Presentations get a bad reputation, and presentations built on the Keynote app for iPad are no different. But all presentations are not doomed to banality. If you keep the following issues in mind, you can avoid problems of many slide shows and make your own Keynote for iPad presentations more effective and productive.

  • Think about small-group versus large-group presentations: If you're working with a small group or one-on-one presentation, your text and graphics don't have to reach across a ballroom to the viewer's eye, so size elements on the slide accordingly.

  • Reuse old presentations: Keynote for iPad makes it easy to transfer presentations back and forth between your iPad and your Mac. Sometimes that's the right thing to do; other times, you may want to do some restructuring and refocusing. A presentation of 50 slides designed for a seated audience in a conference room is not going to work at all as a nanopresentation to a group of one, two, or three people. You can reuse the slides and rearrange them (possibly splitting a single large presentation into a number of smaller ones).

  • Consider your canvas: Although your slides may be blown up to large sizes on a screen, that's so a roomful of people can see them. Each slide has much less space for information than a piece of paper (or a spreadsheet page). No matter how large your audience, never overcrowd your slides.

  • Avoid too much variety: Using too many graphic object styles (such as illustration, photos, and line drawings) or too many font styles can make for a choppy-looking presentation. Luckily, Keynote themes help you provide a cohesive and clean look for your presentation. Even though you may make small changes to text and add graphics, try to maintain a consistent overall look and feel.

  • Adding movement to slides: Keynote presentations have options for movement that you don't have with a printed document. Experiment with the Keynote transitions and use them to help people understand where you are in the presentation.