Prezi vs. PowerPoint?

Posted on May 29, 2011


Prezi, Prezi, Prezi. A lot of hype about this supposed replacement for PowerPoint.

What is the big deal about Prezi? A criticism of PowerPoint is relation to Prezi is that PowerPoint is limited to presenting information linearly. (Ok, when did being linear become such a problem?)

From my use of Prezi and looking at the many Prezis at, I see a powerful ability to graphically organize the elements of your presentation better than PowerPoint.

But some pitfalls remain that are similar to poorly made PowerPoints.  I see way too much zooming in and out in many Prezis. When my class looked at Prezis, there was a great positive reaction – a lot of ewws and aahs as well as comments saying it it was “cool.” But after watching several of them with the same zooming in and out, the students grew tired of them. Yeah, I’ve seen it zoom before.

Here is an example of a Prezi with some good and less good elements.

Effective: The zooming at the start as a way to explore deeper an idea presented. The movement is not just for the sake of movement; It has meaning.

Ineffective: I don’t think the turning of text helps the presentation of the content.

The above Prezi shows the possibly of powerful graphic organization of themes and ideas.

With PowerPoints, you often see animations being overused. With Prezi, you have to watch out for the same  style>substance situations.  Friends, if we’ve seen zooming in other Prezis; it’s not that unique anymore. It’s a battle that isn’t always, won, but I’ve emphasized to students –  Don’t fill a PowerPoint with animation that doesn’t serve a purpose. Animation for the animation is a waste. The same caution applies to Prezi with too many frames that cause excessive panning.

In summary, use Prezis to organize and present information.  Is text randomly positioned? Are you panning over text? If so – why? Is there a reason that the viewer flys over text to other text? If not – please don’t do it!

Some suggestions:

  • Organize your content
  • Use frames to arrange your content
  • Zoom to go deeper into a topic just presented


Wait, one more – Here is a good example of grouping content.


Go go and find a good prezi. Link it in comments below and explain why you find it effective.

Posted in: Online Tools