Lately I’ve found myself using Prezi more often instead of MS PowerPoint. You may have noticed this if you’ve seen some of my recent posts about advertising in the non-profit sector and about the history of hip hop.
This was a very conscious decision. I have access to PowerPoint, but I now think of Prezi first when I have to do presentations. More recently, I’ve even opted to use Prezi to showcase my portfolio. Needless to say, I like Prezi a lot.
I first got exposed to Prezi through my coop term at SFU Volunteer Services. After some initial setbacks, I’ve grown to love it. If you’ve never tried Prezi, or if it’s something you haven’t learned yet, here are some reasons why you should seriously consider this tool:
1. It’s more similar to how you think.
I don’t know about you, but my thought process is rarely linear. When an idea comes to me, it comes from various sources, and sometimes, they come to me out of nowhere.
And that’s why PowerPoints suck — they force you to be linear. PowerPoints make it a little difficult to point out how concepts relate to each other, or how your points support each other. Prezi solves this issue by giving you a big white canvas. How the presentation flows – and how you use this big, beautiful canvas — is only limited by your creativity and imagination.
With Prezi, you can move to the right, go up, go back to the left, and then go down. You can do what makes sense instead of following a (linear) rule.
2. You can rotate and zoom in and out.
Prezi heavily markets its product’s ability to zoom in. This functionality is definitely unique and something that a PowerPoint wouldn’t allow you to do. Personally I found this handy when I’d like to highlight a certain word or a certain part of a picture.
3. It’s beautiful.
Most PowerPoint presentations are ugly. They tend to look dated.
PowerPoint is the expected; it’s the default.
But why settle for default when you can wow your audience with a great-looking presentation? From my personal experience, people tend to be more attentive when I use Prezi. The default font is already quite elegant, but if you prefer other fonts (no Comic Sans or Papyrus, please), you can create PDFs and upload those to your Prezi.
4. It’s good for SEO.
For businesses and marketing professionals, this is probably the most compelling reason to switch.
I actually didn’t know that Prezi is good for SEO (it’s not a benefit that Prezi promotes), but I was surprised to see my current Prezis pretty high up on the search rankings for my name. (Yes, I google my name. Who doesn’t though, right? 🙂 ) I never promoted those Prezis, so it was quite interesting that they’re ranked high.
In contrast, my slideshare regarding the use of social media for job search was something I did promote and linked to in many occasions, but it isn’t appearing on the first page of my search results.
Not sure why it is the case, but one thing that’s apparent here is that Google likes Prezi. So there’s an opportunity here to use Prezi for your personal branding or simply to control your online presence.
I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a steep learning curve when using Prezi. There are some functionalities that you have to get used to. If you look at my portfolio, for instance, you’ll notice that I haven’t quite mastered how to rotate my Prezis yet. I’ve been using it for close to a year now, and I feel that there’s still many things I need to learn. (Hot tip: Having a real mouse and a big screen will help.)
Also, Prezi is not a substitute for creativity. If you’re not applying basic design principles to your presentation, it doesn’t matter what tool you use — your work will continue to look crappy.
That said, I believe that Prezi’s benefits easily outweigh any possible negatives. Invest some time getting to know this new tool, and you’ll be able to take your presentations to the next level.
If you’re interested, here’s a short video about Prezi:
Have you used Prezi before? What has been your experience? What do you love (or hate) about it?
Photo: wiredbike | Flickr