Prezi

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual canvas. Used as an alternative to PowerPoint, its main feature is its zoomable canvas that assists users to make visually captivating presentations that lead your audience down a path of discovery. This ‘virtual canvas’ encourages non-linear and dynamic dispersion of information and ideas. Text, images, videos and other presentation objects can be easily placed upon the Prezi canvas, and then grouped together in frames. ‘Paths’ can then be drawn between these different items to create a captivating animation.

If used well, Prezi enables you to take your audience on a more interesting journey as you use its motion capabilities to emphasise key points or demonstrate ideas.

Getting started


How does Prezi differ from Powerpoint?

Prezi is not necessarily a better option than Powerpoint, it is merely an alterntive that can be employed to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Because most people are less familiar with Prezi than they are with Powerpoint, it is generally easier to make a good impression with the former because the audience is captivated by the new medium.

Prezi offers users a web-based, rather than desktop-based, presentation program that is able to be accessed from anywhere, at any time. The ‘canvas’ that acts at the foundation in Prezi, means that navigation is non-linear. This is in stark contrast to the sequential slide format of Powerpoint. Prezi also offers the ability to incorporate video and other presentation objects, which much less feasible in a Powerpoint presentation. Once items have been placed on the presentation canvas, users can drag, rotate, or zoom in or out using Prezi to emphasis a specific point or show the bigger picture. This poses another significant difference between the two programs, as this feature is not possible on Powerpoint.


10 Things You Need to Know to Make a Good Prezi

If employed correctly Prezi has the ability to be a very captivating and engaging presentation tool. The Wikiman has outlined 10 tips that should be followed to ensure your Prezi is a good one:

1. Create your structure first

By planning the outline before you begin to construct the actual Prezi you are able to have a clear vision of the entire canvas. Once you have a frame you can begin building the presentation and adding more details as you go.

2. Choose your colour scheme early and choose it well!

Various themes are available in Prezi and will dictate the whole look of your presentation. Changing the theme or colour scheme can completely change the tone, so it is crucial that you make the best decision. Once fonts and colours have been chosen they are set for the entire presentation, that is, they can’t be mixed and matched. It is important to choose the right theme at the beginning because if it is to be changed later on, you will have to re-size and re-arrange everything accordingly.

3. Avoid making your viewers sea-sick

One of the main complaints about Prezi is that it gives viewers motion sickness. The path you choose for your presentation should be smooth and consistent. Try and avoid unnecessary swoops, spins, twirls or changes of perspective.

4. Understand scale

The Prezi canvas is essentially of unlimited size. Whatever item you click on, or navigate to, has the potential to fill the entire screen. It is suggested that you make your sections bigger than you think you need to. This way you will have more room to pack in more detail later on. It is also recommended that you include at least one massive change in scale.

5. Understand how Prezi works with images

The most important thing to understand about the relationship between Prezi and images is that JPEGS always look grainy and of poor quality. It is much better to use PDF’s instead. JPDG to PDF converters are easily found online. Remember that all of your pictures will fill the screen when Prezi zooms in on them. If you input an image that is smaller than the full-screen, they are highly likely to be blurry when you zoom in. One way to eliminate this problem is to utilise hidden frames.

6. Utilise hidden frames

Frames allow you to control what the view sees, and how close up they see it. Frames can be either visible or hidden from the viewer. As mentioned above, hidden frames can be utilised to prevent grainy images. By drawing a large hidden frame around a smaller image, Prezi will zoom in on the frame, leaving the picture at its appropriate size. Frames can also be employed to create interactive hotspots. The viewer or presenter can click this framed hotspot during the presentation and Prezi will zoom right in on the information or text.

7. Aim for uniformity

Prezi uses a wheel to change the size of items, meaning it can be quite difficult to get two different sections of text or images to have the same proportions. You cannot simply change the font and size in Prezi as you can in Powerpoint. The most reliable way of ensuring uniformity is to select an example of an item that is the size you would like, and duplicate it. The replica that is produced can be edited to say whatever you want, and will be in the same format as the rest of your presentation. Repeat this process throughout your entire Prezi to ensure uniformity and cohesiveness.

8. Show restraint

Prezi’s extensive range of capabilities can lead to users getting carried away with all its bells and whistles. Do you really need a 180-degree change of perspective, or brackets around all of your titles? It is essential to continually question each decision, asking what you really need. Each presentation will be slightly different, so pick and choose what is most appropriate for each particular one.

9. And briefly… some specifics

Linking: when typing a URL into Prezi, it doesn’t immediately appear as a clickable link. The link will become hyperlinked once you save, exit and reopen your presentation (we have no idea why…) It will also become hyperlinked why you duplicate the text.

Mass changes: a whole group of objects can be shifted at once (at the entire Prezi, if you like) by pressing the shift key and then highlighting the relevant pieces.

Videos: If you would like to embed a YouTube video into your presentation all you need to do is type the URL into your Prezi as free text. The video should appear automatically.

10. The most important point is that the Prezi is working for you, and not the other way around

Be realistic. Spend some time learning how to use it, but if Prezi doesn’t seem to work for you, then it quite simply isn’t for you. Don’t let the tail wag the dog – pick a presentation platform that suit you and what you are trying to say, don’t let the medium dictate to you what you are doing.


Accounts

  • Customers who use the free Prezi Public license must publish their work on the Prezi.com website, which is publicly viewable.
  • Customers who pay for a Prezi Enjoy or Prezi Pro can make their prezis private.
  • Only Pro license users have access to Prezi Desktop, which enables offline editing.


Prezi elements

  • “Pan & Zoom” Prezi’s panning and zooming navigation give it a more cinematic feel than two-dimensional presentation software.
  • The “Prezi Zebra”, named for its striped appearance (Prezi’s logo is a former version of the Zebra) is an object manipulation icon that lets you size, rotate, or edit an object.
  • The “Prezi canvas” is an open space upon which the user places and navigates between text, images, videos, and other presentation media.
  • A “Frame" is a UI construct that groups presentation media together as a single presentation object.
  • A "Path" is a navigational sequence that connects presentation objects for the purposes of structuring a linear presentation.


Best practice process of creating a Prezi

  • Plan the structure and outline of the presentation
  • Add the text, plus any images / videos etc
  • Move them around and arrange them in a coherent order on the canvas that reflects the presentation structure
  • Plot the path between them in the order you want to use
  • Click ‘Show’ and watch the presentation back, then refine it if you need to


Why you should put Prezi in your B2B content marketing toolbox

  • It’s great for telling linear stories – allowing you to take the viewer by the hand and lead them through your tale.
  • It’s media rich – you can include video files, images and links.
  • Easy to share and can embed your presentations on your website
  • You can edit and play offline with the paid version – so you can present from it even if you’re not near WiFi


Things to remember

  • It takes a little while to learn how to use (well)
  • It doesn’t give you SEO-juice – the text inside isn’t searchable
  • If you over-use the swooping you can make people feel ill.
  • Can be overwhelming or distract from the core message of the presentation


Criticisms

Heavy-handed path layout, unnecessary changes in perspective, or overuse of zooming functions can induce a feeling of motion sickness among viewers. In response to this common criticism, the company has commissioned a number of tutorials that seek to educate users on effective layout techniques. The lack of font and colour options can also be seen as a major drawback of Prezi, especially when compared to Powerpoint. Additionally, Prezi does not contain a spellcheck feature. This poses a serious disadvantage for hurried business people who need to quickly put together a presentation and do not have the time to scan every word for mistakes.