New Presentation Tool Mirrors Human Story Technique

May 2nd, 2011

I think the name PowerPoint is misleading.  If you’ve ever sat through a typical presentation using slides you’ll agree they are neither powerful, nor make a salient point (or often any point for that matter.)  But a new software for presentations may change all that.  It’s called Prezi.

Prezi changes everything that we hate about traditional presentations. It adds an element of surprise to sleepy data.  It allows you to create sliding, zooming, panning, rotating and dynamic presentations that will keep your audiences engaged and amazed – and immersed in your story.  (If they haven’t seen Prezi before, you’ll probably get a few oohs and ahhs, but that’s just for now).  It’s one of those you have to see it to believe it tools, so check it out below.  Here’s one on storytelling.

What makes it so effective?  Context.  It replaces that monotonous and linear slide…slide…slide… water torture method of traditional PowerPoints with exciting visual cues that add context and intuitive information to your story.   Because you are freed from the boundaries of a single slide format, you can make some words bigger or smaller or place them to the left or even upside down to make a point. The zooming, rotating and panning continually surprises your audience with where you’ll go next – just like a good story. (Just make sure not to add too many effects; you don’t want to make your audience feel seasick!)

Look complicated? It’s not. Creating a Prezi is more like whiteboarding your presentation first, deciding the path for the audience through slides.  And adding video, photos and graphics is a snap.  Once you create your first Prezi, you’ll find yourself wondering why Microsoft made PowerPoint so complicated.  Plus, it saves automatically and is accessible anywhere that has an internet connection, just like Google Docs – or you can download a version for your desktop.

It’s only been in the last few decades that corporate leaders have replaced our instinct for good stroytelling with bullet points, pitch decks and key messages. The stripped-down formats may be easier to digitize.  But what we have gained in speed, we have lost in impact. Bullets kill. Stories inspire. Prezi inspires.

What’s helping or hurting your presentations?  Leave a comment and we’ll share an inspiring Prezi with you.

Posted Under: Storytelling
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One Response to “New Presentation Tool Mirrors Human Story Technique”

  1. Steve Munnelly says:

    I think PowerPoint itself is hurting presentations at my company. They have become more of a crutch than a helpful tool, and more often people are relying entirely on their slides to get through a presentation. It is a shame because when used correctly and efficiently, PowerPoint can make a presentation really stand out.

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