Presenting hell? Forget boring, restrictive slides and think ‘blank canvas’!


Move over PowerPoint and Keynote – bring your presentations to life with Prezi!

Hang on a minute…’blank canvas’…how’s that going to help? I’m not an artist!

Before we get into that, let’s look at two of the popular presentation tools out there – Microsoft’s PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote. Both have certainly souped up their offerings over the last few years and now offer some powerful and eye-catching graphics, animations, effects and sharing capabilities. They’re certainly not the dull slide-by-slide offerings they used to be.

But I still find them too restrictive and they fail to provide the “wow factor” needed to help stand out from the crowd. Once you’ve done a few presentations and used the various visual effects and jazzy content tools, they get a bit ‘samey’.

Aside from your rhetoric while presenting, you need a visual feast to keep people’s attention and ensure they will remember not just what you said, but how you brought them into the presentation and did more than just keep their attention.

“Death-by-powerpoint” (sorry Microsoft!) is often the maxim used when people present, but those days are over. Enter: Prezi. I used it once and was hooked. You have all the capabilities of the traditional presentation tools, but don’t have to click through each slide one-by-one.

Don’t get me wrong. Slide-by-slide presentations still have an important place, particularly in the boardroom and in corporate environments.

But with Prezi, you literally have a blank canvas on which to put your content and then have the flexibility to pan around the canvas and zoom in on the important parts – it really helps visualise and bring to life your presentation.

Let me explain…the key feature in Prezi is the ability to “Pan and Zoom” to help visualise your ideas. You take your audience on a journey through your content. You can import all types of media; from images, PDFs and videos, to embedding YouTube videos. And yes, there is a Prezi iPad App as well.

Once you’ve mastered the simple beginner’s stuff, like the ability to move, scale, rotate, zoom and create a path to travel across the canvas, then you can start experimenting and refining to prevent the feeling of motion sickness caused by over-zealous zooming and panning (some say they feel drunk!)

You can overcome this through a really cool feature – being able to group and layer content to connect your ideas, streamline the flow of your presentation, and build a more engaging Prezi. I also love how YouTube videos are quickly embedded and will start automatically when you get to them, as opposed to having click ‘play’ or set up an auto-start on traditional presentation tools.

To really understand how it works, check this one about infographics out! You should now be taken to the Prezi dashboard – if you’re new to Prezi, just click on the cog in the bottom right corner and choose 4-sec auto-start…it will then run automatically.

And remember, you can interrupt the flow of presentation at any time if you want to explore that part of the Prezi in more detail – pause, rewind, zoom in or out while your viewing – it’s really that simple and that interactive!

Have you used Prezi before, or are you a die-hard Ppt or Keynote fan? We always want to learn more and hear more about your experiences, so do please share and leave a comment if you have an opinion.

About the Author

  • Dan Purvis

    Dan Purvis looks after the growth strategy for our clients and also for Communications Axis. He knows how to align game-changing strategies to commercial goals. Passionate about social media, digital marketing and the value of digital properties and PR, Dan Purvis brings 15 years of agency and in-house experience to the Comms Axis party. His success and profile led to him being involved with the London School of Economics’ ongoing research into “Semantic Polling” – essentially, comparing digital with traditional methods of communication and monitoring/reporting, and evaluating their value to modern society.


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