Prezi was founded in 2009 in Budapest, Hungary and that same year they opened an office in San Francisco. Since 2009, they have grown their offices in Hungary and the US and are continuing to develop their product for their users. I first heard some people talking about Prezi in 2011 in the US. At the time it was new, different, and it seemed challenging to create. Prezi offers a different presentation tool, but it is not necessarily difficult to create a simple Prezi; however, using Prezi effectively is a challenge, which is the case with any presentation tool.
How is it different?
Prezi is different from the traditional slide-based presentation style. The founders wanted to create something more interactive and bring something different to the market. Prezi focuses more on the style than it does on the content. Prezi allows you to zoom in and out to see details and also see the big picture by utilizing a zooming user interface (ZUI). This can be helpful in describing certain processes during a presentation. Prezi presentations are cloud-based and can be easy to create and share with others for collaboration. All of your content is on a single canvas with Prezi instead of a list of PowerPoint slides.
Prezi has users all over the world and is starting to become a household name. Prezi is used during meetings, presentations, corporate conferences, as well as in academia. Prezi has been used at many global events and many speakers have used Prezi at TED Conferences. The over 5 million users illustrate the global span of Prezi.
Why do some people hate it?
When you use the free version of Prezi, your presentation is automatically published to their website. You have to pay for a more premium version in order to keep your presentations private, and this can be frustrating to some users who wish to try out the tool without having their content shared across the Web. Another pitfall is that the free version does not allow offline editing.
Some people get very distracted with the transitions and find a Prezi presentation hard to follow as the screen is always changing. Transitions between frames and zooming can make people dizzy if they are always occurring in a different direction. You can counter this flaw by keeping the transitions similar and always changing between screens using the same pattern. Another issue people often face when using Prezi is the need to change and resize content when you switch between different design templates after you have started.
We are not here to tell you to use Prezi or not, but simply to give you one perspective. Some people consider Prezi revolutionary and their go-to tool for every presentation, meeting, and event. Other people want to leave the room when they see a Prezi being projected to the audience. There are several pros and cons you should be aware of before you change up your presentation style. The best public speakers should be able to use all the tools in the market effectively. Consider checking out Prezi if you have not already done so before to see if it is a tool you would find useful!
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