Creating your visual aids

Adding music and sounds to Prezi – should you?

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After having a discussion in the office this week, I thought it would be useful to write a post on the Prezi – Add Music and Sounds feature.

Jim watched a Prezi, and recommended I look at it as a good example of a well structured business Prezi. Although it was a great Prezi in terms of structure and use of visuals, it really made us consider the use of music in a presentation.

We both watched the Prezi independently of each other. I found the music distracting and Jim said that he had turned it off altogether.

Luckily, this particular Prezi was good enough to impress us, despite the music, but it definitely didn’t add to our viewer experience. What a waste if all your hard work to create your presentation was undermined by an annoying and distracting soundtrack.Visual aids should always be there to further your message and make it memorable for the right reasons.

Deciding to add music to help you do this is a risky decision. Consider that:

Musical taste is so diverse, it’s a near impossible job to choose suitable music

Different types of music have different effects on the listener

It’s difficult to judge if the effect will be negative or positive

I’m not a music hater and agree that music can have some amazing, positive effects as psychologist Dr Jeremy Dean suggests in his Psyblog, and if used carefully can enhance a great presentation. Just to prove it, here’s a tutorial on how to add music to your Prezi but, my recommendation is that if you aren’t sure about what music to choose, and whether you should add it or not – don’t.

Check out SlideRocket’s blog post for some useful Audio Resources.

Lesley Barringer
Lesley designs presentations at The Message Business. She has years of experience and loves Prezi when it's used well. She has set up a number of online businesses, is a published author and Mum of three boys.
Lesley Barringer
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