Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the Prezi style, part of Prezi Essential Training (2015).
- Whether you're new to creating presentations or you're an experienced Microsoft Power Point or Apple Keynote user, you're gonna find that Prezi is an entirely different kind of presentation tool. Programs like Power Point and Keynote function on the traditional presentation model that predates computers, namely displaying your talking points on single slides one at a time in a linear fashion. This kind of presentation style has been, and continues to be in many cases, perfectly fine and effective, and in some times the preferable style for certain types of presentations.
What Prezi brings to the table is the freedom to move outside a strictly linear presentation style. If you've ever seen a Prezi before you've probably noticed it's ability to zoom and rotate in and out of content, which can be a great way to grab and keep your audience's attention, but beyond the cool flashiness of movement Prezi really excels in providing you a way to bring a big picture perspective to your presentation. It allows to tell your story in a compelling visual way that lets your audience see all the pieces of the story at once, while at the same time letting you drill down to the important details.
Lets you show how all the pieces in your presentation fit together and work with each other. It pays to think about the story you're trying to tell and how you can best take advantage of the tools that are available to you. Consider the word "presentation" for a moment. Your goal is to take your content, the information you wanna share, and present it in the best way possible to your audience. You're going to be filtering your information through your presentation tool, which can greatly affect how that information comes out on the other end. So, look at the information you wanna share.
If it's a small amount of material that can be presented with a couple of bullet points and images you might wanna stick with the more conventional Power Point or Keynote type of tools, but I think in many cases you should be able to find the way to present the information in Prezi to really engage your audience in a way that keeps their attention. For example, here are a few slides in a Keynote presentation I created for a Lynda.com course I did on computer literacy for the Mac. This was for a video in which I was talking about the various types of computer ports and how they're needed to connect peripheral devices to your Mac.
I showed a couple of shots of the various Mac models and highlighted the ports. And there's nothing wrong with this layout but I do feel like it exhibits some basic pitfalls of traditional presentations. I have the title slide, and okay, that tells the audience what the presentation is about, it's fine but really not that engaging. Next we have the slide with the computer in the center surrounded by peripheral devices. I think that illustrates my point effectively. And that followed up by some close-ups of the USB ports of three Mac models.
The problem I have here is that I had to cut off the view of the iMac in order to have its ports displayed at a large enough size. It's not a huge deal but if you're not familiar with what the iMac looks like as a whole this cut-off image might be disorienting. Now let's take a look at a version of the same content but laid out in Prezi. So we start out here. I've included the title of the presentation again but instead of plain text on a white background we can see an overview of the entire presentation here. Just this screen lets the audience know that there's going to be a lot of things to look at, and at this size they can see that I'll be discussing USB ports, Thunderbolt ports, Ethernet and audio ports.
Now, you could argue that you could create a screen like this, full of graphics, in Power Point or Keynote as the title slide, and that's true, but in Prezi I don't have to spend any time creating extra graphics like that, all the text and images you see here are the actual parts of my presentation. In the case you're wondering, you don't have to start each presentation with an overview of the entire layout, like this, you can start zoomed in to a specific image or title and reveal your presentation piece by piece. We'll see some examples of this later on the course. Alright, so my next frame is a close-up of my central image, the computer surrounded by the peripheral devices which I've set up to appear one at a time.
This works pretty much the same way as the Keynote version of the slide we saw earlier. Next slide I started talking about USB ports. Notice I included a little rotation there which I think makes the movement more interesting to look at. Now, here's where I think Prezi really offers a superior solution. In this case it allows me to show each device here in its entirety so my audience knows exactly what they're looking at. Then I can zoom into each individual device to show the details without having to create additional slides with zoomed-in graphics. And then I can continue throughout the rest of my presentation in a similar fashion.
So as you can see, even though the content was pretty much the same, the presentation of the content was very different between Prezi and conventional slides. Now, another advantage of working with Prezi is that since there are no individual slides you can jump to any section of your presentation at any time simply by clicking with your mouse. This is a huge advantage in situations where someone in the audience asks a question about a topic you discussed early in your presentation. With traditional tools you'd have to click backwards through your presentation until you get to the right slide but in Prezi you can just zoom out to find the spot and then click it to zoom right in.
But I do wanna stress that Prezi isn't just about the zooming and rotating, it's a very cool-looking way to present your content but it's also very easy to overdo it by putting in zooms and rotations just for the sake of zooms and rotations. Overdoing it can also literally give your audience motion sickness, so be sure to remain focused on Prezi as a tool for presenting your content in an exciting but tasteful and controlled way. I'll talk more about how to control the level of zooming and rotation later in this course, but for now I hope this is giving you a cursory understanding of how Prezi can be used.
The course also explores how to collaborate with others on a prezi, publish it, and present it remotely on computers, tablets, and other devices.
- Planning your presentation
- Creating a new prezi
- Using the theme wizard
- Adding text, images, links, and more
- Aligning, layering, and grouping elements
- Adding video and audio to a prezi
- Collaborating on a prezi
- Printing a prezi