Prezi: What’s the blogosphere’s viewpoint (Part 2)

by Oliver Adria on 05/04/2010

prezi_210w1(Haven’t read part 1 yet? Click on Prezi: What’s the blogosphere’s viewpoint (Part 1).)

The WebWorkerDaily wrote in their post Prezi: Presentations With a Twist has a rather neutral stance, stating: “It’s a fast way to create a presentation, and it offers new opportunities if you need to customize one presentation for multiple audiences. Rather than adding or deleting slides, it’s a matter of choosing which sections of your presentation you want to zoom in on; by changing the path your presentation follows around that big page Prezi offers you, you can simply avoid any material you want to exclude and focus in on those parts you want to include.”

Extreme Presentation blogger Andrew Abela wrote in his post Prezi: the compromise breaker: “Here’s why I’m excited about it. I think Prezi is one technology that can actually bridge the gap between Ballroom and Conference Room style presentations.
People who who follow this blog, or who have read Advanced Presentations by Design or attended the Extreme Presentation workshop, know that I make a big deal about the distinction between Ballroom Style and Conference Room style presentations [...]. The reason I do so is that I believe that much of the confusion about Death by Powerpoint arises from confusion about different presentation styles. [...] If you’re trying to present a big idea, to wow people, or to entertain them, then you should deliver a Ballroom style presentation: projecting great visuals, with few words–the kind of thing Garr Reynolds promotes in Presentation Zen. But if you’re trying to persuade people to do something: buy, approve, invest, change behavior, etc., then you need to deliver a Conference Room style presentation: lots of details on printed slides which pass the squint test. [...]
So what has all of this to do with Prezi? The most original and significant features of Prezi, to my mind, are its ability to pan and zoom. In Prezi, your presentation is one, very large canvas, and you tell your story by panning around it and zooming in and out.

He has also included a nice Prezi presentation which I also want to share with you here:


It seems like the blogosphere likes Prezi a lot (some bloggers/presenters even love it), but most don’t see it as a PowerPoint (or KeyNote) replacement for now. One of the barriers seems to be the learning curve in the beginning. The freedom that is given to users seems to be overwhelming. I also fear that once people implement it, they will be distracted by all the bells and whistles, that they forget to focus on the content (this goes for the audience but especially for the presenter). We still have the PowerPoint people that use clip-art-equivalent sounds (ugh!) and clip-arts… just because they’re there!

I still like Prezi and continue to hope that it gains some more success and my Prezi review (“More than buzz?”) from last year I can leave unchanged. I think it is competing for different markets than PowerPoint or KeyNote and the cause of “Death by PowerPoint” will not be solved by this tool. But I think I should dive a bit deeper into the tool and learn some more. I have a feeling, once I get the hang of it, it might be really powerful. So, if you’re looking to experiment with different presentation techniques, this might be worth a look. But if you think you need to improve your presentation skills in general, I think there are more productive ways to do so.

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