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Thing 51: More Online Presentation Sharing (Prezi)

Page history last edited by Karla Irwin 8 years, 10 months ago

Based on 23 Things for Professional DevelopmentThings 17: The Medium is the Message-Prezi and Slideshare, by myfear


Prezi is a presentation tool and a great alternative to PowerPoint, but like any tool it has to be used well to achieve the best possible results. The unique aspects of Prezi include the ability to zoom, pan, and layer levels of information in a way that offers the best viewing experience for the attendee. People often overuse these aspects of the software and the result can be a presentation as predictable as PowerPoint. 


Prezi allows you to step away from a linear presentation style. That mean that you can dance around your subject, drawing commonalities and contrasts from different elements of your topic. There are some great online guides which will help you. Prezi's YouTube channel contains tutorial videos that can be especially helpful for those just beginning in Prezi:



Additionally, there are more resources on Prezi's Learn & Support page, and you can follow Prezi on Twitter and their support folks have great tips on Twitter @PreziSupport.


To help you think about how you can exploit the intrinsic qualities of Prezi let’s consider a couple of uses:


Dynamic presentations

The success of this depends on using the functionality of Prezi to tell the story of your argument. Use the fact that you can travel along the canvas with your audience to illustrate the main points of your presentation. Raise a problem, look around it (literally!), offer solutions and then show the audience how they can take your approach and apply it to their own situations.

Great techniques for this include:

  • Using a circular structure to link solutions to problems, allowing you to visit and revisit areas of the screen as you talk.
  • Zooming inhiding key points within pictures or other text allows you to expand on arguments without overloading the structure with text.


Using one large picture to linking ideas together


Using one large picture as a background allows you to show details, the whole picture, and the relationships between them.

Techniques to bear in mind:


  • Choose a high-quality, interesting, relevant, or relaxing picture to compare or contrast to your subject matter. (You probably have excellent choices in your collections.)
  • Regularly zoom back out to reveal the big picturehint, use invisible frames.
  • Be careful with your color choices to ensure that your text really stands out against an image-heavy background.




A Voice in the Wilderness: Personalised Library Services in a Virtual Environment by Meg Westbury (March 22, 2011)


The Nantucket Atheneum Presents: The Digital Newspaper Archive — by Caitlin Kelley (September 21, 2012)


Teaching take-aways

Prezi is a great alternative to a hand out, or for getting your message to those who can’t physically attend your talk. If your voice isn’t there to accompany the presentation you will have to be more reliant on text, but you can do this without resorting to those tried, tested, and tired PowerPoint bullets!

Not everything is best taught using a projector and a laser pointer. Simply use the Prezi as a mindmapping space, the different text colours, frames and arrows allowing you to forge connections between disparate parts of your subject.  




Scale of the Solar System Activity by Todd Ensign (April 24, 2011)


Does Prezi mean the end for my PowerPoints?

Relatively new to Prezi is the ability to upload and enhance PowerPoint slides. This gives you an opportunity to remix your existing PowerPoint slides, adding value by connecting them in a way that comes naturally to Prezi but is impossible to do with PowerPoint.


A final but important tip about images


Be sure to use high-quality imagespng or convert to pdf, try Zamzar for free conversion. You can achieve variety or uniformity by mounting your images on frames or applying washes or treatments like drop shadows, Pixlr will do all this and more, quickly, easily, and also free.




  • Take some time to experiment with Prezi.
  • Think about (blog about) how you could use Prezi to "sell" your archives or your presentation more effectively. 
  • Try creating a take-away teaching course, breathe new life into some PowerPoint slides, or create a dynamic induction presentation for new staff or students. 




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