How to think differently about your presentation

Download this Teaching Tip as a PDF: Planning A Prezi

Prezi separates itself from conventional presentation platforms by breaking free of the linear nature of slides. That being said, how do we effectively take advantage of its unique capabilities? One of Prezi’s greatest features is the way in which it presents multimedia content. It enables presenters to guide viewers through images, text, video, and audio media in a way that highlights the relationships between the information and ideas presented.

Before you begin

To get started you will need to create a Prezi account.1 Accounts are free and as an educator you will have access to up to 500MB of storage space. Log into the Prezi website to begin building your presentation.

When creating your first Prezi you will notice that the presentation canvas is essentially limitless in size. This allows you to zoom in and out of areas where you place content, which encourages a different way to think about structuring and viewing information if you’ve never worked with Prezi before. Think of the presentation canvas as a stage where you compose the scenes of your presentation. You place all of the content of your presentation onto the stage using proximity and scale as tools to associate information and ideas together. Moving through the different areas of your presentation is a lot like directing scenes in a movie. You define the camera’s rotation and zoom relative to the placed media for each “scene,’ and then you order those scenes into a complete presentation.

The analogy of Prezi as a movie with a stage and scenes provides a way to think about building your presentation in a non-linear fashion, but you will still want to convey a cohesive message. To do this, it is good to begin with your main points. These main points will provide structure and guide the path you take through your presentation. Your supporting points may be areas of your presentation where you will want to zoom in (both literally and figuratively) to display information in more detail.

Storyboarding is a helpful way to plan out the scenes of your presentation. Start by using your main points to build primary scenes to help you identify where to place Prezi Frames.   These Frames are what serve as individual screens within your presentation. Zoom and rotate to move between frames. Remember, subtle movement helps avoid viewer motion sickness. The Path you specify from Frame to Frame will lead viewers through your Prezi in the sequence you want to present your information and ideas.

Finally, browsing popular Prezis is a great way to see just what is possible in Prezi and to get ideas for your own presentation.2

Tips for Building in Prezi

  • Storyboard your presentation
  • When using images, import each image to fit within a 1024 x 768 screen. Place images within the frames in which you want them displayed.
  • Optimize the media you include in your presentation to keep the file size small and playback smooth.
  • Search for reusable templates to build on top of to save time.
  • Timelines, diagrams and infographics make spectacular frameworks for a Prezi.
  • Consider downloading Prezi Desktop if you need to author your presentation offline.
  • Use the Getting Started tutorials3 and Support materials4 on the Prezi website.