Lost in Transition
While building-in items on slides is very effective; transitions, while popular, are generally pointless. Apple makes a big deal about the variety of 2-D and 3-D transitions supplied with Keynote, such as the admittedly very cool rotating cube transition, but this is definitely one instance where style is being placed above substance.
Where transitions make good sense is on self-playing slideshows. By making the slideshow more dynamic and visually arresting, it is better able to grab the attention of passers-by. Such slideshows are obviously useful for things like tradeshows and conferences.
To apply transitions, select all the slides in the Navigator window on the left, and then select the Transitions tab on the Inspector palette. Apply the desired transition, paying particular attention to the Duration setting. If you have only a few minutes to make your speech, you don't want to waste time on transition animations! If you're creating a self-playing slideshow, you will also need to adjust the Presentation settings on the Document tab, providing the preferred delays between slide transitions and for building-in items on individual slides.
Figure 9: You can easily apply a variety of attractive transitions in Keynote '08, but do you really need them?