Sep 18

Prezi: An eye catching presentation tool

Ever sit in a presentation and see the same PowerPoint theme you have seen over and over? Doesn’t that immediately take a little wind out of the presentation for you? Lots of us get sick and tired of seeing PowerPoint. Prezi (link), a Web 2.0 tool, is designed to be an alternative to PowerPoint…a significantly different alternative.

The best way to describe a Prezi is to use your imagination. Picture yourself with an infinitely large piece of paper–extending infinitely in every direction…but not a normal piece of paper.  Sure you can write on it and draw on it, but you can also paste pictures, videos, or other media on it.  Now, you will make your presentation in the following way: pick up a high quality video camera with the ability to zoom in infinitely close, or zoom out infinitely far, and point it directly at the paper, moving, panning, and zooming as you see fit.  That pretty much does it.  Rather than using slides in the traditional manner, Prezi uses size and location to separate points and thoughts.

Note that one downside of Prezi is the inability to put in audio with your presentation (thus creating a presentation you could post on the web)…but this is not what it was meant for. However, one can easily create a screencast using a microphone, a Prezi presentation, and ScreenToaster.com (another slick Web 2.0 app that I will eventually blog about).

The best way to see how this is done is by seeing an example.  Here is a nice Prezi someone made on how Math is not a linear topic.

Here is another about using games in math education.

Finally, here is the official brief intro video to using Prezi.


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