Magazine article Information Today

Create Eye-Catching Presentations with Prezi

Magazine article Information Today

Create Eye-Catching Presentations with Prezi

Article excerpt

Prezi, which calls itself a "virtual whiteboard," lets you create presentations that are much more than simple slideshows. You can not only include multiple media (text, images, audio, and video) but also pan around a large canvas and zoom in and out on specific areas.

You could, for example, create a "prezi" (the site's term for a presentation) that shows an organization--or org--chart and then zooms in on each box. But that's a rather boring example, and you really need to visit the site and watch a few prezis to see the many creative and cinematic ways they can present content (e.g., zooming in on envelopes that open to reveal text or looking at graphs that run up the sides of buildings).

Every Second, Two New Prezis

Prezi was founded in Budapest, Hungary, in 2009 by Adam Somlai-Fischer, Peter Halacsy, and Peter Arvai. They opened a San Francisco office in the fall of that year.

By 2012, Prezi was known for its use at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences, which were originally created with the intent to help foster the spread of great ideas. Prezi was selected as one of PC magazine's top 100 websites and one of TIME'S top 50. Prezi says it's now adding more than a million users a month, and people around the world create two new prezis every second.

A primary Prezi feature is its zooming user interface (ZUI), which may sound a little intimidating-- as if there's a big learning curve if you don't have a technical or graphical background--but Prezi makes it easy to create eye-catching presentations. You can start with a blank canvas or choose one of many templates. A Theme Wizard lets you customize colors and pick fonts.

Prezi also offers an Explore page that lets you borrow content from other presentations, including animations and sound effects. And you can import content from your own PowerPoint presentations. …

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