Keynote Design Guide_ Workflow, Tips, And Free Keynote Templates

September 7, 2023 949 views

Presenters have increasingly turned to Keynote for their presentations. With so many looking for unique designs, where can you find the best free Keynote design templates? Some sites offer basic designs, while others have premium options. This guide shows you the best free sites and how to use them. Don't miss the chance to make your presentation shine!

The Workflow Of Designing Keynote

Creating a compelling Keynote presentation requires a meticulous design process and strategic storytelling. The workflow for designing such a presentation can be summarised in the following key steps:

Define Your Audience And Story

The foundation of a captivating Keynote presentation is a well-crafted story. Instead of a monotonous line-up of facts, presentations should seamlessly flow from a beginning to a middle and, finally, an end. This narrative approach ensures the audience remains engaged, particularly during extended presentations where their focus might wane.

Plan The Art Direction For Your Pitch

Before diving into design elements, it's crucial to have a clear story. The narrative will greatly influence the presentation's artistic direction and the subsequent visual style you choose. This step involves determining the overall look and feel of the presentation based on the story you wish to tell.

Choose Your Visual Elements

A presentation's story provides the context for the required visual elements. Among the options available to you are:

  • Photographs

  • Illustrations

  • Iconography

  • Animation

Wireframe Your Presentation Slides

After having a storyline and a visual direction, the next logical step is outlining the structure of the presentation. A time-tested approach involves sketching slide layouts using simple tools like paper and pencil. By spending roughly 15 seconds per slide, you can swiftly determine the placement of text and visuals and how the story progresses across slides. The best layouts can then be selected to define different slide templates.

Design Your Keynote Presentation Template

With all assets at hand, the story, visuals, and slide structure, it's time to initiate the actual design process.

Design the Photography Slide - Here, the objective is to create a slide template that showcases a photograph across the entire width with a colour overlay. The go-to tool for this is Keynote's master slides.

Working With Keynote Master Slides -Starting with a default white, wide document in Keynote, master slides or reusable slide templates come into play. These slides enable designers to predefine the layout options, ensuring consistent placement of text and images throughout the presentation.

Should You Use Keynote Animations?

The design process doesn't end with just visual elements; the introduction of animations can make or break a presentation. While Keynote simplifies the process of incorporating animations, it's crucial to determine their necessity. There are two main kinds:

Transition animations -These enable a smooth progression from one slide to another.

Emphasis animations - Used within the slides, they can introduce elements, emphasise points, or guide the audience's attention.

Save Your Final Keynote Theme

Once satisfied with the design, the template should be saved for future use or iterations. By heading to 'File' and selecting 'Save Theme', designers can easily store their templates for subsequent presentations. They can save it directly within Keynote's theme chooser or back it up in storage solutions like Dropbox.

Design Tips For Making Stunning-Looking Keynote Presentations

Keynote is a prominent tool for creating captivating presentations, and with the right design tips, you can ensure your slides capture your audience's attention. Below are the five tips you should consider for a stunning Keynote presentation:

Use At Least Three Colors

It's ideal for picking a triadic colour scheme for a cohesive and dynamic presentation. These three colours create a balanced contrast, where one stands out as the primary colour while the other serves as an accent shade. Complementary colours shine in this setting, adding depth and visual appeal to your slides.

Prioritise Image Space

Images aren’t just fillers; they’re storytellers. Ensure ample space is dedicated to quality images, letting them dominate half the slide or even set the backdrop for your content. Remember, high-resolution images ensure clarity and avoid pixelation, enhancing professional appeal.

Embrace Modern Graphics

Enhance the visual aspect of your slides with contemporary graphics. Avoid dated designs that might disengage your audience or come across as unprofessional. Modern graphics offer a fresh, current feel, making your content more relatable and visually appealing.

Layout Variety

Monotony is a presentation’s worst enemy. While consistency is important, injecting variety in slide layouts keeps your audience engaged. Change layouts when introducing new subjects. The key is to balance creativity with coherence, ensuring your presentation remains an engaging narrative.

Use Easy To Read Fonts

The essence of your presentation is its content, and it must be easily readable. That is where fonts play an important role. Opt for modern, legible fonts, and maintain a limit of two font types for consistency. The right font choices enhance readability and augment the presentation’s aesthetic quotient.

Free Keynote Template Websites

  1. Envato

Keynote Design Templates

Keynote Design Templates

Envato Elements offers a vast collection of professional Keynote templates for various presentation needs. These templates are visually appealing and designed to be user-friendly, enabling users to create stunning presentations without any hassle. With a wide array of stock photos, icons, and graphics, users can fully customise their templates, making each presentation unique.


  • Ready-made & customisable.

  • Advanced design tools.

  • No download limits.

  • Cost-effective.

  • Unique Designs.

  • Vast stock collection.

  • Quick presentation creation.


  • Continuous payment is required for access.

  • Canva

Free Keynote Design

Free Keynote Design

Canva is a versatile digital platform that allows users to design and customise presentations for various purposes. With its wide range of templates and intuitive dashboard, it simplifies the process of creating keynote presentations that look professional and resonate with the intended audience. Canva offers tools and features catering to beginners and experienced designers, helping them deliver impactful and interactive presentations.


  • Wide variety of templates.

  • User-friendly interface.

  • Multi-format export options.

  • Interactive presentation features.

  • Flexible recording capabilities.


  • Overwhelming design choices.

  • Some features behind a paywall.

  • Dribbble

How To Design Keynote Files

How To Design Keynote Files

Dribbble is a digital platform that allows designers, illustrators, and other creatives to showcase their work, share feedback, and connect with potential clients and peers. This platform has since become one of the leading destinations for design inspiration, serving as a global community where members can display their work, known as "shots," and engage with other professionals.


  • Design inspiration source.

  • Networking opportunities.

  • A platform for feedback.

  • Job board availability.

  • High visibility for designers.


  • Costly Pro membership.

  • Many designs are conceptual.

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WPS Presentation

For those looking to create impactful and visually appealing presentations, WPS Presentation has many slide templates catering to various themes and industries. Its seamless integration of multimedia ensures that users can craft dynamic and engaging presentations without much hassle. From animations to charts, WPS Presentation equips you with everything you need to leave a lasting impression.

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Step 1: Open your preferred web browser.

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How To Design Keynote Files

How To Design Keynote Files

Step 3: Look for the homepage's 'Download' or 'Get Started' button.

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Keynote Design TemplatesKeynote Design Templates

Keynote Design Templates

Step 5: Press the download button.

Keynote Design Templates

Keynote Design Templates

Step 6: Wait for the download to complete.

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Pros Of Wps Office

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  • Limited features in mobile version

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Can I Use Keynote Templates In Other Presentation Software?

While Keynote templates are tailor-made for Apple's Keynote software, directly using them in other presentation programs may not be feasible without undergoing some form of conversion or modification.

Are There Any Copyright Restrictions When Using Keynote Templates?

When utilising Keynote templates, being aware of potential copyright limitations is crucial. To guarantee that you're abiding by legal and ethical standards, carefully reviewing the terms and conditions associated with the template is vital.


The article offers a guide to creating engaging Keynote design presentations, emphasising audience understanding, storytelling, and strategic visuals. It details the design process, from narrative definition to final design, and shares essential design tips. Popular free Keynote template sources like Envato, Canva, and Dribbble are also highlighted.

WPS Office stands out as an exceptional alternative for presentations. Its vast user base, combined with the feature-rich WPS Presentation, offers diverse slide templates and multimedia features, positioning it as a top choice for professional presentations.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.