Monday, May 18, 2009

No PowerPoint? Simply use Prezi?

For a few weeks now I've been using a piece of Web 2.0 software called Prezi.

I read this blog post named Throw Away your PowerPoints, Simply Use Prezi, and I knew that I had to try it.

To be honest, I really didn't read the blog entry carefully because now that I have used Prezi for a few weeks I know what this means. Ignatia (blog author) says:

Prezi enables anyone to quickly build a multimedia rich presentation/visual/mindmap... that offers all the flash dynamics you can wish for.


and she quickly follows it up with:

This is not a software for the meek and weary, it is for those of us who like to jump, run, dive and stand out in a crowd.



These two sentences are actually contradictory to one another! Prezi is NOT fast, and it does not enable Everyone to create multimedia rich presentations. Well, OK. Perhaps I am a bit harsh on Prezi. It does allow everyone to create something in that the software is free (unlike Microsoft's PowerPoint or Apple's Keynote).

However there are two things that I did not like:

1. The learning curve is a bit steep

You can do the basics with little trouble. If you want to do more advanced stuff, this application will suck a lot of your time! I can create better presentations with PowerPoint, Keynote or OpenOffice in less time compared to Prezi.

2. Free versus paid

I know that these guys want to make some money, however I don't want my content held up hostage in a free account and I don't want to pay annually. I would prefer to plop $79 for iWork and create dazzling presentations with Keynote.


On the plus side, it is an interesting idea for a Mind Map application.

Don't get me wrong. In the hands of a trained person this application can actually be quite good. I just think that a novice user who isn't quite comfortable with themselves presenting in from of crowds AND doesn't know basic design principles won't see a ton of value in Prezi. Give it a try though, don't take my word for it :-)
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