Along with PowerPoint (PP), Mac users have the option of using Keynote for creating slide presentations for their courses.  Like PP, Keynote features the ability to create narrated presentations for sharing with students as part of a D2L course site.

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when using Keynote for narrated presentations before continuing.  In comparison to PP, Keynote offers these advantages:

  • Assuming you own a newer Mac model, it is free of charge and pre-installed.
  • Creation of narrated presentations is a more streamlined process than using PP.
  • The MP4 files created by Keynote can be shared in D2L directly via the My Media tool, instead of needing to learn a third-party application.

The major drawback to using Keynote for narrated presentations instead of PP is due to the way that each program handles voiceover audio.  PP associates each slide with its own separate audio track; Keynote, however, creates a single long audio track composed of all the slides in the presentation.  The end result is that PP users can edit audio for individual slides without having to worry about the rest of the presentation, whereas in Keynote if an individual slide’s audio needs to be revised the entire audio track for the presentation will need to be re-recorded.  This may be a significant issue, depending on the nature of your presentation.

Another shortcoming is related to compatibility with PP.  While Keynote presentations can be exported as PP files, if these presentations include narration, the audio will be stripped from the resulting PP file.

Note: Keynote is not officially supported by CETL.  If you experience technical issues using the program, please contact the campus Help Desk (, 414-229-4040) for further assistance.

Creating a Narrated Presentation

This tutorial assumes that the following requirements have been completed:

  • You have a finished Keynote presentation.
  • You have a completed script or outline containing the substance of your narration.
  • You have a headset/mic and a quiet location for recording your narration.

With these conditions met, do the following:

  1. Open Keynote, and load your completed presentation.
  2. Go to Play>Record Slideshow… in the pull-down menus at the top of the screen.key 01
  3. Click on the Record button at the bottom of the screen, and begin reading your script.key 02
  4. Press the left-arrow key to advance to the next slide as you record your narration.  When you are finished, click on the Record button again to stop the recording.
  5. To save the narrated presentation, go to File>Export to>Quicktime… in the pull-down menus at the top of the screen.key 03
  6. Select “Slideshow Recording” for playback type, and choose a resolution for the file (1024 x 768 should be fine for online presentations).  Click “Next…”key 04
  7. Choose a location for the saved file on your computer, and click Export.key 05

Once completed, your presentation should now be available to upload to My Media for sharing to students.  For instructions on using My Media with video files, consult these tutorials for uploading the file to Content, Discussion posts, quizzes, or a D2L dropbox.


D2L 10.6, January 2017