I recently taught an information literacy instruction session using Prezi rather than MS PowerPoint.  PowerPoint is like an old friend.  No matter how long we spend apart, we are still close friends, and i still feel comfortable by him.  PowerPoint is an easy crutch, and though it’s ease of use could be debated, I am used to using it.  But in a world of new and emerging cloud based media tools, I figured it was time to step into the future and try Prezi for instruction. I found it fun, and at least a little bit more visually appealing than PowerPoint.  But like many tools there are a few advantages and disadvantages of Prezi that I would like to discuss. 

Positive (why use prezi)

  • Prezi is cloud-based (no more USB keys or emailed ppt files)
  • Prezi is free
  • Prezi is cool. This may seem like a tiny point, but in a world where students are constanly on social media and/or on their iphones and their professors are often in the dark ages, librarians need every tiny advantage we can get to show students that the should listen, even if that is a subtle message that we are up to date on modern technologies.
  • The element of surprise. This is related to the above point on getting that advantage or “wow” factor.  Give the students something different and they may pay attention (maybe).
  • Prezi is fun to use.  There are lots of cool features to play with including zooming and spinning effects.

Negative (why stick with PowerPoint)

  • You can’t send the file to student (how big of a disadvantage is a link just as good)
  • Students aren’t able to conveniently print slides
  • too many spinning effects have caused complaints of motion sickness in the past
  • a bit more difficult to use for images
  • The learning curve (yes it takes a while to learn how to properly build a “path” and connect elements)
  • More difficult to edit than a powerpoint.  Once you have built your path it takes a little effort to add a new element in the middle.  It isn’t as easy as clicking “new slide.”

Conclusion: Is Prezi right for you?

This depends on you, your audience, and the content of your presentation. If your presentation is image heavy or if you know your audience is more comfortable with slides and/or wants to print them out then there is nothing wrong with powerpoint.  I am still using PowerPoint for a session tomorrow.  If your audience is a bit younger and/or a bit more tech savvy then I would highly recommend trying out prezi.  It just might make preparing your next presentation a bit more fun. 

You can view my prezi here:

Feel free to let me know what you think.