Hello, I have just been told to have a look at Prezi as a replacement for Power Points.

 

From what I can see it looks very sexy (if that's the right word) but I wanted to find out if it is all it's cracked up to be. Has anyone had experience with it & whether they could tell me if it is as good as it looks?

 

Thanks

 

Andy Greaves

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Hi Andy

We haven't started using it yet, but we are looking at it. We will probably try it out by taking one of our presentations from induciton and putting it into Prezi and see how we get on. When we have done this i'll let you know. It will be online too so you can have a look!

Maybe you should try it out with some exisiting presentation content and compare?

Sally
Hi Andy,

I used it to give a presentation last summer and found it to be an interesting alternative to PowerPoint and Keynote. However, I was a bit disappointed with some of my images. When uploaded they are compressed so I lost some quality. Otherwise, I was happy with how it looked. It was a relatively short presentation so I think the audience were okay with the changes in direction and zooming, but you can see the potential for giving a few people motion sickness.

All the best

Mark
I've used Prezi, and some of our graduates really like it. Prezi is great in certain applications.
Its novel, and therefore interesting
It encourages people to keep content to a minimum and focus on the message
It's pretty intuitive, and it's pretty

Three big issues and a couple of small ones though:
It's a bit of a one-trick pony. Charting etc nowhere near as powerful as powerpoint
You need to either have internet access or a piece of proprietary software installed on the host machine. No more rocking up with a USB key or ipad in your pocket
People very definitely get distracted by the delivery mechanism and pay less attention to the content - even really engaging content.

It doesn't play nicely with clickers
It's a bit sensitive to mouse pointers (i.e. it's easy to move the mouse and miss the button, thus creating a more disruptive experience than good old powerpoint)
Its security is questionable at the moment
To use it properly, you need to buy licenses

In summary - nice tool, looks good, encourages good habits, and has some applications, but in no way a replacement for the omnipresent powerpoint at the moment. Another tool in the presenter's arsenal.
Just answered this exact question from a colleague today, so easy to copy and paste: :)

Happy that you are having fun with Prezi – it is a very exciting tool indeed (although I sometimes got a bit overexcited and ‘hid’ so much stuff inside letters that I was getting seasick myself browsing through it).

What I have also found quite useful are a couple of free PowerPoint add-ins: PPTPlex: http://www.officelabs.com/projects/pptPlex/Pages/default.aspx (it allows you to create similar things to Prezi – not quite the same, but on the way there), as well as LiveWeb: http://skp.mvps.org/liveweb.htm
(allows you to embed live web pages into your PPT and they would be automatically refreshed, allowing you to get the latest live version in your presentation).

Before going any further, though, I should point out that none of these plug-ins are locally supported (well, neither is Prezi) and I only came across them and occasionally used them because I was willing to put up with occasional technical glitches (most sorted out as the plug-ins got updated). At the end of the day I think I wanted the convenience of having all the files on my machine and being able to change them in the middle of the night (not the best approach, I realise, but with precarious web access at conferences, working on Prezi would have been nearly impossible at times...)

Hope this helps a little and best wishes with your project,
Dragos
Another vote here for pptPlex :-)

It's a great (free) add-in for PowerPoint that will give you an extra dimension to your presentations, especially those that aren't typically linear in their content/delivery.

This way you get the familiarity of PowerPoint, without it's linear, one-dimensional, delivery restrictions.

Remember though, none of these tools will help if your content is rubbish :-)

Phil
Hello, Thanks everyone for the response, I will investigate the pptPlex option as this sounds more acceptable to the business & carry on with the Prezi tests.

Thanks again

Andy
I like prezi for short presentations. We have been using pptPlex as well and I am liking it although it doesn't have the same functionality as Prezi it is simple to use and definitely moves away from a simple linear presentation.
Hi Andy

I've played with it a fair bit and given one presentation in earnest to local politicians, press etc. Inevitably it has impact because its not Powerpoint and people come up and ask you about it.

It's not as fully featured as Powerpoint. What it does it does well but for some presenations you'll pretty quickly come up against the limitations.

Conceptually it's quite different from Powerpoint and this takes some getting used to (but is great fun). You have to think about your presenatation in a new way, including:

1. You're working at two levels: big view and slide view - your presentation has to work on the big canvas but also as a set of slides which you work through. Not as easy as it sounds and it takes a bit of skill to get both right at the same time (adjusting size and location of text and graphics so that your big message is not lost on the big canvas). For those who've not used Prezi imagine laying out words and picures on a whiteboard so that they put across a visual message in one glance - then add the ability to zoom onto each element so it fills the whiteboard. Add in the ability to zoom the elements in a sequence chosen by you and you've pretty much got Prezi. The trick is to do all of this without it looking naff at any point. With Powerpoint in contrast the individual slides have to look right and the sequence has to work but there is no big picture to worry about. If you get it right of course that's Prezi's strength - the big picture and the detail brought together.

2. Slide transitions are managed by the way you position the individual elements. If you arrange them in a curve for example the slides will each rotate into the screen.

3. The way you position elements on the screen and the way you move between them will determine whether your audience feels seasick or not :-). You need to cluster them and move gently between them.

4. I've not tried this - but you can determine the background to your slides by the background for your canvas as a whole. Effectively the background to your slide will depend on which part of the background image you have placed it on.

5. You can add some drama by having a large and surpirsing message and then zooming in to hidden (because smaller) detail which clarifies what you're saying. For example I used the message that computers in the classroom had set the clock back and then zoomed in to slides which explained visually that this was because fixed desktop machines had tied us into "old fashioned" classroom arrangements and that mobile technologies would liberate us from that restriction. This sort of thing works better on Prezi than with PowerPoint.

I used a Kensignton clicker which was fine - only the fade to black didn't work.

Technically it's easy to learn - it took me longer to get my head round it conceptually. I think this was worth it though just in terms of the mental exercise itself - whatever you are trying to present you have to think about it a little bit differently.

Had some problems with video working and then ceasing to work for no obvious reason.

It is well worth the time taken to get your head round it!

David
Hi Andy

I just signed up to Prezi and yes its a good tool but my concern would be some older audiences. I have found it quite confusing to watch and couldn't look at it for too long! Maybe baby boomers are too old for this:) I agree with the seasickness thing!
Andy

One thing I've found it extremely useful for is presenting a timeline. I had to cover a couple of years in a presentation where things were happening every few months and it became confusing in ppt. With one long timeline in prezi I could march along it chronologically but not loose the audience when I refered back to previous events.

Another effective presentation I've seen was from a company demonstrating a few projects that they've done around the world. Each project's 'slides' were clustered around the related country on a large background graphic of the globe so that you got a real sense of location as you were taken between them.

However, I would support the previous comments. It doesn't matter how good the tool is, if you have bad content or use it inappropriately then you get rubbish output.

Cheers, Jim:)
I've used it a bit, not recently though.

For me the main selling point is it's much easier to show how ideas relate to each other by using the zooming function to "nest" ideas within other ideas. Much better than PowerPoint's more linear approach.

Bit of a risk that overuse of the zoom and pan is the Prezi equivalent of cheesy PowerPoint transitions and animations, though. :)

Chris

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