Last month I participated in the Northern Voice Conference in Vancouver, BC. There was a lot going on, lots of bloggers, social media experts, photographers, laptops, iPads, but if I have to pick the technological highlight of the conference I would have to choose Prezi, no doubt about it.
Many of the presenters at the Northern Voice Conference abandoned the usual suspects: PowerPoint and Keynote, and opted for a more fluid presentation built on Prezi. They changed slides for visuals that helped tell the story. Isn’t presenting all about storytelling? Well, Prezi delivers great toward the objective of helping the presenter tell the story.
What is Prezi? Prezi is a web-based presentation application and storytelling tool that uses a single canvas instead of traditional slides (Wikipedia). In other words, Prezi is a paper in blank where you can brainstorm, sketch ideas for your presentation, add pieces of information that support your story and finally create a storyline. The major breakthrough here is that Prezi is a tool built based on the correct process to create a presentation, to tell a story.
The tool is pretty intuitive and responsive. It is all about the “Zebra” which allows you to insert content, drag it around the canvas, change size and rotate. The following video: “Prezi in 3 minutes” explains how to use the “Zebra” to start creating your presentation:
However, there are some areas where Prezi still needs improvement:
- Flash: Your presentations are downloadable and embeddable in Flash format, which we know won’t work in iPhone or iPad.
- Given the above: No iPad version, yet.
- Presentation Notes: If you need notes to help you through your presentation you can download your Prezi as pdf, however make sure you are picking the white background option, as Adobe Reader does not offer the option to print balck&white as PowerPoint.
- Fonts and templates are very limited. But, at least from my point of view, this is good, as it makes you focus on what is really important for a successful presentation, content and storyline.
- Your presentations are public if you sign up for the “Free” Version (“Enjoy” Version is $59/Year and “Pro” Version is $159/Year). However, there is a great alternative for students obtain an Educational License that gives you additional treats (like, keeping your Prezis private). To sign up for an Educational License you just have to use their school e-mail (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org).
As mentioned, Prezi is very intuitive, but if you want to become a Prezi Master they provide online training at the Prezi Academy.
How does the final product look? Well, here is my first Prezi, used for a 5 minute class discussion on “Google AdSense”.
Hope you feel engaged to give it a try. Enjoy Prezi!