Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video The impact of a theme on your outline, part of Keynote 6: From Outline to Presentation.
Depending on your version of Keynote, you may have a few or even several themes. With each version of Keynote and even some of the updates, they continue to expand the theme collection. Plus, there is a wealth of available themes from third parties. Now, the deal with themes is that you need to get familiar with what they support. Some themes are very traditional with bullet driven type content. Others are very visual. As such, you need to think about what's involved in that theme as you structure the presentation.
Within the theme chooser, I always recommend that you take a look at the aspect ratio of your presentation. You'll note that Keynote offers both standard and widescreen themes. Now, the resolution of these themes are hidden from you initially, but you can change these later. The standard themes are most commonly used for a 4 by 3 display. This tends to be what many older projectors would use. However, since more and more people are presenting on television sets in boardrooms, or widescreen devices like newer iPads or laptops, or even newer projectors,.
I find myself using the widescreen aspect ratio much more often, since this is becoming the new standard. Most modern projectors will also support the widescreen view. One of the things missing that was in earlier versions of Keynote, was the ability to Hover Scrub over any of these icons to see some sample layouts. This makes it a bit more difficult to know how a theme is going to work for you. So, you may find yourself choosing one theme, and then opening it, and then taking a look at some of the sample layouts.
To do this, simply click the Plus button, and you can get a good idea of what the theme supports. If this particular theme doesn't work for you, you can change it. I can choose File > Change Theme, and then select another one here, and click Choose. You'll see that it updates. And then again, clicking the Plus button, gives you an idea of what that particular theme supports. Not all themes have the same number of master slides. So it's a good idea to get familiar with what each theme supports.
Remember, File > Change Them, and then you can select and click Choose. This will apply the new theme, and then simply click the Plus button to see the available master slides. Some of the themes are almost entirely photo driven. If you take a look at options such as photo essay, photo portfolio, modern portfolio. These are all about showing you images. Let's take a quick look at the photo essay. You'll note that there are several templates to show you images in either a full screen, or a view that provides a caption, such as to the side or above.
This particular theme is driven by images. On the other hand, if you need an extremely simple theme, going with some of the more default options, like White or Gradient. Will give you several options that are very text driven. Although all Apple themes tend to support images, since Apple puts a lot of emphasis on visuals in a presentation. Remember, most themes present multiple layouts. So you can decide which are the best options for your presentation. One of my favorite things about many of the themes, is that they let you design for both types of learners.
For example, you can include text for a bolded list, and let's just zoom this to fit into the window, as well as including a photo next to it. You'll note that just about every template provides this option. So, as I change themes. You'll see it updates. And this is a common approach of title, bullets and photo. Remember, always decide to balance it. And by giving the learner the opportunity to see and read, as well as hear your presentation, you increase the chances that they'll successfully encode the information.
Remember, in the theme chooser, there are several choices, and chances are you'll be unfamiliar with what each one does. I recommend as a newer user or with each new theme that gets released with Keynote updates, that you take the time to open it and really explore what's included. Additionally, you have the ability to make your own themes, or to save your own templates. If you've modified a theme, or purchased a third party theme, you can always get it so that you like it, and then choose to save that theme.
Note > File > Save Theme, and this will take the current presentation and save it as a template into the my themes area. And once you choose a particular theme, and then click the Choose button. You can also take advantage of the view functionality to change what information is shown. Let's fit that into the window, and you'll note that we can change what is displayed. For example, just the slide, or the light table to see everything in the presentation.
What I am most interested in, is the ability to see all the master slides. This really gives you an idea of what's available, and makes it easy in case you want to make a change. For example, I could select that title and press Cmd+B for bold. And, now the title on that page is going to be bolded. And, that made it really easy. Come to another page, same thing. Cmd+B. And, when I click Done, these changes will be applied to the master slides that are used throughout the entire presentation.
Remember you could choose to change the theme at any time. However, once you settle on a theme, you'll likely use that existing theme for the current presentation, and likely several more that you've built for your organization or company. This is because you'll become very familiar with some of the Intricacies of how the theme works. And it'll be easier for you to take advantage of all the bells and whistles as well as subtle details. Don't change themes with every single presentation. Chances are you should settle one, or a small collection that match your corporate identity, or your personal branding.
I do have a few different themes, depending on the topics that I present. Using one for my company, another for my photography education, and some specialty ones if I'm speaking at a particular conference. But even still, the goal here is to have some consistency. Remember, spend the time with the theme to get familiar with it, so you can properly design your outline to take advantage of what that theme supports.
- Setting your presentation goal
- Creating an outline
- Converting an outline to the initial slide deck
- Adjusting the layout of a master slide
- Changing themes
- Adding and formatting text
- Inserting images and video
- Adding webpages
- Creating text builds and Smart Builds
- Animating images
- Testing and rehearsing your presentation