Yesterday I had the pleasure of training a group of new Prezi users here in the UK.
Our beginners Prezi training is always a very enjoyable day for attendees and also myself. This session was slightly different though because the company I was working with have a big event next week that they really want to use Prezi for. Until I arrived on the scene most of them hadn’t even used the Prezi software and everyone was still very stuck in the PowerPoint way of thinking.
As soon as I stepped into the training room I could sense their urgency in wanting to learn Prezi and use it for this big event. There were a lot of very nervous looking faces, and the pressure was on me as the Prezi expert to deliver……gulp!
Within the space of a few hours everyone had managed to build a very basic Prezi and they all felt very comfortable in creating and editing presentations. But they were all still panicking about the event and each of them wanted to know how their particular presentation could work in Prezi so i decided to take a slightly different approach to the latter half of our usual training day.
I asked each Presenter (5 in total) to see me one at a time and to bring their presentation content with them. I gave them 30 minutes each with me and we drilled down into their content to find out how we could Prezify things.
My approach was simple, I asked each of them:
- Who are you presenting to?
- What is your core message?
- Are there any visuals that spring to mind when you think about your subject?
I allowed them each to talk me through their presentations and I listened. Without realising they each gave me some really visual explanations of their presentations subject.
As an example, when asked the above questions one of the presenters said “I want people to understand all the hot air that surrounds this subject, and that the landscape has changed”………….. Some key words in that sentence were Hot air and Landscape. When we explored these core messages a bit more we realised this was a great way to visually tell the story. Within a few minutes, and only using the Prezi Google image insert we came up with the below Prezi design as a starting point.
The content of the presentation will be added in or around the balloons to link the concept of their being hot air around the subject, and then a zoom out will reveal the changing landscape.
Not bad considering that the existing presentation was just going to be PowerPoint slides and bullet point text!
I went on to spend more time with the other presenters and we came up with some more great concepts for each presentation. A very satisfied customer once again, and I had to give myself a big pat on the back for working under pressure like I did and delivering the goods.
The moral of the story though is that you should spend some time thinking about, and discussing with colleagues (or just yourself) the core message of your presentations. Think about how they can be represented visually. ask yourself questions like:
- What am I really trying to say?
- How can I show this visually?
- Will my audience appreciate this approach?
- Does the concept link well to the message?
The more questions you ask, the more answers you’ll get, and that will only lead to one thing….great Prezi designs.
Russell (The Prezenter)