Making power points interesting has been the bane of presenters since it was introduced in 1987. Now, there’s an online app for that. Prezi is a new cloud-based software developed by Adam Solai-Fischer.
Prezi allows users to make zooming presentations, so it looks more like an interactive infographic rather than a slide-by-slide presentation. Fischer, an architect and visual artist, found it useful to use zooming software to help him see the big picture of a building’s floor plan and zoom in to see the individual rooms. In Budapest, professor Peter Halacsy convinced Fischer to market his technology. Prezi was founded in 2009, and has since received an investment from TED conferences.
The user interface is very simple, and the site offers an easy interactive tutorial to show you the basics. After that, you’re on your own.
To create a Prezi, you either enter text or insert pictures and videos. You can then click and drag your elements across the page. The bigger the size of your elements, the more importance the software puts on it. You can rotate elements and put frames around related ideas to group them together.
Once the elements are on the page, you set up the order the items appear in by clicking on each frame in the sequence you want the Prezi to show them. Once this is done, your Prezi is ready to go. Here’s a cool example on world cuisine.
While it is much more user-friendly than clunky Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi is really only effective with certain kinds of presentations. The zooming across the page from text to text can be distracting and a little dizzying. It’s great for pictures and video, because you can interact with them, zooming in and out of pictures to highlight similar elements.