I’ve prided myself for about three years on being an expert in Prezi. I gained a formal education in Prezi by working at the digital studio. I’ve made more than five for personal use, including images and even sound bytes in them. However, when a student group scheduled a Prezi appointment recently, I learned the hard way that Prezi has totally updated their platform. Below, I share the basics of the transition and pragmatically examine the difference in creating presentations before versus now. If you’ve used Prezi before, you might want to skip the first section. [Prezi New vs. Prezi Classic Update (Rectangular Slides)]
What is Prezi?
Prezi is a presentation platform available to anyone online; you just make a free account. While PowerPoint progresses through slides in a rectangular shape (consumes the screen), Prezi progresses through topics shaped like circles. The topic order in a Prezi is arranged in the left sidebar, similar to slides in PowerPoint, but the physical layout of slides/topics differs from PowerPoint to Prezi. The PowerPoint template is simple, and the slides go from 1 to 2 to 3, etc. On the other hand, Prezi topics still go from 1 to 2 to 3, but the appearance of the physical template can be manipulated. My recent post contains advice on how you should determine which platform to use in different scenarios, but the gist is that PowerPoint works better for linear presentations, while Prezi works better with non-linear presentations.
Old vs. New
If you log in to your Prezi account, your old presentations fall under the Prezi Classic tab, but if you create a new account, Prezi Next is the only available tab. Many updates from Classic to Next don’t directly pertain to creating presentations; one of the biggest changes was the addition of a sophisticated analytics system that caters to professionals. The most notable update regarding pragmatic use deals with topics and sub-topics. On Prezi Classic, when you added a topic to your presentation and put sub-topics inside it, if you zoomed out to view your presentation as a whole, you could see the both the topics and the sub-topics inside them. On Prezi Next, you add a topic with sub-topics the same way, but when you zoom out to view your whole presentation, all the text and sub-topics in the topics disappear except for the title (on the basic template). The change seems simple, but not knowing this confused me as I worked with Prezi Next; I would scroll and zoom into a topic, then add title and content and sub-topics, but when I scrolled back out, everything but the title disappeared. I’ve realized that this adjustment doesn’t affect presentation-building–it simply makes the presentation look cleaner when viewing it as a whole. Another cool animation capability with Prezi Next is the zoom. If you want to zoom into a small, particular place within a topic or sub-topic, simply select the right bubble in the left sidebar, find “zoom animations” in the “add” tab, and use the blue box that appears to select the spot you want to highlight.