By Mikinzie Stuart (@Mikinzie)
What is Prezi? The best way to answer this is what it is NOT: Prezi is not just another lame Powerpoint presentation. The Prezi administrators use the analogy “sketches on a digital napkin.” In my own words, Prezi is “presentation-making on steroids.”
Not quite sure how Prezi differs from other presentation tools? Check out a snapshot of the features it offers for creating and sharing presentations:
- Bubble menu
- Write text
- Use frames
- Insert arrows/lines/markers
- Insert web links
- Move, scale and rotate with the transformation zebra
- Copy and paste
- Undo and redo
- Change fonts and colors
- Insert images, video, sound, files, pdf, powerpoint, excel, flash files, complex graphics, youtube videos,
- Smart zooming
- finds the best possible view for that specific object: it will bring the object fully into view, center it, and rotate the view to match the rotation of the object.
- Option of autoplay with timed intervals or one move per click
- invite others to collaborate online
- Create online on internet browser ( e.g. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari) without the need to install anything.
- Create offline with Prezi desktop application if Pro license
- Use online or offline
- Play presentation from the web or download and play from your computer
- Able to use keyboard shortcuts
Pros – Prezi is visually interesting and appealing – very different from the typical PowerPoint presentation. One large Web canvas and no slides enable more creativity and give the ability to present your thoughts in a more natural manner. You can present from a browser or desktop (w/o internet). Not sure where to start? There are lots of tutorials available, a free trial and low costs. There is also a great help center and customer service. Best yet? Prezi is on Twitter and actually engages.
Cons – Users actually have to read and watch the tutorials to figure it out. I’m not going to lie – it takes practice to efficiently use the transformation zebra and make pathways. So it can be somewhat time consuming depending on how comfortable you are using it. And be careful – there’s no spell check (yet).
Price: You can sign up for free 30-day trial of a Prezi Enjoy or Prezi Pro account. Your credit card will not be charged until this period expires. You can also download and try out the Desktop Editor free for 30 days using every account.
So how could SHIFT and other PR pros use Prezi? Client pitches and presentations, sketch ideas during brainstorms and make into a coherent presentation afterwards, create presentations for a client’s campaign, Facebook page and website design, etc.
I used Prezi for an in-class presentation I gave last year while attending Ferris State University. Using Prezi got the audience engaged by giving me the ability to integrate offline examples and games into the presentation. The visual dynamic of using Prezi for my presentation also made it easier to make an otherwise boring topic (chapter overviews about writing, editing and proper grammar) more interesting and easier to interject humor when appropriate.
All in all, Prezi has a lot of potential to be a useful tool for any communication professionals. Although it does take time and practice to learn how to use it, it is worth the time investment to capitalize on our creativity and stand out from the crowd.
I give Prezi 4 out of 5 slices (because no spell check, want more options for themes/ symbols, etc, slight difficulty with usability)
Play with it! http://www.prezi.com