I thought I would share my first experience with Prezi , the zooming presentation editor. Last Sunday I create a presentation for the class in Persuasion that I am teaching. From download to packaging up on my USB took about five hours. This is my report of the experience.
I first learned about Prezi through a twitter post by Nick Charney who you may know as someone that schemes virtuously. I am writing the first draft of this post using Dragon speech to text software on my iPhone while stuck in traffic.
This particular course has a text book, and the process I followed was one of reviewing the chapters, identifying the relevant concepts and essentially throwing key words and images down on a single large canvas. Prezi makes it real easy to reduce, enlarge and rotate elements and I found the authoring process strangely liberating because I was not restricted by the normal linear presentation format.
Prezi allows you to select some pre-formatted styles which I found to include some very nice font selections. The ultra simple text editing is fast to use but unfortunately lacks any Spell Check which is a serious issue for creative spellers like yours truly.
After getting most of the content in place and sizing it to create a hierarchy of importance and some visual flow, it was time to create a path though the material. This was simple mater of clicking on objects, when I wanted to it was easy to move nodes from one object to the other, thus changing the order of the presentation.
A couple of run throughs in play mode and some adjustments to the path and sizing of objects, (to control the zoom effects) and I was ready to go. The application allows you to share and present from the on-line version or you can create a downloadable non-editable executable that plays from the desktop. I saved a file to my memory stick and went to bed.
Next day I presented the Prezi twice and must say it was fun. Although my presentation was almost entirely text, the variety in sizes, font and zooming transitions made the presentation interesting and engaging. After each presentation I polled the class on their thoughts and universally they liked it.
And myself, I liked it too!
You can find the presentation on-line, (start by clicking on the picture of Aristotle). This is a rather simple example, I know that Nick is using it to come up with something much more amazing…maybe even subversive.