How to spice up your presentations

There is nothing as dull in a student’s life as badly made PowerPoint presentations. Using PowerPoint has become a rule, whenever you present something in an university setting or otherwise. Everybody does it. And even when you follow all the hints on ‘how to make a good presentations’, like the ones Maris talked about in our last post at the JEPS Bulletin, you end up with just a PowerPoint presentation. How to change that and spice things up?

Try Prezi.

Prezi is a free online presentation software. Its four strongest points are that it’s: free, looks good, intuitive and new.

Free
If you are a student, more often than not, you are on a tight budget. Prezi has its basic features (everything you need to make a presentation) freely accessible online. If you are interested in some improved features, you can always pay for them. But as it is, everybody can use it and access it, unlike our most common presentation software buddy, the PowerPoint.

Looks good
What’s even better about Prezi – it looks effective, engaging and really cool. Its zoom feature is in its core a pretty simple option, but with creative usage, it can make an ordinary presentation look like something completely different. Check out this presentation about the usage of perspectives in Prezi (made, of course, in Prezi) to see what I’m talking about.

Intuitive
When I first saw a Prezi presentation in a TED lecture online, the first thing that came to mind was: “That must be hard to make!” The truth couldn’t be further from it. With a clean-cut and very minimal user interface, it manages to offer all its functions in a very intuitive way; very unlike our standard text processing or presentation software. The zooming is created through the use of framing – it’s like setting check points for the camera to follow through your presentation. The site also offers video tutorials on how to use Prezi, which are very helpful even if you don’t get the interface from the start.

New
With the widespread use of PowerPoint, different presentation software is rarely used. Even if you have a relatively dull topic to cover, with Prezi, the newness of the presentation style will surely keep your audience engaged and interested through the smart use of the zooming tool and the natural flow through the presentation it allows. Prezi’s sheer newness for most people who haven’t seen it will only be a plus. Just remember not to over use the zooming rotations, to avoid causing motion sickness to your audience!

As a conclusion, check out the official Journal of European Psychology Students presentation done in Prezi. If you would like to present JEPS at your college, local student organization or conference, feel free to use it.

Happy Prezi using!

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Ivan Flis is a graduate student of psychology at the Center for Croatian Studies at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) and the Chair of the Right to Research Coalition Coordinating Committee for Africa, Europe and Middle East.

About the author

Ivan Flis Ivan Flis is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science at the Descartes Centre, Utrecht University; and has a degree in psychology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. His research focuses on quantitative methodology in psychology, its history and application, and its relation to theory construction in psychological research. He had been an editor of JEPS for three years in the previous mandates.

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  • Elisa

    Wow! this is really cool. thanks for sharing!

  • Ivan Flis

    If you try it out, I’d love to hear your impressions!

  • http://www.keyconsult.com Todd

    If you can get access to technology at your school, it really takes your presentations up several notches. Sometimes professors will allow you access to more sophisticated resources to fully develop your presentation. I also think using original photographer and videos is much better than pulling stuff somebody else did off the Internet. I have to check out Prezi, thanks for the suggestion.

  • Ivan Flis

    What kind of technology? And yes, original videos and photographs are always a plus – it always beats generic material. Though, in the day of almighty Google, not many people do it.

    I hope you like Prezi!