Presentation Workflow

Looking at the applications on my Mac that I use on a regular basis, apart from mail and browsers the one app I probably use the most is Apple’s Keynote. I use it to create presentations for events, conferences and workshops. Having delivered my presentation (or sometimes before) I would upload it to Slideshare. Slideshare is a great site for hosting presentations that can then be embedded into blog posts, web pages or the VLE.

Though you can upload Keynote presentations to Slideshare, due to the nature of the types of presentations I create I have had issues with the conversion process. It works fine with simple presentations, buy my multiple page presentations sometimes have ground to a halt. As a result I now use the following workflow to ensure that my presentation uploads correctly to Slideshare.

I use the same process if I need to share the presentation with others, some conferences and organisations like to have a copy of the presentation on their website. Also when I know I will be presenting at a conference and I won’t be able to use my Mac directly and will have the use the provided Windows PC that is connected to the projector.

The process also works really well with online presentation systems such as Elluminate, Adobe Connect, Instant Presenter, and so on…

Having created my presentation in Keynote I then export it as a series of JPGs.

From the menu File -> Export…

Select Images

You can choose the quality of the images, I usually use PNG, but if it is a large presentation then I will go with JPG and reduce the quality of the images.

This will then export…

…and create a series of images to reflect the slides.

Change the Finder view to Column View.

The reason for this is when you then drag the images into Keynote the order will be retained.

Start a new blank Keynote presentation.

For Slideshare and online presentation systems, I usually use 800×600. For sharing the presentation for Windows systems or for use with projectors I will use 1024×786. The size format can be changed in the Inspector.

Drag the images from Finder into Keynote.

This will then create a presentation of the images of your slides.

This is a neat feature of Keynote that I haven’t been able to replicate in Powerpoint which is drag in a series of images and it will create a slide for each image. It will also resize the images to match the default presentation slide size too.

I then export this Keynote presentation as a Powerpoint presentation.

I now have a presentation that is an “exact duplicate” of my Keynote presentation, won’t change when uploaded to Slideshare, or when used in an online presentation tool, or when used in Powerpoint on a Windows PC.

So why don’t I export as a Powerpoint presentation at stage one?

The problem with this is that the fonts generally don’t convert very well and if the font is missing from the Windows PC then it won’t look like the presentation did on my Mac. Likewise with a remote presentation system, it will use its system fonts rather than the fonts I did, so again changing the look of my presentation. By using images I can retain the fonts that I used rather than have them replaced by system fonts that don’t reflect the style of the presentation.

From an accessibility perspective of course using images over text is not always a good idea. It also means that when you upload to Slideshare there is no “transcript”.

Sometimes I will manually add the images one by one to the original presentation and as a result the original text is behind the slide image. Or I go in and add the text manually to the new images presentation and “hide” it behind the images so that I have a transcript. The advantage of the latter method is that I can add more text than is on the slide, to expand a point or similar.

The process I have outlined is a little convoluted, but the end result is I have a presentation which can be shared, put online or used which still has the same visual impact that I originally created it with.

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