Earlier this week Prezi announced a new version of their presentation software that adds team collaboration features. I’ve used Prezi for most of my presentations for about 9 months and it has become my favorite presentation tool. I’ve also used Prezi’s embedded here on my blog. To use Prezi effectively you have to understand a couple of things and you have to get out of the linear approach to presenting that is most common today. The basic paradigm is one of a single large workspace, something like a whiteboard. To that you add the capability to loop and zoom. When building a Prezi I simply put all of the things I want to say either in text or more likely in pictures and then lay out a path. I can connect the ideas in any way I choose and I can zoom in and highlight any area where there is more detail or focus. The nonlinear approach helps encourage creativity and to me is sort of a combination of mind mapping techniques (which I have used for many years for brainstorming and developing ideas) and a presentation tool. There are also some benefits when presenting, Prezi really helps ideas flow and connect to each other and it is easy to effectively drill in or highlight important concepts. Prezi is also useful during Q&A, it’s much easier to zoom out and find a relevant point that it is to flip through a deck of slides. Here’s a Prezi that talks about “Why you should move beyond slides”:
For all of the reasons I like Prezi as a presentation tool, I am excited about the idea of using it for team collaboration. Prezi Meeting lets a group work on the same Prezi together in real time and from different computers and locations. That would be very useful for building joint presentations of course, but it also opens up the possibility of using the tool for brainstorming and collaborating on group projects. It’s a virtual whiteboard for your team meetings, virtual or in person.
Prezi operates in a freemium business model and is both a cloud based app and a local client app for off line editing and presenting. Check it out and let me know what you think about it both for presenting and now Prezi Meeting for real time collaboration.