How to Use Prezi – The Zooming Presentation Tool

How many of us are tired making and watching the same style of presentations – which moves from right-left-up-down?

Everyone of us open Microsoft PowerPoint as and when we have to make presentations. But I personally feel this is going to become outdated because much better and efficient softwares are hitting the market. (No offence to Microsoft PowerPoint though :-P )

For me, the visuals you use when presenting need to achieve 3 objectives. They are there to help you to communicate your message:

  • more effectively
  • more interestingly
  • more memorably

 

And that is the reason, I want to introduce you to a unique zooming presentation tool – PREZI.

Prezi (http://prezi.com/) is an online presentation and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual canvas. Prezi is unique in its own way by its Zooming User Interface (ZUI), which enables users to zoom in and out of their presentation media.

By this way, we can give our audience a better visual experience with our presentations; and the feature of zooming will help portray extreme details related to some items in the presentation. So here, instead of the usual traditional slides, we are able to create a large (practically unlimited) map and zoom around it while we do our presentation.

The technology uses a Flash-based presentation system which helps to us to produce very dynamic presentations. Most awesome feature in this – we can zoom in and zoom out across a large canvas, create a sequence path (no sequential slides to step through), embed images and videos on it and do a lot of other things that a professional Adobe Flash developer would take hours to produce.

It takes some time to become familiar with the way presentations are made using Prezi, although the interface is fairly easy to navigate, once you get the hang of using the "Zebra" manipulation tool. There are many good educational tutorial videos to assist in creating Prezi presentations. The Prezi website has a full training course on it which will help understand step by step how to use all the functions. The learning course is at: http://prezi.com/learn/.

Getting Started with Prezi:

To get started, we have to simply sign up using a valid email address and choose the free 'Public' version. The free version offers 100MB of file storage without the ability to make presentations private. It also brands every presentation with a Prezi logo and provides an offline player that will help play our presentations offline.

There is a good ready Reference Guide PDF by Mr. RJ Tarr at: http://www.activehistory.co.uk/Miscellaneous/free_stuff/worksheets/Prezi.pdf. This would be very useful when you are doing your first prezi. (You won't end up wasting as much time as I did to understand Prezi).

Initially when Prezi was launched, one had to make each and every slide on Prezi which consumed a lot of time. But recently they added a feature of importing PowerPoint slides onto your Prezi canvas..You still can't copy-paste text onto Prezi, you have to manually type it in order to change anything. Perhaps this is because Prezi is supposed to be far less text based than PowerPoint, and just present short-sharp ideas; rather than a set of detailed notes.

How to Make a Prezi Presentation:

Here is the presentation which I recently made for the ORM team at Convonix, – http://prezi.com/wyttxertr2bg/how-to-influence-autosuggest-of-google/.

Some of the prezis which you can refer on 'How Prezis can be made' -

 

Saving Your Prezi:

There is a Save icon in your canvas which you can use to save in order not to lose your work. Please note that, Prezi does not auto-save, thereby no guarantee of your work not getting lost – if there is a power outageor you go offline.

Downloading Your Prezi to a Computer:

One can easily download the Prezi to a computer once it is saved. This can be a bit tricky, because the downloaded file is in 'zip' format. These files need to be 'unzipped' to get the resource folders. It is important that all items in the folder stays together. (Do not delete or move any of them). Double clicking the Flash folder icon will open your presentation.

There are a few websites online which praise Prezi as the best presentation maker tool, and believe that PowerPoint and SlideShare are finished and will have no future.However, it seems that Prezi is best suited for presentations involving a hierarchy of ideas. Prezi is certainly gaining popularity quickly, and is a nice break from one dimensional sequential slide show presentations. It would be great if this evolves like "SlideShare" has, and we can browse Prezis online to refer and download to suit our own needs.

So it's good to give Prezi a go and it is kind of fun once you get used to its unique zooming zebra interface.

Enjoy Prezi-ing!! ☺

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