PowerPoint or Prezi: How they compare on audience engagement

July 17, 2019

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Attention is the name of the game. It’s what all of us presenters are trying to gain from the audience. And it’s extremely hard to keep. Let’s take a closer look at Prezi and PowerPoint and see which presentation tool can grab attention the most, and how. 


There’s normally a moment before presenting when people in the audience think to themselves, ‘Oh no, not another slide deck. How will I stay awake?’ But with the use of some simple features we mentioned in Part 2 – and great presentation skills, of course –  you can grab the audience’s attention very easily.
Here are a few suggestions worth considering: 
You can use the Morph transition to have your entire opening slide fly apart into lots of tiny pieces and then reform in an interesting shape.
Or maybe start slide 1 with a map of the world, and then on the first click have that world rotate in 3D. You can zoom in on a country, and then have facts and figures about that location pop up next to it.
Another option – this is one of our favourites – is to ask everyone in the audience to open a web browser on their mobile phone, go to a polling link, and see the results of a question, or a word cloud start to form directly on your slide in real time.
There are many ways to grab attention with a PowerPoint and they don’t have to be complicated or antiquated at all.


A neat trick in Prezi is to use a custom starting point that is already zoomed into a topic area. Keep it simple looking so that when people start to think, ‘Oh no, more slides!’, you can begin your presentation and, with the first click, you’ll zoom out to the main overview. This is an old trick used by our company founder Russell quite often, but it always works wonders at grabbing attention.
We also recommend presenting in a conversational way. Prezi makes this very easy and it does now class itself as a conversational presentation tool. What this means is that your audience can decide which area they’d like you to focus in on first, and then you can click and zoom into that area with ease. When you’re done with that section you come back to the overview and allow them to decide where you go next. Huge levels of attention can be grabbed by presenting in this way.

A neat trick in Prezi is to use a custom starting point that is already zoomed into a topic area.

The motion of Prezi is actually still quite novel for many people. Use it sparingly and the simple fact that people will know they aren’t looking at another PowerPoint deck can sometimes be enough to grab their attention. We all enjoy looking at shiny new things once in a while, so play on it to your advantage, if you know your audience isn’t used to, or has never seen, a Prezi before.
Whether you’re still leaning towards one tool more than the other, we hope you learned something new that you can apply in your presentations. For more tips, read Part 1 and Part 2 from this series, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our final part, where we’ll reveal which tool we think is better.
In the meantime, you can sign up to our webinar, where we’ll discuss strategies for visual storytelling. To learn about Prezi and how to switch to a Prezi mindset, join our next training morning with Official Prezi Expert, Russell Anderson-Williams here
Let us know how you get with your presentation and if you have any questions by emailing us at [email protected]

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