Prezi vs. PowerPoint: Why it Doesn’t Matter

By Zachary Clark, Account Coordinator

I recently read a blog from Prezi about how great their product was and why you should never, ever use slides again to present something. And, many of their points were somewhat valid because Prezi is kind of cool the way you can make it move and do different things with it. But, all I could think about was that it doesn’t really matter which presentation product you use. Whether it is something like Prezi, PowerPoint, Keynote, or whatever, it simply just doesn’t matter. Here’s why:

It’s All in the Design

Regardless of the presentation platform you use, your content will most likely be the same. But, it’s all about how you layout that content and design the elements around it that will make the biggest difference. It doesn’t matter if you’re going slide to slide or jumping around the screen, your presentation will still be terrible if you have no design behind it. Boring presentations are still boring on both Prezi and PowerPoint, so just because you jump around the screen or you use some cheesy animation, it doesn’t make your presentation any better.

There are several factors that go into a great presentation, and besides your communication and speaking skills as a whole, the design is what’s most important. An audience wants to be visually entertained whether that’s from slide to slide, or from frame to frame. Ask yourself. When you look at a presentation that you really like, what do you notice first? More than likely the answer is the design of it.

Great presentations all have a common thread running through it. Not only do the presenters know how to engage an audience, but the presentations behind them look amazing.

You Have to Be Creative

To be honest, Prezi really spoils potential users by showing them these amazing presentations that “people just like you and me” built. But, lets look in the mirror. The people who made those presentations are professional designers. You can’t just overnight be able to layout artwork and design things to look absolutely incredible because you now use Prezi. If you have no imagination or creativity, your presentation will be a snoozefest regardless of your medium. 

Don’t try to be something you’re not. If you’re not a designer or someone who is highly creative, don’t try to look at these other presentations and think you can do it to, because you simply can’t. It’s a hard truth to realize, but some of us are just better at making things look good than others. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on it because design skills will last you forever. 

In the End, It Doesn’t Even Matter 

As you build your next presentation, focus less on what platform you’re using and more on how you lay it out. I’m not advocating against Prezi or for PowerPoint, because both programs can do some amazing things if you know how to use them. You should be using whatever you’re most comfortable with and have the most control over.

Personally, I have a great understanding of the PowerPoint product and know how to manipulate it with ease. Anything I want to achieve in PowerPoint, I can because I’ve mastered the system. But, I’ve also used Prezi and although I like its features, I’m not 100% comfortable with it. And, when it comes down to crunch time, I’m going to go with the system I know the best and can make things look amazing with. 

So, don’t get caught up in the hype of the latest and greatest presentation tools because you’ll look like an amateur when you’re not. Really hone in on your design skills and practice, practice, practice. Always be looking at other presentations and the designs they use taking elements you like and building upon them. Also, gain a deeper understanding of the product you’re using to really understand how it works and functions. You can’t make something amazing if you don’t know the capabilities you’re working with.

Making great presentations means you have to be a continual learner of something outside of what you are. So, take the time to appreciate good design techniques and learn how to implement them so you too can make great presentations.

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