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Prezi: Presentations With a Twist

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Sample PresentationJust about every presentation app works the same way: Whether you rely on Powerpoint (s smft), Keynote (s aapl) or another presentation application, you’re sharing a series of slides that progress in a linear fashion. While you can craft beautiful presentations, you’re up against a format that never changes. One web-based application is working on changing that, though: Prezi has an intuitive interface for both building a presentation and sharing it with your audience.

One Big Page

Prezi - Opening Day ProjectWhere a typical presentation is based on individual slides with a set progression, the starting point for a Prezi presentation is one big page. On this blank canvas, you place all of your elements for the entire presentation — images, text, even multimedia. Organizing this information is not a question of linear progression. Instead, you add paths between different elements; you can choose to start with a main idea and then jump to an image off of the far side of the page. Prezi uses a “path” tool to let you create a moving presentation that starts at one thought and moves to the next. If you want to change that order, or zoom in on a particular part of one of your images or ideas, you can handle those alterations on the fly.

The ability to zoom in and out during a presentation is one of the most important features on Prezi. By sizing information according to importance, you can communicate on levels far beyond a simple slideshow — while still being able to move in and look at the details of a concept. Moving between different parts of the presentation with changing sizes can also add an element of animation without relying on cheesy transitions between individual slides.

Prepping With Prezi

Sample Presentation-3Prezi’s interface for building new presentations is incredibly intuitive: In one corner of your web browser, you’ll find a set of options mostly focused on placing items within your presentation. Adjusting the size, placement and angle of any item in your presentation is just a matter of clicking on that item and dragging one of the three sets of circles that appear. It takes only a moment to get used to the interface. There is a tutorial that you can watch, but you can pick up the skill of building a presentation in Prezi with just a minute or two of clicking around.

It’s a fast way to create a presentation, and it offers new opportunities if you need to customize one presentation for multiple audiences. Rather than adding or deleting slides, it’s a matter of choosing which sections of your presentation you want to zoom in on; by changing the path your presentation follows around that big page Prezi offers you, you can simply avoid any material you want to exclude and focus in on those parts you want to include. Put all the information in there from the beginning and you can customize your presentations in a matter of minutes.

Practical Prezi

Sample Presentation-2Prezi offers several different levels of pricing. With the free version, you can create 100MB worth of presentations, but they’ll all be public. The two premium options offer an increased amount of space, as well as the ability to make your presentations private. The Pro version also offers an offline editor. All three options provide access to an offline player, just in case you are presenting somewhere without Internet access.

Has Prezi spiced up your presentation? Share your tips in the comments.

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