Prezi is a cloud-based presentation application that lets you use motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to bring your ideas to life. Interestingly, it is based on an infinite canvas. This canvas, along with Prezi’s zoom in and zoom out capabilities, is one of the most powerful features that currently sets Prezi apart from its competitors.
Prezi is the brainchild of Adam Somlai-Fischer, a Hungarian media artist and architect, who felt that the traditional form of slides limited his creativity. He joined forces with Peter Halacsy, and Peter Arvai to develop the first version of the application, called “ZuiPrezi”. ZUI for the Zooming User Interface and Prezi as the Hungarian diminutive for presentation. However, the name was soon changed to Prezi.
Prezi works like a huge mind map where you are free to arrange your images, videos, and text. You can easily make the important aspects big, to get your audience attention easier, and the details smaller. Once you have the components of your presentation on the canvas, you can set the storyline using a path. If these terms are new to you, don’t worry. We’ll explain them later on.
If you are relatively new to Prezi, it is essential to understand correctly how to use its most important features, like paths and frame animations. When used incorrectly, transitions could make your audience feel dizzy. Of course, you are keen to avoid that. However, when correctly used, frames and paths are making Prezi superior to any tool you might have used before.
Prezi doesn’t force you to use a linear storyline. Instead, you are free to follow any format suits your presentation best. You can easily communicate complex and nonlinear concepts, move seamlessly between frames, and build each idea separately before showing the big picture to your audience. With Prezi, it is also very easy to switch back to any frame when you need to answer questions from your audience.
However, Prezi doesn’t force you to use it in this nonlinear way. You can always switch to the traditional manner. Also, it allows you to import PowerPoint slides.
Prezi does a very good job when you need to embed multimedia into your presentation. Hence, if you are looking to add images to enhance the overall look and feel of the presentation or just want to emphasize an important aspect, Prezi offers a built-in Google image search that can filter only those images that are licensed for commercial use. Likewise, Prezi is extremely flexible regarding audio and movies, and lets you add YouTube videos by copying and pasting their URL. If you have your own video, you can also upload it directly into your presentation with ease.
Another big advantage of Prezi is its ability to facilitate collaborative work by allowing several persons to edit and add content to the same presentations. But there is more to it. Prezi’s user interface shows in real time the activity of other members.