The method you use to present your information is just as important as the information you actually present. If you don’t choose a method that compliments your subject matter, then your presentation won’t be as effective as possible.
Right now, the two most popular presentation tools are the age-old Microsoft PowerPoint and the newer, non-linear Prezi. If you’re making a presentation on a computer, you’ll want to use one of these.
But which one is best for you? We look at the differences, as well as the pros and cons, of each to help you decide whether PowerPoint or Prezi is best for you.
Microsoft PowerPoint has been around for the long haul. Over the course of the past decade, it’s become the “go to” presentation software. The best thing about PowerPoint is its slide layout. If you want to tell a linear story, then this tool is a good choice.
Additional benefits of PowerPoint include:
User-Friendly – If you’re familiar with Microsoft programs, then PowerPoint will be easy to pick up. It’s a very simple program to use.
Control – PowerPoint allows you to control nearly every aspect of slide design. You can choose colors, fonts, graphics, and backgrounds. You can add pictures, videos, and graphs. You can choose to use transitions and animations between slides.
Printable – You can easily print your PowerPoint slideshow out. The printout consists of a picture of each slide. This allows you to create handouts to help audience members follow along with your presentation.
Though PowerPoint has a handful of advantages, it also has quite a few disadvantages. Chief among these is that it’s limited to a linear format. Though this is beneficial in some cases, it doesn’t allow for much versatility. It’s also hard to get from one slide to another in the middle of a presentation if they don’t follow each other in order.
Prezi has taken the presentation world by storm. Unlike PowerPoint, it’s not tied down to a linear format. Its non-linear approach gives users much more versatility.
You create your Prezi presentation on a blank canvas. You can include pictures, videos, and text as well as a number of design elements. During the presentation, you’re able to zoom and pan to different areas of the canvas. You don’t have to look at each talking or informational point in a set order.
Additional benefits of Prezi include:
Zoom – Prezi is perhaps best known for its zoom tool. All you have to do is click the background, and your presentation zooms out to an overview. Next click any area on the presentation and Prezi will automatically zoom in on this location. The zoom feature allows for more natural storytelling.
Non-Linear – You’re not limited to a linear approach with Prezi. You can choose your own talking and presentation paths. A side benefit of this is that it allows for better customer engagement. You can allow interactions with your audience to influence which ideas are focused on.
Sharing – Prezi is a cloud-based software. This allows you to work on a presentation collaboratively very easy. A team of people can work on the same project from different computers with changes being automatically made and updated.
Simple – Prezi requires a slightly longer learning curve than PowerPoint. This is because it’s not tied into any other programs like the Microsoft Office Suite. Fortunately, Prezi is still very simple and straightforward. It doesn’t take long to learn to use.
Prezi comes with remarkably few disadvantages. The main one is undoubtedly dizziness caused by the zoom feature. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t as much the program’s fault as it is the inexperienced user’s fault. When zooming and panning are done incorrectly, too often, or too quickly, many viewers report the sensation of feeling sick, or at the very least unengaged.
So Which Tool is Best for You?
The best presentation tool for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you require straightforward, linear storytelling software, PowerPoint is a good bet. However, if you want more versatility and the ability to do far more things, Prezi is the best option for you. Prezi allows you to push the bounds of storytelling and presenting in a way that PowerPoint can’t attempt to match.
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