The Fastest Way to Jump to a Slide in Keynote

If you give presentations even on a semi-regular basis, you know that regardless of how much time you put in to preparing your slide deck, it's very difficult to get it perfect. This is especially true for for smaller or technical presentations. One of the challenges I see in this setting is that the flow of your predefined slide deck doesn't always work out perfectly as you deliver the presentation. Questions are sometimes asked that may take the presentation in a slightly different direction. This can force you to jump from the slide you're on, to a totally different part of the slide deck.

In most cases, I see one of two responses to this situation: the presenter will either scroll through slides very quickly until he/she gets to where they need to be, or the presenter will quit the slide show, use the mouse to scroll to where they need to be, then resume. Neither of these are good options because it makes the flow seem very disjointed. I want to offer a third and better option.

If you need to jump ahead or behind in your slide deck, avoid using the two methods above. Instead, use your keyboard to quickly jump to a specific slide. For example, if I am currently on slide 8 and I need to jump to slide 15, simply type "15" then press the <enter> key. That will immediately jump you to slide 15.

In order for this to work well, you will need to know your slides inside and out, but hopefully you do anyway. After all, how can you give an effective presentation using slides you aren't comfortable with?

To show you just how fast and seamless this transition can be, I made a (very) short video for you:

In post-production on this video, I counted the number of frames that it took to make the transition. The result? 14 frames (or less than half a second). That's quick! So quick that most of your audience probably wouldn't even notice (and in reality, I could have made the transition faster).

Posted on March 19, 2014 and filed under Design, How To, Mac, Opinion.