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How to record voiceover in Keynote


Creating a screencast, webinar or guided presentation is super easy with Apple Keynote. 

What you'll need:

  • The latest version of Keynote — you may need to update your OS)

  • A script — add it to your slides' presenter notes so you're not shuffling papers.

  • A ready-to-go presentation — check everything (spelling, animations* and images) in full screen preview mode before you record. Use slides to support your script, not contain it.

  • A quiet room — put up signs around the house if you must. If there's any noise outside, do a test recording. You may be used to the traffic/squirrel/neighbor, but your audience will hear it.

  • Optional: a decent microphone, though the built-in mic will do fine if your room is quiet and doesn't echo.

*set your animations to come in with a click. You may spend more time on an idea than you anticipated, and controlling every build prevents the slides from getting ahead of you (and distracting your audience).


Step 1

Open Audio options

When you're ready, find the Record Slideshow button in Document settings, under Audio (top right of screen). 

Find Keynote Audio options under Document settings.

Step 2

Launch record mode

Clicking the record slideshow button will open a record mode, which looks a lot like rehearse/presenter mode. 

There is a bar at the bottom of the screen with recording functions, including a volume indicator.

Record mode uses a version of presenter mode.

Step 3

Customize the screen layout with your preferences.

If you have lots of builds on your slides, you can keep track of them with Next Slide view and the Ready to Advance Indicator.

You can also choose to see a clock and/or timer, and opt to see time elapsed/remaining — very handy if you have a set amount of time.

Customize your record screen.

Step 4

Tweak presenter notes font size.

Make sure you can read your presenter notes by setting the font size within presenter notes. You can change this even while you're recording — just be mindful of mouse-click sounds!

Increase Presenter Notes font size.

Step 5

Record your presentation

When you're ready, hit record in the bottom left — you'll see the classic red dot, next to a green volume level indicator.

A countdown initiates the recording session.

You can pause your recording at any time, but you'll have to restart it.

Record buttons are at the bottom, along with a volume indicator (green bar).

A countdown initiates the recording session.

Step 6

Review & edit your recording

Preview your Recorded Slideshow with the ▶︎ button or in the Play menu > Play Recorded Slideshow.

You can choose to play the Slideshow in normal or recorded mode. Delete or continue recording under Audio in Document settings.

Delete or add more recorded content in Document settings > Audio.

There are two buttons for playing your recording — in the toolbar at the top, and in the menu bar on the right side.

There are two buttons for playing your recording — in the toolbar at the top, and in the menu bar on the right side.

Step 7

Export as video

To export your Recorded Slideshow as a video, go to File > Export To > QuickTime...

Select Slideshow Recording as your Playback, and a format for your intended screen(s):

  • Use 702p for mobile devices, such as iPads at a kiosk.

  • 1080p is best for for Retina displays and Apple TV — excellent if you're presenting your slides on an HDTV or screen projector.

  • When uploading (or in doubt) keep the recommended 1024x768 setting — it works great all devices.

Export Recorded Slideshow as a Quicktime video file.

Select Slideshow Recording and format, then click Next... to choose destination.


Use shortcuts for seamless recording

Shortcuts are super handy if you're going to record many Keynote presentations.  

Click on the ? button in the top right (next to layout options) to see all the keyboard shortcuts. 

My favorite shortcuts are:

  • [ ] to navigate builds,

  • H to switch to last app used (super handy for demonstrations),

  • C to show/hide cursor, and

Shortcut like a boss.


author: ina

Amateur carpenter. Keynote junkie. Won't shut up about Squarespace and South Africa.