Spice Up Your Presentations with Prezi

Meetings and presentations tend to be boring most of the time. Often times it’s not the content but the presentation slides that put everyone to sleep. In the corporate jungle, Microsoft PowerPoint happens to be the weapon of choice for pumping the sleeping gas into the conference room. So how can we differentiate ourselves from the PowerPoint crowd with a jazzy presentation?

We’ll take a look at Prezi, the zooming presentation editor, and see if it is a possible solution.

Example

Overview

Prezi allows you to create presentations on the go from any computer that has Adobe Flash player 9 installed. There is a minimum memory requirement of 1GB RAM, which is very demanding considering that this is a web app. Prezi supports browsers from a by gone era – Internet Explorer 6 & Firefox 1 – onwards. This is a smart move from the Prezi team as it gives them instant access to millions of professionals stuck behind their corporate firewall with a creaky IE 6.

Flash is required only for creating the presentations, and downloaded presentations can be viewed from the desktop without the need for installing additional software. That’s good thinking on Prezi team’s part as it removes skepticism from the creator’s mind as to whether the presentations will work smoothly when sent via email to colleagues & friends.

Overview

Overview

Pricing

Prezi has a free plan that allows you to create presentations and export them to display offline. Free plans come with a bundled 100 MB storage. Presentations created with the free plan are watermarked and are always showcased publicly to all the visitors of Prezi. If you want extra storage space, remove watermarks and to keep your presentations private, subscribe to the paid plans – Enjoy and Pro – starting at $59 annually.

Pricing

Pricing

Even though a monthly breakup is displayed, Prezi charges you in full for a year and kudos to Prezi for not hiding this message in fine print. Both paid plans have a 30 day free trial period and if you cancel your account in this window, your credit card will not be charged. If you happen to be a student or teacher, Prezi offers special prices at a discounted rate.

User Interface and Usage

Prezi’s User Interface is minimal and colourful. After logging in, you will be redirected to a very dashing landing page that offers to help you with videos and examples from the showcase.

Welcome Page

Welcome Page

The Create dashboard has eight templates to choose from. Enter the title & description of the presentation, select the appropriate template and you will be taken to the omnipotent canvas.

User Interface

User Interface

I was floored by the design and execution of the slide creation process. Just double click on the page where you wish to add text and type it away. It’s that simple!

The first step

The first step

Adding Content

Moving text around is extremely simple and outright awesome. Just click on the text and use the Wheel thingy (officially known as the Transformation Zebra) to move the text to the desired location. Clicking on the Zebra also brings up a menu that allows you rotate, resize, focus, duplicate, delete the selected text. Despite having a funny name, the Transformation Zebra pulls a lot of weight making the UI seamless. Such a smart idea it is.

Adding content to slides

Adding content to slides

Moving text around

Moving text around

You can rotate the content – text, images, frames etc. – to a full 360 using the Zebra. Take that PowerPoint.

Adding Images and Frames

Images can be inserted from the Insert option from the menu wheel at the top left hand corner of the canvas. The upload process was smooth, but at times the images were blurred in the final presentation. To jazz up the textual content, frames can be added. You can select from four different frames, and they do help to add emphasis to a word, phrase or number.

Adding frames

Adding frames

Creating the Flow

The absolute beauty with Prezi‘s canvas is that you can be as non-linear as you want. Start adding content at random areas in the canvas and everything can be put together in a way that makes sense later. The Path menu lets you add numbers to the content areas giving flow to the presentation created. With Prezi you don’t have to be ready with what’s next. You can start working with whatever you have and then piece together a complete presentation once things start to get clearer.

Creating the flow

Creating the flow

Even after creating a complex flow, adding new content in between is so easy. Just drag the point in between the linking lines and the new content is added where you want it to be without breaking the rest of the steps in the flow.

Sharing the Presentation

Once the presentation is done, the same can be downloaded from the dashboard. The download was a bit on the heavier side – almost 19 MB (Zipped file) for a presentation with just a tiny PNG file and a few sentences. The presentation was in pristine format and played smoothly in the desktop.

Downloading a Presentation

Downloading a Presentation

As I said before, presentations created by free users are available publicly. Yet if you want to share it to your friends, you can do so straight from the dashboard. Embed codes are available if you want publish the same if you want to post in a blog or web page and you can choose the dimensions of the presentation window before generating the code.

Sharing the Presentation

Sharing the Presentation

Final Thoughts

Prezi is a dream come true for professionals who would like to spice up their presentations rather than using dull PowerPoint slides. After creating a presentation, I noticed that the size was very negligible and there was no change in the 100 MB limit, which is a good thing if you are happy with a free account.

The only downside on the design level is that, except for the canvas, the rest of site’s resolution seems very low. There is always a larger grey area on the left and right sides on the display. Loading a Prezi online took quite sometime and you might want to do that before kicking off the meeting.


Summary

Prezi allows you to create presentations on the go from any computer that has Adobe Flash player 9 installed.

  • Prezi  | 
  • Free / $59 annually / $159 annually  | 
  • Prezi
9

Responses

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  • Heard about this a few days ago. Great ideas!

  • It’s great I have used it a couple of times and like it.
    If your audience is used to see dull PowerPoint presentations with a lot of bullet points they wake up when starting a Prezi presentation and do listening, at least in the beginning. If they continue to listen is up to you …

  • is there a limit on how many steps there are in your path?

  • Heard about Prezi by my teacher and I liked it very much because I am fond of making spicy presentation..