Prezi offers a great function to simply import PowerPoint presentations. But if you want to do it with style, follow these 10 steps…
(Note: In this post, I have used my Cefora HRM Day PPT presentation on new ways of learning as the working example. Have a look at that first, then check out my finished Prezi presentation here – its simple, but nice.)
First of all, when you make your PowerPoint document to begin with, don’t forget to follow the basic rules:
- Build your presentation in 5 steps
- Follow these 9 PowerPoint essentials for real business people
- Turn horrible text driven PowerPoint slides into awesome big bold visual messages
You need to have a clear message, structure and content in your PowerPoint before you import to Prezi. If you have that, let’s get started!
Step 1: Start from a blank canvas
The purpose of this post is to show you how to easily create good visual style and good structure in your Prezi. So don’t pick a Prezi template when you start. Ignore all the templates and click on “blank”.
Step 2: Delete that first default Prezi frame
I mean the big circle frame. You don’t need it…
Step 3: Import your PowerPoint with “grid layout” template
The whole point of this post is that too many people are using the same Prezi standard layouts when they import their PowerPoints. Its not that they are bad, but chances are you are using Prezi instead of PowerPoint because you want to be original. And too many people have already used all those layouts.
With some small effort and the tips in this post, its easy to do SO MUCH BETTER. So ignore all the choices it offers:
- Using the “insert” button, choose “PowerPoint” and locate your file.
- Be patient with the upload, it takes a while…
- When the slides are shown on the right of the canvas, choose “insert all” at the top
- When presented with the different layouts possible, choose “grid layout” – this will give you the best overview of all your slides
- Keep the path between your slide for now
- Click the green arrow
Step 4: Move individual slides to bring a first structure to your presentation
Now you can see all your slides, you can apply some simple structure.
- Move your slides around on the canvas so that slide that go together are together – do this by dragging the frame around. Be careful not to change the size yet!
- If like me you have generic first slides (title slide, company template slide, agenda) get those out of the way for now…
- Use the canvas space freely at this point – we can fix that later
Step 5: Put some nice colourful frames around those groups of slides and name the sections/categories
Again, if you prepared your PowerPoint well, you probably know what these presentation sections/categories are all about. But your audience doesn’t, so you can name them now…
- Use the “add frame” function to put a frame around several of your slides – make it a solid frame
- Double click above the canvas near one of your sections/categories and add some text to name that section/category
- ..then drag the text into the new solid coloured frame
- Repeat per section until you have something like this – starting to look good !
Step 6: Add your new section/category frames to the pathway and put them in the “right” place.
- Click on “edit path”
- Click on each of your new frames so they are added to the path (navigation bar)
- Move the new frames to their correct position in the pathway. For example, if your first section/category is called “A” and consists of slides 1, 2, 3 put your “A” frame in front of 1, 2, 3. And if section/category “B” consists of slides 4, 5, 6, put your “B” frame after “3” and before 4, 5, 6….
Step 7: Add a presentation title to your canvas
I am going to put all my content IN my core message. Its cool – you’ll see what I mean later, but first:
- Be sure you know what your message is. If you didn’t do that before you made your PowerPoint, you probably need some “Presentation Skills” training with me. 🙂
- Zoom out a little bit on your canvas and move to somewhere blank
- Double click somewhere on the canvas to add some big text
- Write the message title of your presentation
Step 8: Choose a nice template for your Prezi – one with good “hole-y” font styles
To achieve true style when you import your PowerPoint to Prezi, it would be good to have a font style that nicely lends itself to putting frames inside it. You are looking for something with holes in it, like I found in my example with the “pastel theme” subtitle font…
- Click on “template” and choose your template
- You can customise fonts if you want to
- Find a font that has some holes in it – in a minute, we are going to place our “slides” inside those holes….
- You will see that your “presentation title” (step 7) has now been updated to the new font
- ..and your section/category frames may have a different colour
Step 9: Place your section/category frames inside the text, rotating a little as necessary
As I said in my previous post on Prezi structure, it is important to use the different dimensions and rotation possibilities in the right way. I think that navigation within sub-parts of a Prezi presentation should be done gently and big structural changes can be more dramatic. To achieve what I did in my Prezi here, start by rotating some of those big solid section/category frames you made earlier to fit them into your text
- Have a look in your “presentation title” text for a nice place to put one of your big section/category frames
- Click on a frame
- Rotate it to align with a gap in the font
- Drag it to where you want in the text
Step 10: Nurse your individual frames to perfection and finalise your pathway
You will see that Prezi does some odd things to your original PowerPoint slides when it imports them onto the canvas and you will need to spend some time finishing up now. If you had an extremely simple PowerPoint (no objects, just text always the same size) then things will probably be OK. But if not, you may like me find that some objects are now in the background, text may have moved, shapes may be screwed-up… You will need to fix that now before you finalise your pathway. Here is a list of things I had to do:
- Put some text back in the foreground (right-click and “bring to front”)
- Delete some things that looked good in PowerPoint, but are terrible in Prezi – eg: my Excel-generated graph, which is now a completely different image
- Replace some PowerPoint objects with Prezi’s own objects – eg: the arrows on my graph
There is a lot more you COULD do to improve this Prezi – I added some fade-in effects and a little more pathway movement. And because my Prezi is for a long conference, I put the “presentation title” text in-between each section/category as a transition to remind us of the general point from time-to-time.
But I promised 10 steps and 20 minutes, so that’s it for now.
If you followed my steps, your Prezi will be far more original and stylish than all the other standard PowerPoint imported Prezis out there…
To close, here are 2 links for more information on some of the things I did above:
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I have spent several months getting up-to-speed on the tool and am now offering that expertise via 2 half-days of hands-on training. If you are wondering how to use Prezi in a professional way, but didn’t take the time yet to figure it out for yourself, come to this training. If you are not so good self-learning and need some expert input, come to this training…
Next edition = 16th and 23rd January 2013 (9am to 1.30pm) , Brussels
- Email me on mail @ dansteer . com for more information and to book a place
For many years, the business world has used one common solution for almost all presentations : Microsoft PowerPoint. If it wasn’t PPT, it was a contending version of the same linear slide-by-slide presentations.
In April 2009, architect and visual artist Adam Somlai-Fischer publically launched prezi , a different creative and visual presentation software. Using Prezi, you can make presentations that will stand out from the others, panning + zooming through content on one large beautiful presentation canvas.
Two examples of what you can do with Prezi:
- Simple business presentation by Dan Steer: http://prezi.com/gdsz_qhprm6n/build-your-presentation-in-3-steps
- An extreme visual example made by a design agency: http://prezi.com/xwja941po289/wonderland
Objectives of this training
- Be able to create a Prezi presentation that respects the 4 pillars of an effective presentation: Message, Structure, Content, Style
- Be able to navigate through the Prezi editing canvas, using all available functions to create an awesome presentation
- Receive feedback on your own Prezi, including content, function and style
- Understand what makes the difference between a sea-sick badly structured Prezi and a Prezi with good flow and readability
- Be ready to present with Prezi
- Advantages and disadvantages of using Prezi
- Presentation design in 3D – getting the most out of the additional Prezi dimension and how to pan and zoom effectively
- The editing canvas and all basic functions (templates, themes, text, image, film, other media…)
- How to import and Prezi-fy an existing MS PPT document and make it really stand out
- Making visually appealing Prezi presentations
- How to use frames and pathways to tell your story well
- Different possibilities for creating, collaborating, viewing and sharing your prezi
- Tips for better usage of Prezi (using remote clickers, background music, merging into WordPress…)
As with all my training, you can expect a dynamic and fun learning environment, with good sharing and plenty of real hands-on learning.
- Prior to training, each participant will be invited to do some pre-reading on the fundaments of an effective presentation and watch a short video introduction to the tool and trainer. In addition, participants will be invited to connect via LinkedIn to avoid spending 30 minutes “getting to know each other” during paid class-time.
- On day 1 of training (4 hours), each participant will create a first basic Prezi presentation step-by-step with the trainer. In this way, everyone leaves the room understanding how the tool works and all different functions.
- Between day 1 and day 2, participants are expected to make/refine a Prezi, using whatever functions they want and implementing learning from the first session.
- Day 2 begins with an evaluation of the homework, sharing ideas on what looks great and what doesn’t work. Participants are then invited to learn advanced Prezi-ficaction skills.
- As per all my trainings, after each day an email is sent with additional references and learning points for the inspired and motivated learner.
- Participants are invited to join the Dan Steer LinkedIn group on “Presentaiton Skills” to continue their learning with other presentation makers from my network.
By the end of this training, you will have a complete overview of the tool, have created your first Prezi, got feedback on what looks good and what needs improving and be ready to continue making your own presentations !
Dates = 16th and 23rd January, 9am to 1.30pm
Location = Brussels
Price = 500 euros HTVA
Subscriptions via email to mail @ dansteer . com or by telephone +32 (0)472 346.226
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33 tips for Prezi users to improve their Prezi presentation. Including structure, movement, paths, backgrounds, rotated-text, quality screenshots, images, keyboard shortcuts, using YouTube, adding music and step-sounds, embedding in WordPress …
Over the last few months, I have been browsing around for cool prezi tips . This post lists all my favourites. Please share!
Given the initial success of this post and my work with Prezi, I now run a training session on the tool. More information here: Prezi training with @dan_steer
Right, let’s get started…
9 BASIC TIPS ON PREZI STRUCTURE, PREZI CANVAS, IMPORTING POWERPOINT..
1 Create your basic structure close up, then add details zoomed-in
This is in line with my work on how to make a presentation in 5 steps. In Prezi, focus first on getting the big picture sorted, then add the details. The big picture should be closest to the eye, the details can be smaller, zoomed in. Use the layers.
- For more information about how to use Prezi dimensions properly, check out my post: “Prezi structure tips … or why most Prezi users should be S.H.O.T”
2 Don’t overdo movement
The movement in Prezi is one of the cool selling point features that make us like it, but as with any presentation, your content needs to be minimum effective dose : do what only is necessary to support your needs or message.
- Use movement to show the relationship between elements and to support the story-telling of your prezi
- Make small steps between things that will be discovered “quickly” over the course of your actual presentaion to the public
- Use big steps to mark the transition between different parts of your presentation structure
Good Prezi movement and structure is explained in detail here:
3 Add frames to your path as you edit in order not to lose things in Prezi
When you add things on your canvas, sometimes they can get lost. To avoid this problem:
- When you have added something on your canvas, click on “edit path” and add it immediately to the pathway
- ..that way, if you move it around, resize it and “lose” that bit of your Prezi, you can just click on the frame in the “edit path” navigation bar on the left and Prezi will take you back there…
4 …but don’t worry about the final presentation order until near the end
If you are clear about your presentation structure, then you know more-or-less what your final Prezi path is going to look like from the start. But don’t worry about the exact order until you have finished adding everything. You WILL make changes anyway.
5 You can “bring-to-front” or copy/paste just like in PowerPoint..
..in order to move things from the front/back of the canvas
Note: I don’t mean zoom in/out, I just mean that in any one 2D-position on the canvas, you can change which things are on top of others, just like would in PowerPoint.
6 Select multiple elements on a Prezi canvas
There are 2 ways to do this:
- Hold down the “shift” button on your computer, then click and hold your left mouse button while you drag the pointer over the canvas to select several elements
- Click one element, hold down the “shift” button on your computer, click on the next element, keep holding “shift” and continue…
7 Group elements together so you can move, resize, rotate and work with them as “one element”
Just as you can group things in PowerPoint, you can do the same in Prezi.
- Follow tip 6 to select multiple items
- … then click on the little “padlock” icon to lock them all together
- (You can unlock them later if you want to)
8 Make a big bold call-to-action with a font that contains all your content inside it…
9 If you have a PowerPoint presentation, import it into Prezi
Once you have done that, you can place your slides in order to create structure, show level of importance of content, groups slides together using frames, add formatting, images, arrows etc…
- Read my post: “Import PowerPoint to Prezi with Style: 10 Steps, 20 minutes” to see how to do a good job of this.
12 TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL PREZI PRESENTATIONS .. GOING TO THE NEXT STEP…
10 If you want your rotated text to still look rotated in “SHOW” (presentation) mode, you can..
Just put an invisible frame around it and point to that (instead of the text itself) when you create your path.
11 Use 3D backgrounds
The guys at Prezi send me emails with tips from time-to-time and this is one of my favourites. The backgrounds that are possible with 3D and multiple 3D are awesome.
- Follow this link to see how to do it…
- Use high quality images to achieve this
12 Fade-in things within a frame
Sometimes it can be handy to have things fade-in onto the screen just like we do in PPT. Follow this link to see how to achieve this in Prezi. Its very easy to fade in anything in a frame…
- (As I said above, it is important to focus on minimum effective dose and in general I’m not a fan of this kind of animation)
13 Create extremely high-quality webpage “screenshots” in your Prezi
Because of the zoom feature in Prezi, what at first looks good when screen-captured from the web can look pretty bad when you zoom in. If you want to do a good job of zooming in on things you screenshotted from the web DO NOT use print-screen on your computer:
- Instead, create a PDF of the web-page you want to show
- Use this website to do this for free: http://www.web2pdfconvert.com
- Import the PDF image of your web-page into Prezi and it will be super high-quality at all zoom levels
..as a side-note here, if you do screenshot things, set your computer screen preferences to 1024 * 768
14 Try some cool templates
If you read my other post on how to import PowerPoint to Prezi with style you know I’m not a fan of the standard options in Prezi. They are nice, but already starting to get a little old. If you want something new, check out some of the Prezi templates at prezzip.com. There is a limited collection of things free to download, but the price of an app will get you something really tasteful…
15 Customise theme colours in Prezi and keep your marketing department happy
You can do this by manually custom formatting the colours + fonts via the theme wizard in Prezi
- Go to “Template” menu
- Click on “Customise Current Theme” at the bottom of the “theme” area
- Click on “advanced” and choose your colours
16 …then save your custom theme for the future
At any moment when you are editing your Prezi, you can click on “Theme” and scroll down to the bottom to “Save Current Theme”. Easy!
17 Add background music to your Prezi
If you want your Prezi to have music playing in the background, this is easyto achieve now (March 2013):
- Click on “insert”
- Choose “add background music”
- Most obvious music file types will work (MP3, M4A, FLAC, WMA, WAV, OGG, AAC, MP4, and 3GP) and certainly if they already work in iTunes. Prezi will convert them if necessary.
- You can see that the music has been added by looking at the top of the “edit-path” navigation bar on the left
- …that’s where you go to delete the music as well
18 Add sound at a specific moment of your Prezi presentation
Have a look at this Prezi. You will see that I’ve added sound files at specific moments in order to explain my content. This takes a bit of work, but is really easy.
- Record your sound file. You can do this with your PC (sound-recorder) or, as I did, with an iPhone.
- Select the relevant step of your path in the “edit-path” navigation bar on the left
- Click on “insert”
- Choose “add voice-over to path step [#]”
- As with background music, most sound file types will work and Prezi will convert them if necessary
- ..you can easily delete them from the step by using the “edit-path” menu on the left
19 Manage the way YouTube videos are treated when showing your Prezi
When actually delivering a presentation, it might be good to first say a word about a video before showing it, but you other times you might want it to play automatically.
Today (6th May 2013) when you insert a YouTube film, Prezi puts a frame around it and adds the frame to your path. This means that the film will not play automatically. You have to click it.
If you want to get Prezi to play the film immediately when it gets to that point in the path:
- Remove the frame (be careful not to delete the film)
- Click on “edit path” and then click on the film element itself
- This will add the film to the path, thus is will play automatically
If you change your mind, just put a frame around the film again and add the frame to your path. This will mean you need to click on the “play” icon to play the film.
20 Add some free flash to your Prezi
UNFORTUNATELY – PREZI STOPPED SUPPORTING FLASH, SO THIS IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE….. PLEAS IGNORE
Prezi works quite well with (SWF) flash files and you can insert them onto your canvas like any other element. A few additional tips:
- If you are making flash files for Prezi yourself, work with a 30fps frame-rate. That’s the speed Prezi will run it at, so you won’t get any surprises like my friend who had prepared a jogging Flash man who ended up sprinting!
- If you need free Flash files, you can get some here: http://www.ffiles.com – I used a free file from ffiles.com for the smoking background in this Prezi
21 Convert GIF files into SWF files to use the animation
Animated GIF files do not work in Prezi. You need to convert them to an SWF (flash) file first. You can do this with a free GIF to SWF convertor. More information from the Prezi team here.
12 TIPS FOR WORKING MORE EFFICIENTLY WITH PREZI
22 Add things to the path regularly
Sometimes I get lost in my Prezi, wondering “Where did I put that word?” The more I use the dimensions and depth, the more this happens. To avoid this:
- When you add something you don’t want to lose, add it to your path
- ..click on “edit path” and add the object”
- That way, you can always navigate back to it later and edit some more
- ..and delete it from your presentation path if you want to
23 Delete frames without deleting content
Be careful when you delete a frame. It will delete everything inside. Unless ….
- Click on the frame
- Choose “frame options” (to the left of the classic “delete button”) and click on on the “delete frame only” button (at the bottom)
- Right click on the frame
- Choose “remove frame without deleting content”
24 Use an external mouse to edit, not a laptop touch-pad
Really. Just stop it. I’ve seen so many people struggling in training. Just buy a mouse!
25 Prezi has shortcuts too. Use them.
Here’s a list of keyboard shortcuts you can use when creating your Prezi online or on the desktop version: http://prezi.com/learn/keyboard-shortcuts.
- If they don’t work, you need to enable shortcuts via the settings menu on the top-right of the Prezi you are editing.
26 Use a remote mouse to control your Prezi presentation (in a conference, like with MS PPT)
According to the Prezi guys, most remotes will work with Prezi straight away and if not, you can use the desktop software. Frankly, I couldn’t get mine to work at all at first. (Note: 26th Sept 2013 – It does now!)
It works now (update: March 2013) but just in case: Here is a work-around for presenting via your online account that I found on this Prezi community page:
- Create your path as you would
- In edit mode, click anywhere (not twice, as that adds text) then press “space-bar” to enter “show” mode
- If your browser is still showing all the menu-bars, change it to full-screen mode
- Your remote will take you through the path. Simple as that!
27 Embed your Prezi in WordPress
For an example of what I mean, have a look at this post.
It’s quite simple to do, but not so obvious to figure-out.
28 Use your Prezi as a whole website!!
If you don’t want to develop a whole website, why not just use Prezi as one. You can have a Prezi presentation as your homepage, with none of the prezi.com page around it.
- Follow the instructions here: http://prezi.com/bnqgaht4wkgd/view/#1
Note: Today (26th Sept 2013) I can’t open this link any more, so here it is step-by-step:
- Look at your Prezi url
- It contains something like this: http://prezi.com/avlnnyhz323f/how-to-improve-formal-learning-with-social-media-astd2013-tu306
- The last part is your Prezi title
- Delete the title
- Add view/ at the end
- Like this: http://prezi.com/avlnnyhz323f/view/
29 Choose good Prezi titles for search engine optimisation
Prezi.com has a high SEO score and is a really popular site. Presentations published on the Prezi platform are easily found by Google.
If you want your Prezis to be found by Google-searchers, then use good keywords in the title, eg: Your company name + content-related words.
30 Give your audience a hand-out
Easy! Just click on “print” in Prezi and save a PDF copy.
31 Use prezi at the right time of the day, in the right browser
- If you are using Prezi in Europe, do it in the morning. It goes a lot better, probably because the USA is still sleeping.
- …and use Firefox. Its far more reliable for Prezi editing than Internet Explorer.
32 Change the url of your Prezi
This is perhaps the world’s most obvious Prezi tip, but in case you (like me) were wondering: If you update the title of your Prezi presentation, it will correspondingly update the url. Bearing in that Prezi is pretty SEO friendly, this may have a positive (or negative) impact on your page-ranking via search.
33 If you have good images, save them to “My Collection”
If you are sharing a Prezi logon or regularly using the same images yourself, it is efficient more efficient to save them to Prezi in “My Collection” rather than have to upload or copy them each time:
- Right click on the image
- “Add to My Collection”
- You will find them all waiting for you when you next use “insert”
- ..in the part “My Collection”
That’s all for now!
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Leave a comment if you have more good tips