Prezi is a tool, yes. But it’s also a mindset.

I was pleased to read Brent Manke’s honest, thoughtful review of Prezi today. He agrees with much of what I’ve said about Prezi in the past – mainly that Prezi alone cannot make a presentation great (see What Prezi Does for a Poor Speech for my views). Brent says:

“Prezi is the new trendy tool in the world of presentations. But the thing is, it’s still just that: a tool. Often as presenters we can fall prey to the temptation of creating a presentation around a particular tool, rather than using the tools to help clarify our message and engage our audience.”

And he’s completely right – a bad speech accompanied by a great Prezi is still a bad presentation. Your audience would rather you nailed your speech than gave them some fancy pictures to look at while you bored them.

But I believe Prezi is more than just a presentation tool – it’s a symbol (and opportunity) for changing the way we approach presentations; and one more step along the road away from ‘death by PowerPoint’.

Prezi is a tool – for changing the way we think about presentations

We’ve been trained to see presentations as linear lists – and that’s what 99% of the professional presentations I see are. A whistlestop tour of boring facts, numbers and ideas displayed in long bullet lists on a PowerPoint slide.

When you’re creating with Prezi, you start with a big, blank canvas. Immediately, your first thought , usually “what will I put on my first slide?”, changes to “where will I put my first frame?”.

Suddenly, you’re free to find natural links between your ideas, and make your presentation a natural, free flowing story rather than a stuttering, boring series of bullets.

Thoughts and ideas aren’t linear – they can be interrelated, cyclical or independent. Having a blank canvas on which to spread out those ideas helps us to find natural ways of explaining them, and be more creative in designing a presentation.

So if you’re going to present with Prezi, your first step (after nailing your story) should be to cover the canvas in all of your ‘assets’ (images, videos and text); then you can spread your ideas out and organise your visuals organically.

And if you’re a PowerPoint die-hard, maybe you should consider using Prezi as a brainstorming tool, to give your ideas a chance to grow.

Find out what I think of Prezi Vs. PowerPoint as a presentation tool.


Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey


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