Prezi, the Marmite of presentational tools
Prezi is an online alternative to PowerPoint. Like Marmite, people either love or hate it. Personally, I quite like Prezi as a way out of death by bulletpoint. It makes it easy to create less linear presentations allowing easy incorporation of files, Youtube videos and a more fluid approach to presentation design, but should I inflict it on others? At sessions where I have used it, I’ve had quite a few people ask me what it was and how easy it is to use, but one or two saying they couldn’t look at it.
The negatives for Prezi are that it plays in Flash and, in other ways, is a bit ‘flashy’. Technical purists often don’t like proprietry formats like Flash. More importantly, Flash is not the most accessible tool – screenreaders don’t work well with it. You can get around this by making other versions of the information available – I tend to have handouts in word format to go alongside the presentation for sessions I run, which are more useful than PowerPoint files away from the context of the delivered presentation.
The strength and weakness of Prezi is the flashy way it zooms around. Zooming in and out to detail/the big picture can help viewers see connections. Too much zooming can make people motion sick (someone at at a recent presentation had morning sickness and had to look away).
I plan to persevere with Prezi where it suits my purpose, but try to spare the motionally challenged by reducing the panning and zooming. The video below gives some tips on this.