Many of you will be familiar with Prezi. Since its launch in 2009 there has been a lot of talk about Prezi in the presentation community, many users like the dynamic non-linear style, however it’s also come in for its fair share of criticism.
Recently Prezi’s had a bit of a re-design; being presentation designers we are always eager to evaluate every piece of presentation software. We like Prezi, it has some nice features and we like the free flow style of animation. However we do find the lack of design flexibility and the default settings a little frustrating at times.
So what’s new? The menus have become simpler and are no longer in the bubble; they have become a more standard linear format and have a lot more drop down options. It looks a lot more business-like and a lot less quirky. I think the rise in its popularity probably has something to do with this, along with the continuous new features including 3D Backgrounds, Presenter View, Screen Blackout and PowerPoint Import making it much more live event and conference focussed.
The theory behind Prezi is that our ideas are not linear and I think the main idea is to get people to think about storyboarding their presentations properly; to make them think about the structure and flow of their presentation. To really analyse the messages there are talking about. It’s a great idea but in reality rarely put into practice. Instead, I feel, people tend to add everything and zoom around to the point of motion sickness. They get carried away with the software features and don’t concentrate on the messages and content.
Presentation theory is the key, whatever programme you use to create your presentation, if you don’t think about your presentation in terms of message, story, content and flow, the results will be poor. You can create a good presentation with a chalk board if your theory is correct.
The basic rules for good presenting should be applied no matter what you’re using to create your visuals in. Don’t use the screen graphics as speaker notes but as a visual representation of your story to cement your thoughts and messages to make sure the audience understand your points and leave with a full appreciation and purpose. Overloading with text and unnecessary graphics or animation will only leave your audience confused and you will have lost the core messages you’re trying to deliver.
The main benefit we find of using Prezi is the ability to drill down into a message whilst keeping the bigger picture context visible. Illustrating the links between ideas or explaining the relationships that can be found within a business.