Tracy’s Friday Favorites: Prezi
It was definitely coming, wasn’t it? Prezi (www.prezi.com) had to be one of my Friday favorites sooner or later. Those who know me know that this is by far one of my favorite ‘tech’ tools and one that I think has really helped to make me stand out as a speaker at conferences. Okay, it’s not the tool but what you do with it that counts, but Prezi has transformed the way in which I am able to deliver presentations, making them far more entertaining, interactive and visually appealing that dull PowerPoint slides with bullet point after bullet point. It’s also enabled me to develop wiki-style workshops, which I love doing as they really engage the participants and get them involved in co-creating their own workshops and programmes, fully sharing the collective knowledge within a room rather than just having a lone voice speaking out at them.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Prezi is a presentation tool, but rather than have individual slides, you work with one large canvas that you can zoom in and out of to highlight key areas of your presentation, talk or workshop. If you like mind-mapping, then you’ll probably love Prezi. It’s perfect for me as my mind doesn’t tend to work in a very linear, structured way anyway. So it means that when I’m planning a conference talk, I can just dump all of my initial thoughts into the one big canvas, then create groupings and move them around to make sense of them, give them shape, and eventually take shape into, hopefully, a beautiful presentation.
The key is not to move too quickly through the presentation, otherwise your audience will complain of feelings akin to sea-sickness! So, as with all technology, don’t get carried away with whizzy technology for the sake of whizzy technology.
Here are a few features that it has, beyond just producing beautiful presentations, that I particularly love (and use a lot):
- The ability to embed presentations into other websites, blogs, etc. If you scroll through my blog you’ll see a number of posts that have presentations I have given embedded in them.
- Seamless embedding of YouTube videos into your presentations just by pasting in the url for the video (so no fussing with uploading large video files).
- The offline editor (okay, you have to have a paid-for account to get this, but it’s worth it if, like me, you do a lot of editing and speech/presentation planning on the go. Many of my presentations are put together as basic structures on train journeys, for example, when I wouldn’t be able to use the online editor).
- iPad app. You can’t yet edit presentations through the iPad app, but you can show them. And they look amazing. These are great for when you’re seeing a prospective client or client on a one-to-one or small group basis and just want to show them something quickly, or for chatting with people on exhibition stands, at recruitment fairs, etc.