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AVGirl Advice on Prezi

April 18, 2011

I’ve been thinking more and more about using Prezi for my presentations. I’ve seen a few people use them now and they look great.

What is Prezi you ask? It’s a web-based presentation application that sets up your presentation on a visual canvas and you zoom in and out of concepts as opposed to the traditional linear “next slide” format used by PowerPoint or Keynote. You can see a demonstration of it here.

I’m a bit nervous about trying it though, so, as I usually do when I have questions about meeting technology, I asked Midori Connolly for her advice on getting started. She replied really quickly and, although we don’t typically blog about meeting technology issues, the advice was so helpful that I wanted to share it with others. If you’ve never met Midori, she is the Owner & Chief AVGirl of Pulse Staging. Not only is she an expert on event technology, she is also a sustainability leader and has excellent content on green practices related to a/v on her website. She gives great advice on twitter as well, and you can follow her @GreenA_V.

Here are her answers:

Why Prezi over PPT?

For me, it’s easier to create because I do not think in a linear, page-by-page fashion. Prezi is like working with a room with blank walls that I can write on! By its design it also reduced the overuse of text on a page.

Is Prezi in any way more sustainable (green) than PPT?

No. But if used properly it does offer a better transfer of information and increased retention rates, providing a higher quality of experience for attendees. I think that’s pretty sustainable for an educational program 🙂

What about handouts? I don’t always use them, but sometimes am asked to provide them.

You can print your transitions/frames to pdf’s…but handouts shouldn’t be a printout of slides anyways. I would provide the URL to your Prezi and encourage participants to access that way.

How long does it take to learn how to use it (assuming you have average tech skills)?

It’s less to do with tech skills, and more to do with your style of creation. Some highly technical people that I know still can’t create a decent Prezi. It has to do with your comfort in using a blank canvas.

How do I actually present using a projector? What equipment is optimal?

The same way you present from your machine. Best results are with full-screen mode. No special equipment required.

There are different options available – are the upgrades that much better than the free one?

I prefer the paid version so I can insert custom logo’s and edit/present from my desktop. Plus I can embed as much video/pictures as I need (the free version has a limit to file size).

What can I do from my iPad with Prezi? Can I present from it using a projector?

You can present from your iPad, but you need to have the appropriate DVI to VGA adapter (just like any other Mac). However, I have found the reliability to be a bit questionable and wouldn’t recommend yet.

If it is web-based, is it reliable? Can I operate it without an internet connection?

Not always. You can operate w/o Internet if you have the paid desktop version.

What are you most proud of having done using Prezi?

Two things:

  1. I have opened online meetings and co-created sessions using Prezi.
  2. I submit RFP’s in Prezi and my clients appreciate the interface.

What else do I need to know before I start using it?

I would recommend downloading the free trial of the desktop app to try it out and see if it works for you. Prezi works on both Mac and PC. And please feel free to get in touch with me, the AVGirl, if you need any advice. I love talking tech!!

I’m not sure yet if I’ll use Prezi regularly. I think it might work better with some of the subjects that we present over others, but I’m open to being convinced otherwise!

In any case, I’m grateful to Midori for her fantastic advice!

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