Last week I was presenting at the Engage your Community Conference (EYC). I’d prepared a keynote speech, in Keynote.app, of course, and a workshop called Keep up with the Joneses.
I delivered these back in April at the Hamilton EYC conference too. At that time I’d prepared a small and simple Keynote slideshow for my workshop, but in Wellington I wasn’t going to use it, for various technical reasons beyond my control. That slideshow is mainly just slides with a few bullet points on each. Nothing fancy.
For Wellington I ended up putting it into a PDF and using the slideshow feature of the PDF to display it on the computer lab’s Windows XP machine.
The keynote speech was another matter though. It took me the better part of a couple of weeks to create. At 20 minutes long it uses 46 slides, with all kinds of complex transitions, fades, builds, audio, video, text, images and so on. While I advanced to each slide manually, some then triggered further effects automatically, while others needed a keypress to continue.
A couple of months ago I came across Stage Hand from Wooji Juice:
Use Stage Hand to control your Keynote presentations from your iPhone or iPod Touch.
… Stage Hand will show you the title, number, and notes for each slide of the presentation. Swipe up and down as normal to scroll the notes. Swipe from side to side to change slides — it works like the “Weather” application, or the Home Screen: you pull the screen across and the next one slips into place.
Tilt your device on its side and your slide itself will be shown on the small screen. Tap anywhere to highlight a spot. Tap again to move the highlight. The highlight will fade out when you move to a new slide, or if you tap the slide with two fingers at once.
[Via : Wooji Juice: Stage Hand Quick Start.]
This sounded excellent. I bought and installed it. I was hoping to use it to deliver my keynote speech. After messing around with it a bit though I Twittered one day:
I really want to use Stage Hand to control my keynote preso from my iTouch, but it just doesn’t work right – can’t handle my complex slides.
Next thing I knew an email arrived from Canis, the Lead developer who said:
what’s the particular problem you’re running into? We may be able to help. We exchanged a few emails, and ultimately he said (quoted with permission):
I’m guessing you have a mixture of automatic and manual builds/animations (eg some that you click-to-animate/build and others that trigger automatically, either right away or after a delay)? This confuses Stage Hand because, actually, Keynote doesn’t tell us anything about builds at all — we can find out how many there are, by reading the Keynote document off disk ourselves, but we don’t know whereabouts in the build Keynote is at any given moment. We track the builds by simply counting the number of times you step forwards or backwards, but if you use an automatic build, it has no idea that it occurred.
We’ve filed a request with Apple to have build information added to Keynote’s programming interface, but it’s up to them if & when they do; in the meantime, Stage Hand will re-sync once you move to the next Keynote slide, after a short pause (about 3 seconds — basically, enough time for it to be sure Keynote and Stage Hand are out of sync, rather than merely waiting for Keynote to finish running a transition).
Anyway, of course it makes sense to use what you’re comfortable with — good luck with your speech!
Since then I’ve tried out Stage Hand to control my simple slides on my own Mac, and it’s lovely. We can only hope that Apple make the necessary changes that will allow it to control more complex slides.
And all credit to Canis from Wooji. He watches out for mentions of his product and takes an active interest in promoting it in the best way, by offering unsolicited help. The software didn’t work out for me in this particular instance, but I sure do love it so far!