Tools for the Trade: Prezi is an eye-catching, PowerPoint alternative
When giving a presentation, lecture, or keynote the last thing you want to be is boring, or even just mediocre. Instead, you want to be the presentation everyone remembers, the presentation that causes people to take notes and come find you after you're done. Thankfully, we have Prezi so we can deliver the second kind of presentation.
Prezi is an online software tool that helps you create astonishing presentations that catch the audience's attention and help you effectively communicate your idea. Co-founders Adam Somlai-Fischer and Peter Halacsy started working on Prezi in 2007 and officially launched in April of 2009.
Self-described as the "zooming presentation editor," Prezi allows the presenter to work with a seemingly endless canvas that can be zoomed both into and out of. Compared to the traditional Microsoft PowerPoint that is linear, constrained, and templated, Prezi creates presentations that are both open and free-flowing yet connected and logical. I've never used anything like it. The first time I saw a presentation created with Prezi I knew I had to use it.
There is around a 30 minute learning curve to using Prezi, but at the end of this time you'll be able to use every feature that Prezi offers and create nearly anything you're trying to make. The Prezi website is heavily training focused with tutorial videos, step by step lessons, and many successful Prezi examples. Compared to the endless buttons, options, and features of Microsoft Powerpoint, Prezi's simple tool wheel is a breath of fresh air.
Here is a great showcase of the Prezi features in Prezi format from co-founder Adam Somlai-Fischer.
Prezi is free for the essential features that any presenter would need (creating presentations online and downloading presentations to present offline). For $59 a year Prezi will allow you to make your presentations private and remove the Prezi watermark.
If you're not quite sure how this whole thing works, check out this short video walkthrough on how to use Prezi.