How to Use Nanopresentations in Keynote on Your iPad

By Nancy C. Muir

iPad is a game-changer in many ways. Its size (and therefore its portability) and its remarkably clear screen (especially on third-generation or later iPads with Retina display) are only two of its features that open great new opportunities. Keynote for iOS can help you take advantage of nanopresentations (presentations you make one-on-one or to a small group of people).

Whether you’re used to presentations as a presenter or an audience member, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how well presentations to small groups can work. Perhaps the most interesting difference is the simplest one: Because the speaker can sit down and join the audience around a table, in a circle, or in a group of chairs, the speaker/audience or teacher/student paradigm of many presentations is immediately broken — and this can be a breath of fresh air. It certainly seems to make discussions and audience questions livelier.

For presentations to large (or even medium-size) groups, your iPad and a projector work well. But for a smaller group, a projector is often a bit of overkill. You can use your iPad for a presentation to a few people seated around a table or — to be more iPad-like — seated or standing anywhere they want.

Think about the possibilities. If you’re selling something that’s not easy to carry around, a photo album on your iPad is a helpful way to show prospective customers what you’re talking about. But a Keynote presentation — even a handful of slides shown one-on-one — can be much more effective and impressive than a photo album or brochure.

Are you canvassing door to door for a politician or a cause? Again, a Keynote presentation of perhaps half a dozen slides can present the issue with pictures, text, and diagrams. You can even hand a printed version of the presentation out for people to ponder after you’ve gone. You can fill in the gaps and answer questions, but it’s certainly more effective than knocking on a door and asking whether you can come in and set up a computer and a projector.

One great advantage of nanopresentations is that instead of talking to a large group that’s sitting in the dark, you’re presenting to a few people sitting around a table or on a sofa with you. People generally don’t have enough time to doze off or become distracted.