In a nutshell, Prezi is a Flash-based presentation system that allows users to create incredibly dynamic presentations. Presentations where you can zoom in and out across a large area (no slides), create motion paths, embed images and video and do things that previously needed a pretty competent Flash developer and a whole chunk of time. It kicks traditional slide ware way into touch. And it is very, very easy to learn and use.
Is it better than PowerPoint?
No of course it’s not. I don’t even see it as a competitor. If Microsoft’s tool is the motor car, Prezi is the hand-built kit car for weekend use only. It looks lovely, it fills your heart with joy, it performs wonderfully well on those high mountain roads in summer, when love is in the air and you’re 25… But it’s fragile, windy and noisy and you wouldn’t take the kids away in it, for a week skiing in December. Not yet anyway.
Obviously, Prezi is not as broad, flexible, integrated or widely used as Bill’s much derided package, so it’s nowhere near PowerPoint as the default option for corporates, but as an expert user of PowerPoint, I could do some things much more easily and powerfully with this little gem, and there are times that I’d choose to use it, without question, simply because Prezi’s starting position is so different.
Crap presenters will still present badly with Prezi, maybe even worse because there’s less structure to follow than in a PPT template. But designers, poets, CEO’s who want to woo investors, show-offs, me, and people with a little bit of hunger for the new and dangerous will just want to have a go.
Should we learn how to use it? Of course you should. Why ?
It differentiates you from 99.99% of the others in your field. Put it more directly. I had a pitch last week for a big chunk of credit-crunch busting work over 2 years. I created a great story, charmed the client, created the visuals and chose to use this (with a PPT backup if all went wrong). It just wowed them. It made us look and feel different to the other people who’d walked into that room before us. Yes, we did a good job too- 95% our work, 5% these slavic nutcases at Prezi. But it helped .
You’ve got to try it out if you call yourself a presenter. Haven’t you?