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Presenting Keynote, the Insider's Guide to Creating Great Presentations

by Erik Holsinger. 248 pp. plus CD-ROM. Sybex, 2003. $24.99

Presenting Keynote, the Insider’s Guide to Creating Great Presentations is a very cool book about a surprisingly versatile application. Keynote is Apple’s innovative presentation software, first developed for Apple CEO Steve Jobs to use in delivering his Macworld Expo keynote speeches. The program is easy to use, delivers advanced graphic and multimedia capabilities, and comes with stunning (a word overused by Apple’s PR, but here richly deserved) themes, typography and special effects that put Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to shame. In Presenting Keynote, author Erik Holsinger shows how to get the most from this presentation powerhouse in the real world settings of business, education and art.

Holsinger starts with an overview of Keynote’s interface, then introduces Keynote’s twelve themes and recommends best uses for each: Sandstone for business presentations, Parchment for presos selling image or creative projects, and Fun for party announcements and “surprise resignations.” He then details the steps for building a presentation. Five tutorial chapters keyed to the CD-ROM cover sales presentations, class lessons, an artist portfolio, a video storyboard and a do-it-yourself documentary.

Finally, in “Keynote Meets World,” he delves into the nitty-gritty of networks, PowerPoint and Windows compatibility, choosing and using projectors, remote controls and Mac laptops, setting up your presentation system, and selecting and working with AV companies, and outputting to print, slides and video.

Especially valuable are Tips from the Pros, which offer advice from designers, photographers and trainers. The CD-ROM is loaded with applications and demos including Photoshop Elements 2, DeBabelizer, ColorTheory and Peak, as well as tutorial files, source images and demonstration movies, all delivered in a nice Macromedia Director interface.

Presenting Keynote will help you hone your Keynote skills and take your presentations to a new level. Who knew a book on presentation software could be so fascinating?

– Elsa Travisano
Copyright ©2004 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the April 2004 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.