Dr Mike J Smith

Plymouth University

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Prezi for presentations

Wed, 28 Apr 2010

I was recently introduced to Prezi, a rapid presentation package for those sick of the usual Powerpoint interface. It is programmed in Adobe AIR and so requires Flash. There is a free version which has limited storage and makes presentations freely available. A personal version (which is free to teachers and students) and a professional version (which gives the option of an offline app). It broadly tales the paradigm of a mindmap (and for those interested, FreeMind is an excellent open source implementation) and lets you type text and then add further ideas around it. It doesn't use branches though, rather just allowing you to dump text, images, audio and video on to the "canvas". What is unique is the zooming concept which presents unlimited zoom levels and allows you to nest mindmaps within mindmaps. When it comes to finalising the presentation you add "paths" for the presentation to follow and zoom in and out to each area. Formatting is very limited amounting to colour for text, size, rotation and boxes. Thats about it. But the power lies in the simplicity and speed. I'm doing my first talk with Prezi tomorrow so will see what the audience thinks; its certainly a paradigm shift to the speaker as it bypasses the whole "dump everything on to a slide" so you have to spend more time preparing.

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Ken Field wrote at 2010-04-28 12:02:

OK, I took a look at their web it allows transitions across a single artboard. quite cool but then again, there are many ways to avoid using ppt in boring ways. can you video your class so we can see what the experience looks like?

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