Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas. The product employs a zooming user interface (ZUI), which allows users to zoom in and out of their presentation media, and allows users to display and navigate through information within a 2.5D or parallax 3D space on the Z-axis.
The idea behind Prezi is a paradigm shift from traditional slide based presentation software. When building a presentation users lay out content on a seemingly infinitely scalable plane. Rather than moving between slides, the presentation “zooms” between pieces of content. Content can be twisted and turned so the “camera” (viewer’s perspective) twists and turns while animating between content. Check out this video for a quick demonstration.
Prezi can be a powerful an effective tool for a variety of reasons.
- First, Prezi displays your information in a monumentally different way than traditional slide based software. Depending on your audience the divergence from traditional slides may make your presentation more interesting and engaging.
- Second, while slide based mediums display a sequential and linear sequence, Prezi provides more flexibility to display logical groups and relationships. By strategically positioning content and frames you can visually promote stronger connections to the links between the content.
- Third, all presentations are hosted and stored in your account which means they can be retrieved anywhere with an internet connection. That means your presentation will never be lost on a flash drive, deleted on a dying computer, or subject to other forms of catastrophic failure. You also don’t have to bring your own computer to a presentation, just log on to your Prezi account on the computer hooked to the projector (be sure to log off when you are done).
- Fourth, you can collaborate with others to build your presentation online, simultaneously making edits and filling in content. This feature makes building a joint presentation easy and prevents mix-ups on versions.
- Finally, Prezi presentations can be shared across the web by setting the presentation to be public and sharing the url. Because the actual file isn’t sent, you can update and modify the presentation even after sending it to others without having to resend it.
To register a free account, go to www.prezi.com. Be sure to use your .edu email address to access a broader feature set. For an 8 minute tour of how to use the interface and start building, watch this video.