Presenting Prezi

Presentation Outline, by Sean MacEntee: Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5690542503/ and used according to a Creative Commons Attribution License

A colleague told me about the presentation program called Prezi.  At first I thought that it would be essentially another PowerPoint.  Then I tried Prezi for myself.  I was mistaken.

Prezi is far less text-based than is PowerPoint.  Though you can add images, videos, or hyperlinks to PowerPoint slides, this non-text content is more prominent in Prezi.  Why is this point important?   Let me demonstrate with my own Prezi.

The first image shows a display I created for USM’s Franco-American Collection.  The hyperlink leads to the Women in French website (I manage library subscriptions for this group’s journal.).  The second image represents the Pleasant Note Coffeehouse, where I perform.  I also usher for Lewiston/Auburn Community Little Theatre, and the video comes from a  CLT production.

My Prezi would mean little to most viewers unless I explained each item.  With less text the presenter has to explain the slides or elaborate on them.   This elaboration would engage listeners more than would a simple reading from the slides.

Images are such a part of our culture that the Association of College & Research Libraries has developed visual literacy standards.  Prezi is one way to practice using images effectively.  Read next week’s post for more about Prezi.