29):
SnapZ Pro screenshot recorder($69): Mac only
UC Berkeley Dept of Journalism Photoshop tutorial
Open Office (free) that includes a Powerpoint look-alike called Impress:
Presentation Zen blog to inspire your presentations
Graphics and web design based on Edward Tufte’s Principles
Hugh Rank’s Persuasion Analysis