Breakout of Slide Presentation Linearity with Prezi

Mxplx Prezi Screenshot
Mxplx Prezi Screenshot

At Science Online 2011 I was introduced to the Prezi Presentation Paradigm by Stacy Baker of Extreme Biology. After getting past a surprisingly mild learning curve, I was able to produce the following presentation mixing a Prezi presentation with desktop video capture:

Keeping in mind this is not the best example of a Prezi demo, you can step through and play with the Mxplx Prezi itself below (alternately, you can browse popular Prezis here). Don’t confine yourself to just click through the presentation, as you can click-and-drag, double-click, and zoom as well:

Stacy Baker advised us to start big and work into smaller displays to manage things, and she demonstrated some fantastic examples of this, zooming through the letter “o” in a sentence to reveal a high-quality image tucked away in the presentation. Prezi also allows you to break out of the linearity of slide show presentations. Baker explained how she could show her entire presentation to her class and then focus on the sections they were curious about, making the teaching flow more dynamic.

I tried to do something similar with an Amazon Studios Writer’s Pitch for a screenplay I submitted. I apologize for the audio, but it does demonstrate how Prezi can show your audience the entire outline of your presentation, take them full loop through it, and bring them back to the big picture:

You can play with the Prezi-only version of this presentation here:

There’s a real “WOW” factor in Prezi demos right now. They might be taken for granted in the near fuure, but they look like the death of Power Point today (or will be with a few more features like video and animation integration). Prezi is free to use through an online interface with nothing to download and it’s lots of fun to play with. So go check it out!


  • I captured video and sound for these videos using the free Microsoft Expression Encoder, which was a breeze. I tried using the open source CamStudio, but couldn’t get the sound to capture off the speakers and the video capture was very jerky.
  • While the Prezi interface is very intuitive, one crucial tip I got from Stacy Baker was the ability to hold down SHIFT and draw a rectangle to select groups of objects to move an manipulate together. This was a HUGE help in when I needed to make major edits to my presentation in the polish phase.

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