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Architecture, Business, Prezi, Sales

Presentation Tips – Prezi vs PowerPoint the Grist view

What is Prezi?


We use Prezi a lot. We use it for big presentations – from a few million to £1.4 billion.

We use it because our clients want us to. They see it as a small example of how they can bring a freshness to each project.

We also do PowerPoint. Quite happily. Some of our clients’ clients’ demand it. And sometimes it is just easier because we are working fast with pre-prepared stuff.

Is Prezi better than PowerPoint? That’s up to you.

It can do everything PowerPoint does except “builds” and transitions. But as an aside, we have never use slides, wipes, fly in/ fly out, laser text, drive in/ drive out, or any of the other transition except a gentle dissolve. All these effects came into TV in the 70’s and we got utterley bored with them in a week.

But “builds” are useful, and can be done really well. What Prezi can do instead is use a wide shot and build through zoom. It doesn’t work for everything but if you have an org chart.  (If you MUST have an org chart – a personal dislike) You can show it in all it’s painful, hard-to-read detail, and then zoom in to the detail. This is me. This is you. This is how you talk to me.

Prezi does some things better than PowerPoint.

We humans are really happy to look at the “Big picture” and then zoom in to the detail. Prezi does that literally. For our Architect colleagues and on any construction project that means you can work with just one plan and bring up on screen the bit you want to talk about. Walk through the building, or though a timeline.

Also, people find working with Prezi more natural than PPT. It seems more in tune with story-telling, and it seems to largely eliminate my own personal failing – forgetting what comes next.

So, choose either and you can do a great job.

But I do believe Prezi is better than PPT for one simple reason. A Prezi always have to have a shape. A structure.  And it’s creation must have some kind of structure to it.

It’s the opposite is PPT. The reason so many presentations are so dull is that they have been created in a linear fashion. This is where is disagree with Classroom201X which I have reblogged. The fact that stories are linear does not mean the most linear device wins. Prezi wins because it forces you to decide what the shape of your story is. PPT doesn’t make you do that. In PPT we write slide 1. We think of some more stuff. We write slides 2, 3, and 4. We think of some more stuff and before you know it – 76 slides!

In my experience, in 95% of cases the author thinks “Oooh that’s a lot, never mind, I’ll crack through it.”

And here is where PPT makes us go wrong. You should now go and edit out 40 of those slides, condense, and clarify. But hey, life is short, so that will do for now.

Bad presentations are a stream of consciousness made text. It’s like hearing someone’s notes read out.

Now it is incredibly easy to be boring in Prezi as well. But at least you will have had to make some structural decisions – how many sections? How do they link? What is the big picture.

We’re all different and you may disagree. Please let me know why?

A last point. The medium is not the message. A great presentation can have no visuals. A great presentation can have 100 slides of just photographs. And, a great presentation can be created in PPT with bullet points.

The presentation is not the slides.

You are the presentation. You are what matters.

If you need any advice on Prezi: prezi@grist.co.uk



About gristpresent

Presentation, Q&A and Engagement Coach. We help you win more business. Also BAFTA-winning film maker. See our new site www.grist.co.uk


2 thoughts on “Presentation Tips – Prezi vs PowerPoint the Grist view

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  1. Pingback: Architecture PowerPoint Tips PPT « Grist Present - October 4, 2012

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