Blogging Online Northwest: Prezi presentations

Session 1:  Off the Carousel and Onto the Canvas:  Taking Presentations to the Next Level
Anna Johnson, Mt. Hood Community College; Tricia Juettemeyer, Art Institute of Portland

Presentation site available here.  Includes a “getting started” PDF, links to resources, Prezi template.

Prezi is a “zooming presentation editor.”  Means you have an endlessly big canvas.  Everything you add to the canvas is a separate element.  In top left corner is a “bubble” menu (below.)  Command line is along top at center.  You can simultaneously edit a presentation in real time with another user.

prezi bubble menu

Different levels of Prezi access available:  public (free), “enjoy,” and pro.  Both “enjoy” and pro cost.  100 MB, 500 MB, and 2000 MB storage space respectively.  An academic email address (.edu) gives you free access to the “enjoy” level.

Create an online account with Prezi, can create templates for presentations.  With “enjoy” / .edu account, can make your account private, public (anyone can search to find it) or public-allow copy, which allows members of the public to save a copy of the template.

Moving & scaling elements:  Transformation “zebra” is the navigation tool.  Outer ring is to navigate around the screen.  Inner ring is to scale objects.  Very center is to select element and move around.  More here.

prezi transformation zebra

Prezi is theme-driven, and you have only 3 options for colors/fonts per presentation.  Can change these with the bubble menu (top left of write screen.)  Ten themes are included.  There’s now a theme wizard that allows you to devise your own theme.  Can use CSS if you want.

Prezi uses frames (an option in the bubble menu) to draw boxes around elements.  Frames appear as grey brackets on the write screen, around certain elements that you want to show as a single view.  Scale the frame around the size of element you want to show–smaller frame = tighter zoom in on the elements.

Insert button on the bubble menu:  allows you to load files (images, etc.)  Prezi hates JPGs, wants PDFs.  Convert before uploading.  You can embed Youtube videos easily.  Can upload .swf files if you insert coding.  Can also insert shapes, colors, etc. for emphasis.

Path button on the bubble menu:  set path by clicking, numbers will appear to show where the camera will move, in which order.

Show button on the bubble menu:  goes to slideshow mode and allows you to go all the way through the show (choose full-screen.)

Can download presentations to local machine/server.  When it’s offline it’s an .exe file (local Flash player) that you can’t edit (unless you get the Pro version of the software.)  Will download as a zipped folder, but you can extract only the .exe file and play it on either Mac or Windows.  If you embed YouTube video or other online content, must be online to show those.  Can also get an embed code for the Prezi presentation.

Can use Prezi to create tutorials (instead of Captivate/Camtasia.) Narrative model rather than lecture model–opens up presentation to different frame/scope.  Especially lends itself to presentations with a conceptual aspect, with both a whole and parts that you want to discuss–as opposed to simple linear ideas, which work well for slideshows (PPT, etc.)  Some libraries have used them for library floorplans, showing where things are located in the library.  Another good use:  “narrowing topics” for students, showing successive zooms through broader to narrower topic focus.  Other uses:  mind-mapping, brainstorming.

Prezi uses a “frame” metaphor for presenting information, rather than a “slide” metaphor:  you can choose how much content to show in a frame, zoom level, etc.  Paths add another layer, since you can move from one element to another, back, onward, back again, and so on.

Watch out for making a Prezi that makes people sick, with lots of fast panning/zooming.  There is a learning curve, getting used to zooming–design skills help.  Frames help keep people from getting seasick–use them!  (They group elements into a single zoom/view, rather than darting between multiple zooms/views.)

Depending on settings, user can navigate through in any direction they want.

Some other Prezi tutorials:

Official Online Northwest blog is here.

2 thoughts on “Blogging Online Northwest: Prezi presentations

  1. Fiber Patch panel can use fiber patch cables to cross-connect, connect to fiber optic communication equipment or test the individual fibers in the fiber cable.

  2. Andrew Davis says:

    Thanks so much for including a link to my Ten Prezi tips. I hope they are useful. Looks as though you and your team are making great use of the tool! Keep it up!

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