Throughout most of my career and in college, most of the presentations I’ve designed, or used to present to an audience, were in a PowerPoint format. PowerPoint always seemed to me like the quintessential standard to deliver professional and educational presentations. Not only were PowerPoint presentations easy to put together, but you could also be creative with the presentation styles and animations. While studying instructional design at CU Denver, I was introduced to a new presentation software format called Prezi. With Prezi’s exciting look and feel, and continuous presentation method, my perception of how I gave presentations completely changed. Let’s take a look at the advantages of each type.
- Tried-and-True: Not only are audiences familiar with PowerPoint, but the process of putting together a presentation in PowerPoint is often familiar to the presenter as well.
- Professional Variety: PowerPoint’s slide layout is not only easy for an audience to digest, but it also has a professional look and feel in its linear design. There are a variety of different slide designs, animation styles, and art that you can use to liven up your presentation and engage your audience.
- User Friendly: PowerPoint’s slide layout is very user-friendly, and you can put together presentations very quickly. PowerPoint’s presentation layout is similar to the layout of a story; there is an introduction at the beginning, then the main content follows, and there is a conclusion that ties the presentation together at the end. This story-like format helps to draw the audience’s attention to the topics you’re presenting.
- Different Look and Feel: Prezi’s presentation design look and feel is very different from PowerPoint, but also aims to engage an audience. In contrast to PowerPoint’s slide layout, Prezi uses a continuous presentation style, and the presenter can select any topic on the timeline to present to the audience. An example of a Prezi presentation layout is below; the presenter can select the different markers in on the success roadmap to go to each topic’s description.
- Continuous Style: Prezi’s presentation style is in a continuous flow, instead of a slide format. To use a personal example, I created a presentation in Prezi that showed my audience my top five favorite places to hike in Colorado. I could hop seamlessly to each of my favorite hiking spots (Maroon Bells, Hanging Lake, or Chautauqua Park) and share details about each place with my audience, including difficulty of each hike, or landmarks that are unique to each place.
- Zoom Interface: Prezi uses a zoom interface, which allows a presenter to fast-forward to different topics. For example, if I want to navigate to Maroon Bells in my hiking presentation, I would make my selection on the continuous timeline, and then the details about Maroon Bells would be zoomed in for the audience to learn more about.
Even though PowerPoint and Prezi are different methods of delivering presentations, they each encompass a unique style geared towards engaging an audience.
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