March 29, 2013
The next generation of presentation software
Have you heard about Prezi? I hadn't. It's a next generation presentation tool — certainly an alternative to PowerPoint — but a very different type of tool.
The idea with Prezi is you create a big poster-like layout, populate it with all the parts of your presentation, and then using the software features to animate the telling of your story by zooming in and out of various parts to reveal as may levels of detail as you want to build into it.
To present it, it appears you can then either click through the finished program as you would a convention presentation (with the added interest of all types of effects, pans, and zooms of your layout), or you can, using other production tools, output it to video complete with a soundtrack.
It's pretty cool. I'm sure purists probably think it is gimmicky, but I think, it has potential. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.
In another life, one of my jobs was to create corporate presentations and multi-projector slide shows. Compared to today's software, creating a multi-projector slide show was amaziningly complex process and many times more expensive.
One thing I am certain of is this: The key to any type of presentation is — video, audio, and static images — you'll never have a good presentation until you have a compelling idea, an interesting script, and a clear understanding of timing and visual storytelling. You can do all the cool moves in the world and but without the goods you're just going to end up with Waterworld.
A bit of slide show trivia. 78 percent of all multi-projector slide shows created in the between 1970 and 1990 used one of two themes for their soundtrack: 2001: A Space Odyssey or Chariots of Fire. (I'm just making that up but if you can rememeber that far back, you'll probably agree.)
Thanks much to Gregory Duchesne (and his daughter) for pointing us to Prezi.
Lisa Larson-Kelley will help you learn to create your presentation on Lynda.com through this new course: Up and Running with Prezi. (Note: All lynda.com courses have a few clips marked in green that you can preview for free. And, if it looks good, you can get a free week of full access to all Lynda.com tutorials by signing up using the banner below.)