Love at First Sight: Prezi Software


You may know Prezi. It is a free, open-source software which has revolutionized the communications industry. I had heard of it a year ago, at teachers’ staff meeting. I was captivated. I could easily see Prezi being used in the business sector where PowerPoint is still the go-to-software for marketing presentations and continuing medical education.

With a PPT deck, the audience sees (and reads) slide after slide in a very linear and predictable format. While links and embedded videos are always a possibility, the default flow remains sequential and pre-determined. It can be easy for the mind to wander (especially the busy minds of technologically driven youth). It is practically impossible to zoom in on any aspects of a slide.

With Prezi, the flow is not linear. The presentation is based on a complex canvas of ideas which are posted and grouped within a simple, thematic background. The software does all the work of introducing flair, design, imbedded videos and royalty-free images. At any point, the viewer can take steps to zoom into or enlarge portions of the slide contents. I have begun to see youthful and upbeat television commercials that use this “zooming” approach.

Sounds technical and artsy? Not at all. Okay, well maybe just a little. However, the free online platform is very user-friendly. I made my first two “rookie” Prezi attempts last evening at midnight (I was committing to learning Prezi the same day as the conference).

I selected personal, timely and low-risk topics that required no research. I practiced making a presentation that I could use with my kids (e.g. How to make a Science Fair Project). Note that I am still working on adding the audio (music or narration is essential in my opinion) and I will get more proficient with each presentation that I  ‘throw’ together. In the name of extra practice, I may make a digital birthday card for a friend or a digital compilation of my child’s artwork. Or maybe I could make a virtual “business card” to attach in my emails.

I may also take a friend’s uber-serious literature review on cancer and see how his medical PowerPOint slides transfer over into a Prezi. There is lots of opportunity for me to practice and I can see endless reasons to use this technique for personal branding, professional portfolios, corporate marketing and, of course, for medical meetings.

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Annual Parents Conference – Technology?

I attended a stimulating conference last weekend for parents of school-age children. You may be wondering why a parenting conference should appear on a blog for Teachers, Tutors and Corporate Trainers.

Well, that’s because I actually avoided all the traditional parenting (I can find those subjects in a parenting magazine). Instead, I signed up for all the technology topics – anything related to trending social and digital media.

I was expecting a good day of learning and boy was I NOT disappointed. I was so captivated and filled with intellectual joy that I could hardly sit still. You know you are in a great conference, job, marriage or friendship when you experience a spontaneous and steady surge of creativity, endorphins and adrenaline.

In fact, as the last presentation ended at 3 pm, I sat in the hallway dazed and still reeling from the high calibre of the talks. I was actually annoyed when the conference was over!

I have much to share.

My very next blog posting will focus on Prezi software. The speaker, Tanya Avrith, had expertly used Prezi for her talk “Harnessing the Power of Social Media”. I was so blown away by her zooming “slides” that I waited after the talk and begged to know what software had been used.

Stay tuned for my next posting!