You may be hearing about Prezi, a relatively new tool for creating presentations. Prezi was created in 2009 and claims to have 50 million global users producing 160 million Prezi’s. Though PowerPoint remains the go-to application for creating presentations, Prezi has some benefits worth exploring. Here are my thoughts on the pros, cons, and a few tips on when to choose Prezi over PowerPoint.
Prezi is for storytellers. It is similar to PowerPoint, but Prezi adds a visual “wow” factor that improves on PowerPoint’s sleepy reputation. In Prezi, designers are not limited by slides. Prezi has no borders. Designers can zoom in or out and fly through infinite outer space. Instead of pages, Prezi designers create frames around content, grouping words and images and assigning them an order. The format allows designers to manipulate the frame to enhance the story, often providing a cinematic style. Designers can span large frames of content or zoom in to reveal more detail. For example, a Park Ranger is giving a Prezi on a new hiking trail at a national park. The trail extends miles of twisting, turning terrain as it snakes around and up to the peak of a tall mountain. Exploring this trail is an ideal use for Prezi. The Park Ranger may begin the Prezi at the trailhead with frame one, a photo of the trailhead. With each progressive frame, the audience moves forward on the trail, darting left, then moving up to the right as the trail ascends the mountain. Along the way we stop to zoom in on images of exotic plants and pan wide landscape photos of the impressive views from a scenic ledge. Frames move up as we near the top of the mountain, and down as we return to the trailhead.
- While the presentation is slick, designers will find new challenges in working in this medium as it is without structure. Whereas PowerPoint greets you with a blank slide – Prezi has nothing but empty space. You are truly creating from scratch and it can be intimidating.
- When I design a Prezi, I will create it on my desktop Prezi application and then make it available via Prezi’s cloud. Sales reps, for example, can share a common login and access the Prezi with an Internet connection.
- Prezi offers many templates for telling your story, but I always prefer the blank slate as a clean canvas. Templates are widely used and the content just doesn’t look all that unique.
- Save your work often. I still find bugs in the young desktop version.
- Prezi’s shape and image library is slim. Incorporate Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to add great artwork and images.
- Prezi has an awesome application for doing Google image searching in-app, then adding them to your Prezi. No more dragging and dropping. Certainly many copyright issues with adding content found on the web, but the app sure is covenant.
- Prezi takes about 5-10 hours to learn. Expertise comes with practice and knowledge of visual composition and storytelling.