Prezi – Is it any good?

April 18, 2010

in Prezi

In the fusty old world of presentation software there’s a new kid on the block claiming to be a PowerPoint ‘Killer’.  Is it any good, or just another loudmouth looking for a lucky break?  Here are a few answers to your questions…

What is Prezi?

In a nutshell, Prezi is a ‘Flash’-based presentation software that allows users to create dynamic presentations that look different to a traditional PowerPoint slideshow. Different because you can zoom in and out across a large area, create motion paths, embed images and video and do things that previously needed a pretty competent Flash user and a whole chunk of time to do. It claims to kick slide-based packages into touch. And it is very (relatively) easy to learn and use.

Can I see some examples?

Sure you can, here are some examples at the Prezi website-  www.prezi.com/showcase site, have a look and see what you think.  If you want to see it in use, here’s a great presentation done by a guy called James Geary speaking about metaphor, at TED.com – http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/james_geary_metaphorically_speaking.html

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 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 you wouldn’t take the kids away for a week skiing in December.  Yet.

Obviously, Prezi is not as broad, flexible, integrated or widely used so it’s nowhere near  PowerPoint,  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 because it’s default position is different.

Why all the news and buzz then?

A few thoughts from me here…

  1. It is good and offers a new way of thinking about presenting ideas in work and life.
  2. It’s not Microsoft- and as we know that’s enough for some people to go crazy about something that is not yet proven technology.  But it does have promise.
  3. People confuse the medium with the message- ie most presentations at work are crap, most presenters use PowerPoint, therefore PowerPoint is crap and anything new must be better… Logic flawed all through.

Will Prezi help me make a better presentation next time I get up to speak?

No. Crap presenters will still present badly with Prezi, maybe even worse because there’s less structure to follow than in a PPT template.  But if you’re good at building and telling stories, if you have a clear point to make, if you loathe bullet slides then maybe it will help a little.  For you creative types, thought leaders, designers, poets, CEO’s who want to woo investors, show-offs, me, and people with a little bit of flair for the new and dangerous you will want to have a go anyway.  So enjoy the experience.

Why should you learn how to use it?

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.  95% our work, 5% these Slavic nutcases, but it helped to make a difference.

How can you learn to use it?

Really easily.

You can teach yourself using our Prezi for Professionals eBook which brings together everything we have learnt from years of creating engaging and persuasive presentations with the software.

Have a go at making one yourself – our Prezi Graphics Packs can help by providing you with all the image files you might need. Click here to check out the range.

Find out about our Prezi training courses here, or give us a call: +44 (0) 1832-272773.

Be sure to sign up for regular blog updates here.

 

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

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dimitry February 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Prezi is crap, that’s what I am pretty sure about. Even in powerpoint it was hard to make a good presentation, because it was all 10h of preparation of ideas and contents and 1h of working on PowerPoint slides and 7minutes to present it to public. With prezi which is shit, people will start spending hours on changing colors, putting imagery around and putting funny clipart icons, and again will neglect effort to prepare ideas and contents. So prezi is just another overproportinately blown bad software. Also the ‘jerky’ animated transltions between slides (which just make everyone loose the context of the presentation) are just one of thouse great examples of bad design.

Reply

Jim Harvey March 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Dimitry,

Thanks for the heartfelt thoughts. I think most presenters would be better off without any kind of visuals other than diagrams and pictures (relevant). And I do think that both PowerPoint and Prezi have their place, but only if used well. Regards Jim

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