Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Fundamentals: Prezi and the Further Death Of PowerPoint

Hi Friday Fundamentals followers,

Feeling adventurous?  

Do you have a little time this weekend to explore a new, refreshing  way to communicate?

Meet Prezi, a presentation format that allows you and your ideas to escape the plodding, predictable rhythm of the linear PowerPoint world.

With a Prezi presentation, you can zoom in, zoom out, and zoom all around your story.  You can display it in order, or take it out of order -- back up, skip ahead, then go back  again, with only a click or two -- and without disorienting your viewers.  Once you place your material on Prezi's mural-like master backdrop, the screen becomes your tool to spontaneously focus your audience's attention anywhere you want.

I'm just a beginning Prezi user myself, but already I'm sold.  

Seeing this concept firsthand is much better than reading about it, so I'd like to share with you my first very Prezi.  I developed it to showcase the innovative process flow that  my team used during Convoy of Hope's recent Long Island charity event (more about that event here.).  It has a few rough edges, but it's a good showcase for what a Prezi can do.

Before you take a look, I want to warn you: navigating Prezi is deceptively simple.  You can zoom in by clicking on any part of the image.  Then, zoom out by clicking anywhere on the surrounding background. Or use the side scroll bar to center the image on your screen, then use the forward arrow on the bottom navigation bar to advance the show in its already-programmed sequence.  (Wow, talking about it is a lot more complicated than just doing it.)

Ready?  Click here to begin.  When you're done experimenting, come back here to read the rest of the post.

---  pause for Prezi viewing  ---

Are you back?  What did you think?

If my sample Prezi has made you eager to try it for yourself, type the following url into your browser window to set up your own Prezi account for free:

Or watch the new series of youtube videos that the Prezi gang has just published for beginning users by clicking here.

Prezi is so intuitive it's addictive, but first you have to adjust to the fluidity of its design process.  Hint:  if you relax and treat Prezi like a videogame, you'll soon be whizzing around the screen, placing text, sizing fonts and importing images like a media mad scientist.

One downside: if you have to re-enter the PowerPoint world after playing with Prezi (as I do, since I'm currently finalizing a PowerPoint training module that I need to deliver next Tuesday), prepare yourself for a big psychological shift.  It's going to feel heavy, like the sensation you get when you haul yourself back up out of the pool after a nice frolic in the water.  No worries --  your Prezi will be there again when you're free to dive back in.  You can even convert your existing PowerPoint presentations into Prezis.  Try it, and then invite your next audience to jump into the Prezi pool right along with you.  I guarantee they'll be enchanted and  impressed.

I hope you like Prezi.  Enjoy the new-found freedom of the zoomable presentation -- and leave a comment to tell us about your first im-Prezi-ions!  

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