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Master the Basics of Keynote in 20 Minutes!

Creating an online course may seem like a daunting task. First, you may need a microphone, then a laptop, then some way to record your work, not to mention a pretty face to back it all up. Ok, the pretty face is optional. Einstein was a genius and people loved him for his knowledge. Nobody cared that he had perpetual bed head.

The point is you can emotionally blow up before your project even launches. That is why you need to break the entire project into simple steps. First walk, then run.

Today I’m going to teach you how to create slides for your online course through Apple Keynote. Before you ever record yourself on a computer, build some simple slides to guide your audience through your material. This way you will know exactly what to say before you ever have to say it live. Most people are familiar with PowerPoint. Keynote is the Apple version of PowerPoint, but with a few differences.

Why Keynote?

Besides the fact that this program is totally free, here are just a few reasons to choose Keynote as the software to build your slides for your course:
  • 30 professionally designed themes to choose from
  • Simple interface that allows you to incorporate pictures, music, and video into the presentation
  • A huge free database of gorgeous text, shapes, charts, and colors
  • Simplified toolbars for precise editing and adjustments
  • And’s FREE

How do I get started?

Overview: There are 9 simple steps to follow in order to master the basics of Keynote:
  1. Download Keynote
  2. Choose the best template for the job
  3. Modify your template
  4. Create your first slide
  5. Add some shapes
  6. Adjusting slide transitions
  7. Animate objects
  8. Embed videos
  9. Inserting images 
1. Download Keynote: This will require a Mac computer. Search Keynote in the upper right corner of the screen. As of this writing, the Keynote landing page will look like the picture above.

2. Choose your template: When you first open Keynote you will be greeted with the template screen. There are over 30 templates to choose from in Keynote. I personally like the basic white background for online courses because it’s less distracting for the audience. Make sure to choose a wide template to ensure the slide fits your whole screen when you record.

3. Modify your template: Let’s say you want to change and format every slide to look a specific way. Instead of making the changes to lots of slides, which is a time-consuming process, you can change your master slide. Click on edit master. Any changes you make to the master slide will appear in every slide that uses that same master.

4. Create your first slide: To create your first slide all you need is a little click of the button in the upper left-hand corner called “Add Slide.” Wow, it’s like pure magic! When you click here a drop-down menu will give you slide templates to choose from. Pick from the list and your set.

5. Fun with shapes: Clicking on the shape button in the toolbar will give you a list of shapes to choose from. I personally love the square. It’s the perfect shape. By selecting the shape and navigating to the style section, you can add a border, change the color, and even give it a nice reflection. Who said squares are boring?

6. Adding transitions to your slides: Click on the slide you want to animate. Click animate. Then select from the drop-down menu any type of transition that floats your boat.

7. Animating objects: Select the object you want to animate. Click on animate. Click on add an effect. You can make objects jiggle, move, rotate, or even pulse to name a few.

8. Embed videos: Before you can embed a video you need to save a video to your hard drive. After saving a video, open the finder and drag it from the finder into the slide of your choice. BAM! You now have a video on your slide. By selecting the movie then selecting format, you can trim the movie (choose where it starts and ends) and pick a poster frame (the still image that shows up before the movie is played).

9. Inserting images: Let’s say you are secretly a huge brony. Head over to google and search for a picture of a nice pony. Make sure it's safe for reuse. Save it. Then open it in the finder and simply drag and drop. Well played my friend. Well played.

There you have it. All the basics you need to know about Keynote to create your first presentation for your online course.


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