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Prezi: A Presentation in the Cloud

By Ted Janusz | Small Business

Do you need to deliver a sales or marketing presentation using your laptop or computer, but want to be sure that your prospects or clients will still be awake at the end?

For a dramatic impact on your audience, you may want to consider skipping PowerPoint entirely.  (Gasp!)  Instead you may want to use a different, cloud-based presentation tool called Prezi.

What is Prezi?

Rather than slides, Prezi presents a zoomable canvas that helps you and your audience explore ideas and the connections between them.

If you have never seen a Prezi presentation, it may be a challenge for you to actually visualize how this tool operates, how it is different from the PowerPoint application you may currently be using, and how you can use Prezi to give your presentation.  As David Pierce mentioned above, a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video may be worth many more.  A great place to start is to watch a one-minute video which has had nearly a million views that explains the use of Prezi.  Go to YouTube and type “What is Prezi?  The official intro video.”

Launched in April 2009, Prezi currently is growing at the rate of a million new users every month.  The software was designed by an architect and visual artist.  His creation originally allowed him to see the overview of a floor plan and then zoom in to view the detail.  The evolution of this application now allows, the company says, “visually captivating presentations that evoke curiosity and lead your audience down a path of discovery.”

Prezi’s CEO Peter Arvai says, “There is a prezi created every second and the new PowerPoint import feature makes this evolution of collaborative, interactive storytelling accessible to all.  It’s time to think outside the slide.”

With the new PowerPoint Import, you can quickly and easily upload your new or existing PowerPoint slides into Prezi presentations.  You can either insert the entire presentation at once, or select individual slides and drag them anywhere on your Prezi canvas.  Using the Prezi Viewer for iPad allows you to view and present prezis anywhere and to edit your content on the fly.

“Prezi is helping reinvent the art of presentation,” says Chris Anderson, the curator of TED Conferences.  “Farewell, one-dimensional thinking.”

Marketing and social media expert Kelvin Claveria, in his Internet article entitled “4 Reasons Why You Should Use Prezi for Your Next Presentation,” offers these three tips about the use of Prezi:

* It’s More Similar to How You Think – PowerPoints make it a little difficult to point out how concepts relate to each other, or how your points support each other.  Prezi solves this issue by giving you a big white canvas.
* You Can Rotate and Zoom In and Out – This functionality is definitely unique and something that PowerPoint wouldn’t allow you to do.  Personally, I found this handy when I’d like to highlight a certain word or a certain part of a picture.
* It’s Beautiful – People tend to be more attentive when I use Prezi.

Even though your presentation tool may reside in the clouds, you may discover that the minds of your audience members don’t need to be there also.  You can find out more at www.prezi.com

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