Apr 07


I’ll be honest. When I see the ubiquitous PowerPoint title page start off a presentation, I groan inwardly. And I’m guessing you do too.
Despite becoming a staple of the business and scholastic world, Microsoft’s presentation application hasn’t evolved beyond its linear bulleted slide formating since its release over twenty years ago.

Enter Prezi.

Prezi is an online presentation tool that does away with the slide-by-slide approach of Powerpoint entirely. Instead, it utilizes a visual map with embedded words, links, images and videos. Users can navigate this visual map by zooming in and out, resulting in an interactive and visually stimulating product.
Perhaps Prezi is best explained by watching a sample project. I wasn’t completely sold on the idea until I saw a demonstration on their site. Check out the video below:

The pliable interface of Prezi means that every presentation is unique to its creator. And it’s FREE. Best of all, it’s web-based, which means that Prezi presentations can be created and shown on any computer with internet access. No more emailing presentations to yourself, hoping desperately that the computer you’re presenting on will have the necessary OS and software. Users are also provided with an offline player in case you’re presenting somewhere without access to the internet.

Prezi offers three different levels of pricing: Free, Enjoy & Pro. Every version grants users access to the editing software and an offline player and the ability to download & embed presentations into websites and blogs, as well as the abiliy to import images, videos, PDFs, & Flash files. The free version allots you 100MB worth of file storage but ensures that all your presentations will be public. For $59 a year, users can quadruple their file storage and are given the option of making their presentations private. Pro, at $159 a year, lets premium users download a desktop application of the editing software so they may work offline.
Prezi.com also has a forum component, in which you can view the works of others, comment and perhaps choose to “pat them on the back” for a job well done.

One of my favorites is the Prezi that accompanied the lecture “Mixing Mind & Metaphor,” at TED Global 2009 given by James Geary. Check it out here.

I’ll admit at first it takes a little while to get used to the interface, especially if you’ve been brought up on Powerpoint. But Prezi is relatively intuitive and the site contains many helpful tutorial videos to assist with the basics and offer tips and tricks. Once you get the hang of it, the entire process is strangely liberating.

What do you think? Will you be using Prezi for your next presentation?