Presenting Keynote, The Insider's Guide to Creating Great
Presentations Book Review

by John Nouveaux

Erik Holsinger's book "Presenting Keynote, The Insider's Guide to Creating Great Presentations" concentrates on showing you how to use Apple's Keynote presentation software to put together effective, high quality presentations.

This book does not delve button by button, menu by menu, click by click into all of the possible building blocks of a Keynote presentation. Rather, using five examples (a five minute sales pitch, a class lesson, a personal photographic portfolio, a video storyboard and an audio/video documentary), insider tips, good presentation techniques and helper applications (like QuickTime, Photoshop, iMovie), Eric shows you how to put together a useful, powerful, impactful presentation targeted to the appropriate audience.

For those with little to no Keynote experience, the book opens with a quick Keynote feature tour: basic Keynote presentation building blocks followed by how to put together your first Keynote presentation. More experienced Keynote users could easily feel free to skip over these introductory chapters.

The next chapters, using the five examples cited above, include reasonably detailed instructions on how to use helper applications where appropriate. The examples in these chapters have been well chosen to showcase different Keynote feature sets: basic presentation layout, adding audio or video, audience targeting, use of external helper applications when necessary, etc.

As you read about the five examples, the included CD-ROM has Keynote and related support files which allow you to create your own presentations as you follow step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish various tasks. If you combine the CD-ROM files with the text, you wind up with a mini hands-on Keynote tutorial - and very nicely done.

The last major section of the book covers Keynote cohabitation with PowerPoint (essential knowledge for the vast majority of presenters), how to deal with Keynote-related peripherals (like remote controls) and presentation projection systems. If you ever need to use a projector to show your presentation to a room full of people, the section on projectors is a must read.

Finally, the book comes with several nice appendices covering Keynote keyboard shortcuts, on-line reference web sites and a listing of each of the graphics in the graphic library Apple includes with Keynote.

Throughout the book, not only has Eric made excellent use of figures, but gives a nice overview of the Apple-supplied built-in Keynote themes. He also shows you how to create your own themes, giving you consistent professional looking slides.

Sprinkled throughout the book are tips from various industry experts, ranging from simple presentation creation guidelines to specific font usage suggestions to selecting an audio/video company to effective storyboarding.

If you are looking for a book which shows each and every mouse clickable item in Keynote, this one's not for you. If you need a book showing you how to use Keynote to create presentations and are willing to poke around a bit on your own afterwards you'll have found yourself a gem with "Presenting Keynote."

Company Name: Sybex Inc.
Author: Erik Holsinger
Product Price: $24.99