Prezi is the little-known presentation tool that has been converting PowerPoint users since 2009. While PowerPoint was always the go-to software for anyone giving a talk, educators, students, and businesspeople alike have been making the switch with gusto. Instead of boring listeners with writing, poorly inserted images, and hard-to-understand graphs, Prezi delivers ways to teach, entertain, and make information memorable with its seamlessly designed stream.
When thinking back to the best presentations, few ever believe that PowerPoint really delivered. As one higher ed writer pointed out, the most memorable talks done by TED presenters are not accompanied by a PowerPoint of bulleted lists, but rather photos or other imagery that illustrate a point or make an effect. Given that notion and aimed with creating a more engaging way to show information, the U.S.-based Prezi created a cloud-based software and storytelling tool designed for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas.
Despite millions of users and an ever-growing consumer base, few too faculty and students are aware of this helpful program. But from IT meetings to student presentations, the uses of Prezi in higher ed are nearly limitless. Think of dynamic, easy-to-insert animations that engage viewers while zooming into a visual story. Imagine easily embedding information including YouTube videos, links, photos, and more. Create colorful information streams that help viewers make associations between related concepts instead of seeing black type on a white background. All these and more, combined with an intuitive user interface, means beginners will only have a small learning curve. Easy customizations and flexibility mean that no two presentations need look anything alike. You’ll not only impress your viewers with a visual story, but the meaning behind your embedded presentation will have lasting impact. Prezi users can seamlessly display helpful cues into presentations, so simple reminder lists such as “Poisonous Plants” vs. “Edible Plants” can be printed on red and green traffic light graphics, respectively.
The many teaching and learning uses in higher ed give the Flash-based Prezi enormous potential. It is also web-based, meaning anyone can use it for free (users with a .edu email account get even more features) without worrying about updated version or hardware compatibility. Objects can be embedded and presented on a “canvas” rather than creating just text and pictures on repetitive slides. Users can be as creative as they like, and make presentations as simple or complex as called for. Prezi even has links on its own site with helpful tips on engaging users in the classroom. From preparing young music teachers and visually describing ecosystems to presenting to college boards and teaching online biology lectures, Prezi is the next amazing presentation tool.