Is Keynote for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by hkim1983, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    I tutor accounting as a part-time job, and through my continued efforts of creating a superior experience for my clients, I was contemplating incorporating brief powerpoint presentations to highlight the major areas they need to know.

    I really wanted to use Keynote for my iPad for this purpose, because it's more portable than my laptop and (imo) superior for reading pdf's on, but messing around with the iPad version of keynote at the apple store left me...less than impressed.

    That being said, I haven't completely abandoned this idea, and began looking at using the OS X version while showing it on my laptop. The problem however, was I wasn't sure if I could properly utilize Keynote's strengths for the area that I would use it in (accounting) and wanted some input on that.

    I perceive Keynote's major advantage over powerpoint (well, at least older versions of powerpoint) in its ability to maximize the visual impact of the presentation. This works out great if your presentations are media heavy, but unfortunately, for those who have taken accounting before know, it's mostly text, chart, and report based (exciting I know). Am I wrong in this presumption? Does Keynote offer something else over powerpoint (btw, I already have powerpoint, but I would need to buy Keynote) that I'm not aware of due to lack of experience with the application?

    I have also read (on this forum and elsewhere) that compatibility between keynote for iOS and OS X can be spotty at best, which makes me sad. Is this still the case?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who is able to assist me.
  2. Snowy_River macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Corvallis, OR
    First off, unfortunately the OS X and iOS versions of Keynote are not 100% compatible. However, the iOS version is still quite powerful. I've made some very nice presentations with it.

    Now, as to the question of Keynote vs. PowerPoint, I lay my bets on Keynote every time. The important thing is to really understand certain principles of how to make a great presentation. So many people make the mistake of making their slides way too text laden. Of course, there are exceptions, but in general slides should only have the bullet points of your talk on them, and the bullet points should be set up to appear as you get to them, so your audience stays focused on what you're saying and not reading ahead.

    Then, there are the slides that need to have a lot more information on them, and those slides are presented not as a follow along to your presentation but more as an exhibit of your presentation.

    I've done slides for engineering presentations and for high energy physics presentations, none of which had that many media elements, vs. data, charts and formulas. But using Keynote, my presentations had a level of class coming from (1) a good knowledge of how to make a great presentation, and (2) the caliber of effects that are available from Keynote, that none of the PowerPoint presentations made at the same time had.

    In short, learn the ins and outs of making a great presentation, then get Keynote and knock their socks off...
  3. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I would stay with PowerPoint as you already own it. Keynote is a good program as well but more on the OS X side. I have Keynote on my iPad and am less than impressed with it. Even more so when I build it on my iMac and export it to my iPad. It is really hit and miss on whether it will import properly to an iPad. I have yet to see it bring everything I created in a presentation on my mac completely in. And it is not a strong enough app to create with in IOS. Not for the type of presentations I am required to do. Do not get me wrong though, as Keynote is a great program and I have done some great presentations with it, but on my mac and then use my laptop to present it with. It may work for the kind of presentations you are doing as they will be very text based. And if you have Keynote Remote App, it makes it easy to do presentations on an iPad as it permits you to be mobile but have total control of the presentation. PP and Keynote will both work for you. I say use PP as you own it. I say Keynote as it is Apple based and I think you will have better control over it as you will be using it on Apple products. I know this may be confusing but I hope to have given you a perspective on both software's. I tend to use Keynote more so than PP because I find it does a better job for what I require but I could easily do my presentations in PP if required to.
  4. hkim1983 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009

    I understand what you're saying, but all you have done is reinforced my initial presumption that Keynote excels over Powerpoint through its maximization of visual impact. Knowing how to present and create a presentation is irrelevant to the program itself, and the transitions you mentioned are mostly visually based and don't necessarily benefit the material that I want to present, at least, from what I've seen thus far.

    If you had mentioned things like, keynote allows me to create better presentations in less time (I'm sorry, this is how I think, I'm accounting based) for x reasons, or you can show me or lead to an example where the transitions led to a superior learning experience, I would be a little more compelled.

    Thank you for your input though.

    @firedept: Hm, so you basically prefer Keynote, but you don't think it's worth the additional investment if I already have Powerpoint? How has Keynote benefited you over Powerpoint? Is it more efficient while creating a superior or comparable experience? Is it more intuitive?

    Thank you for your input.
  5. Snowy_River macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Corvallis, OR
    Alright, then let me mention a couple of other things. I knew someone, once, who could make PowerPoint presentations that rivaled Keynote presentations. I chatted with him about it, because I was curious given that I had never seen PowerPoint do some of the things that he made it do. As we talked, we compared what it took to get PowerPoint to do those things vs. what it took to get Keynote to do the equivalent. By far, the level of complexity required to get PowerPoint to do these things was orders of magnitude greater than Keynote. So, yes, Keynote will let you create better presentations more efficiently in less time.

    As for the question of "visual impact", I would argue that every presentation is about visual impact. If you want them to be more likely to learn the lesson that you are teaching, or to get the point that you are trying to make, you need to keep their attention. If you want to keep your audience's attention, you need visual impact. So, I'm not sure why this isn't a criterion to be considered.

    Of course, you can make a fine presentation with PowerPoint. I've done it myself, when circumstances didn't allow me to have my Mac as a presentation tool and I had to use the PC provided. In fact, I would argue that YOU are the more important piece of the presentation. It's more important that you know how to give a good presentation than anything else. If you've got that down, then you're 90% of the way there. The final choice between PowerPoint, Keynote (Mac) and Keynote (iOS) will really amount to the final bit of polish on the presentation. For the best polish, I'd advocate 100% Keynote (Mac), with PowerPoint and Keynote (iOS) coming in tied for second.

    (I've made some nice presentations with Keynote (iOS), but it's not quite as easy to work with as the Mac version, nor is it quite as powerful. I keep hoping that Apple will get around to updating their iOS iWork apps to have better feature parity and compatibility with the Mac versions. But, to date, no luck.)
  6. hkim1983 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    If you can produce superior or comparable presentations in significantly less time, than this is simply a no brainer and I will make the purchase regardless of whether or not keynote's strengths are optimal for my usage. Time is quite a valuable commodity to me, and if I can save it while improving performance, then nothing else is really relevant.

    I had originally typed up a much longer reply to your response, but in the end, there are certain things I agree with in what you say, and certain things I don't. None of that really matters in the end however, if my conclusions in the first paragraph are true.

    Thank you for your time and assistance.
  7. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    If the OS version is not fully compatible with the iOS version, would the option to export the OS Presentation as Quicktime movie then work on the iPad?

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