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There are two very common reactions to someone taking out his Powerpoint presentation. “Good, something visual to keep my eyes up front,” and “No more, please! Please stop, I’ll tell you everything you need to know!”

There’s a reason for Powerpoint presentations being awful (often) and, lets face it, outdated. They’re based on the old paper model. Slide after slide of static, carefully listed content.

Every time you press that button, you’re basically telling your audience, “And here’s something else I want you to look at.” It produces a heavily outdated performance, and one that’s straining your audience with too many lists, and too few connections. Arrows work, but are hardly a satisfying solution.

Prezi

Zooming and spinning, overview and relations. Those are the words I’d use to describe Prezi. Contrary to your default presentation, Prezi doesn’t work with slides. Instead, you’ve got one big canvas to explore with your audience and offer dynamic presentations. Use scale and location of objects to define relations and importance. Move and change your previous perspective when introducing new ideas, instead of wiping the canvas blank again.

Using the Prezi tools, you can navigate the canvas, and focus on different objects by moving, zooming and even rotating the proverbial ‘camera’. Your dynamic Prezi presentations can be used in an online environment, embedded on your blog or via the Prezi website.

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To eliminate your online dependance, download the presentation as a portable Windows or Mac application, which can be used on any Win/Mac computer you’re facing at the office or school. For people with slower computers and internet connections, this also makes the presentation more fluent and responsive.

Imagine the possibilities for these dynamic presentations, not only to enjoy in the office, but for educational purposes. Having a hard time imagining this? Here are a few examples.

Public vs Premium vs Educational Licenses – And Their Prices

If you don’t want to pay USD 59 or USD 159 per year for the educational and premium licenses respectively, you’re going to have to stick with the public licence. Don’t be fooled by the sound of that, there are plenty of features to be had.

  • Online Editor and Watermarked Downloads

You’ll need to edit your Prezi’s in your web browser. All editing functionality is available, and you can still download and enjoy the presentations offline with a small watermark. There are just a few responsive hiccups in Mac Chrome, but Safari works like a charm.

  • Public

It’s called a public license for a reason. You won’t be able to exclude it from the Prezi website, or make it private. Bad luck if you were planning a presentation on your most efficient mistress, or (serious, now) would otherwise include confidential business information. Free educational licenses do enjoy this feature, but more on that in a sec.

  • 100 MB Storage

Be sure not to cross this, or you will have a private presentation. Meaning that you can’t actually make it. Note that this is storage space we’re speaking about (size of presentations), unrelated to bandwidth (multiplied by number of views).

dynamic presentations

Are you either a student or teacher at an educational facility? Great! You’ll be able to literally enjoy the, wait for it, license for free — giving you an extra 400 MB bandwidth, removing the watermark, and allowing you to make your presentations private. The Pro version will also be discounted to USD 59 per year, gaining you the offline editor. All you need is your school-supplied email address.

dynamic presentations

What do you think of Prezi? Do you have any dynamic and interesting presentations you want to share? You can reach us and the other MakeUseOf readers in the comments section below!

  1. Hans Weiss
    March 2, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    This new zooming paradigm is definitely here for good - as it's the only way to use touch screen technology properly that will quickly disperse all screens soon. The next Flashplayer and Win 7 already support multi touch. Also check out the killerapp http://www.ahead.com for creating more pro-design web sites and presentations than what Prezi currently offers.

  2. Hans Weiss
    March 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    This new zooming paradigm is definitely here for good - as it's the only way to use touch screen technology properly that will quickly disperse all screens soon. The next Flashplayer and Win 7 already support multi touch. Also check out the killerapp http://www.ahead.com for creating more pro-design web sites and presentations than what Prezi currently offers.

  3. Hiram Ballsmacker
    March 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I just don't find this a practical piece of software. To me it encourages many of the things I find distasteful about Powerpoint lectures. Namely that in an effort to "spice them up" people have things flying all over the place. Heck, I got dizzy just following their "examples".

  4. Kolin
    March 2, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Do you have a guide 'how to un-fan'. I made the mistake of 'doing you a favour' as you put it, and now my page is full of your stuff.

    Enough already.

    Set me free

    • Simon Slangen
      March 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Too bad you didn't like it.

      Going to the MUO fan page, there's an option to unsubscribe (Remove Me From Fans) at the bottom of the far-left column.

  5. Andrew Marsden
    March 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I love Prezi. As Vinny said, there shouldn't be any nausea... the idea is small turns between related concepts, bigger turns through to new categories.

    Frames and overviews are brilliant for this anyway. The best part is the fact you can zoom in on a section of a picture, and also place text inside other text.

    There's much that can be developed for it, but overall, they just need to keep on going

    NEW FEATURE SOON (YN)

  6. Vinny Panico
    March 1, 2010 at 6:30 am

    I've been using Prezi for some time now. I like it. If you lay your content out in a thoughtful way, your audience won't get dizzy (don't make each step do a complete 180 degree turn). I'm actually going to be teaching Prezi to a group of about 30 educators soon.

  7. HH773
    February 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I hate to be a downer, but I once used Prezi for a grad school presentation, and I 'd have to caution that I found it to be impractical on many levels: the longer your slide-show becomes, the more confusing all of the individual clumps of words spread out across a wide canvas become; it's difficult to edit once you've done the animation; you can't merge two presentations together (at all); the only way to introduce new text is through quick movement of the entire screen (there's no fade, appear, peek in, etc.), making viewers dizzy; it's severely limited in terms of font, colors, and shapes (making flowcharts and the like difficult to create within the program), etc., etc.

    I'd rate Prezi a clever novelty, but I don't think it's ready for prime time (at least in terms of lengthy academic presentations).

    • Aibek
      March 2, 2010 at 2:47 am

      thanks for the feedback.

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