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December 13, 2011

Thing 21: Creating a Prezi presentation

Prezi is a presentation tool that emphasises the connections between ideas. It presents an alternative to Powerpoint for conferences or seminars. Using Prezi can be a good way to ensure listeners remember your message! Thing 21 is to create a dynamic Prezi presentation on an aspect of your research.

Advantages of Prezi
First of all, let’s look at a video of Prezi in action:

As you can see, there’s an exciting freedom to Prezi’s visual style. The tool has two main advantages:

  1. It presents ideas as continuous, not broken into slides. This ‘open canvas’ approach allows you to scale information and images according to importance. It is also useful to focus in on detail, then zoom out to show the bigger picture.
  2. It does not require extra software. All you need to run Prezi is an online computer with Adobe Flash 10. This is particularly helpful in a conference situation, where laptops and flash drives can prove incompatible!

‘Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely!’
This striking statement comes from Edward Tufte, Yale Professor of Political Science, Statistics and Computer Science, quoted in the London Evening Standard. Tufte is one of the most vocal critics of Powerpoint as a presentation tool, arguing that it eradicates nuance and limits creativity. See the links under further information for other reasons to use Prezi over Powerpoint.

Creating your presentation
For Thing 21, we want you to create a simple Prezi presentation and blog about how you get on with it. Perhaps you can repurpose an old Powerpoint: the important thing is that you communicate an idea. Think about how Prezi’s features will help you get your message across.

Sign up to Prezi, selecting the Student/Teacher license which grants you 500MB free. Then watch these videos to get you started:

Now look at this step-by-step tutorial on Prezi basics. Putting your presentation together should take you about an hour – once you’re done, publish your Prezi on your blog! A guide for sharing your Prezi is listed in the further information below.

Further information

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