We have all gone through it – forced to sit in on another boring presentation, of which we will likely learn very little and remember even less.
Oh, you’re the one giving the presentation? Sucks to be you because while you were booting up PowerPoint, your audience was preparing for a wild hour of doodling and checking emails on their phones.
However, if you are actually one of the few presenters who cares enough about your presentation to actually, wait for it, engage your audience, then Prezi is the only program you should be using.
What the heck is Prezi?
Simply put, Prezi is a unique presentation software that helps presenters connect more powerfully with their audience.
Allowing presenters to abandon the mundane direction of linear-based slides, “prezis” zoom across a virtually limitless canvas with captivating motions to focus on content. This method is not only ascetically impressive, but it drastically increases audience engagement and drives home points that are usually missed with bulleted slides.
And why is that important? Well, because nailing your presentation is important.
By helping presenters display their information in a visually-appealing way that is both effective and easy to follow, Prezi creates a communicative, almost storytelling flow to a presentation.
But don’t be fooled into thinking Prezi is just a another helpful tool. Instead it a complete game-changer when it comes to creating successful presentations.
“People needed a tool that would help them ‘kill it’ in their presentations,” said Kelly Hook, who runs Global Communications for Prezi. “And Prezi was built for that exact purpose.”
How it works
Prezi is all about helping your audience connect the dots. By utilizing the same technology used by Google Maps, known as a Zooming User Interface, Prezi allows presenters to zoom in to focus on hard-hitting details or zoom way out to reveal big-picture ideas.
“The zoom-able canvas, unlike slides, means your audience can quickly see context and how everything is connected, which helps people understand and remember your content,” Hook said.
The benefits of Prezi go beyond snazzy movements and zooms, however. The visual and artistic opportunities available are virtually limitless. Presenters are able to create beautiful, fluid pitches that match the quality of their product, business or message.
All of this is wrapped up into one of the main software goals: to be an extension of the individual as much as possible.
“We don’t want you to have to think of Prezi itself at all,” Hook said. “We want you to just focus on delivering a great presentation.”
Creating a prezi
While creating a prezi might sound a little intimidating, getting up and running is anything but. As it turns out, the idea of switching to Prezi is more complicated than actually switching to it.
By easily dragging and dropping images, text and design elements such as shapes and lines, users can design a beautiful prezi without any graphic design or coding knowledge. In fact, the only limiting aspect of Prezi is the creative ability of the presenter and how they are able to lay out an idea in a limitless space.
Tutorials and tons of preformed templates are available, and the Prezi team is always adding updates and new features to help people make the transition from traditional slide presentations and is on a mission to address the fundamental needs of presenters.
“We understand that it’s hard to think outside of the slide,” Hook said. “But if you embrace the idea behind using a zoom-able canvas to deliver context, you can create something truly impactful for your audience.”
Prezi also is available on the cloud, so work can be done on any device from any location. Not only that, but if you need to collaborate with your team, up to 10 people can work on the same project.
The start of the presentation revolution
So how did this revolt against boring presentations begin? Originally created in 2001 for an art exhibition, world-renowned visual artist Adam Somlai-Fischer hand-coded the first prezi as a way to more effectively present his artwork.
In attendance at one of Somlai-Fischer’s demonstrations was eventual Prezi Co-Founder Péter Halácsy, who was so blown away by the presentation technology he wanted to use it for an upcoming presentation he had at Google.
Somlai-Fischer and Halácsy eventually teamed up with now-CEO Peter Arvai in 2008, and started designing the technology to be available for public and commercial use.
Today Prezi has more than 220 employees and more than 45 million users from more than 190 countries.
“Let’s just say that Prezi has grown quite quickly in five years,” Hook said.
Others using Prezi
Grown quickly indeed. Of those 45 million users, many are Fortune 500 companies, technology firms and mega-retailers, such as Autodesk, Bloomberg, Discovery Communications, Ettlemens, Walgreens and Zendesk.
Fitness giant Crunch Fitness just cited Prezi as the reason for a 30 percent increase in closing sales since adopting the Prezi presentation model.
“We have seen time and time again that the people who use Prezi frequently are the ones out there nailing their presentations, making sales and landing clients,” Hook said.
The bottom line
Prezi is 100 percent free. For users looking to create private prezis or desire extra storage space or need the ability to work offline, Prezi offers a host of free trials, as well as special rates for students and teachers.
Our conclusion? Prezi is a complete game-changer. Whether you give hundreds of presentations a year or just a few here and there, you absolutely need to be using this tool.
Not only will Prezi help you stand out in a creative and professional way, but it will ultimately help you achieve what presentations are meant to lead to: success.
Sorry boring presenters, you are now out of excuses.
Photo and video source: prezi.com