PowerPoint or Prezi: Who will take pole position?

It’s that time of year again, when we get a large amount of people asking us: ‘Which should I use – Prezi or PowerPoint? Which one is best?’ We get this every year. In fact, we have written about the comparison between the two on our blog in the past.

However, as both tools continue to grow in popularity and expand the number of features available to presenters, we think it’s only right to do an annual update on the subject. So, whether you prefer working with slides or you’re a complete Prezi fan, here’s our honest take on the battle for pole position.

There are so many basic tools inside PowerPoint that just don’t get any use at all simply because Microsoft isn’t great at telling users about them

 Which is easier to drive?

POWERPOINT

If feels like when humans are born these days, they automatically have a space in their brain that is programmed to use PowerPoint – or at least most of us are expected to know how to use it when we enter the education or business world. It is a very easy tool to pick up and start adding content into, which is a great benefit. However, there are a huge amount of very basic features that literally millions upon millions of users don’t know about.

For example:

  • Did you know that there is a transition feature called Morph, which makes your slides look like a professionally animated presentation?
  • Have you used the Add-ins section to insert live polling or bring up a menu of professional photographs you can use for free?

There are so many basic tools inside PowerPoint, like the ones mentioned above, that just don’t get any use at all simply because Microsoft isn’t great at telling users about them. Plus we get the feeling that because PowerPoint has so many features, the most useful ones seem to get buried away and not spotted by users.

PREZI

A few years ago you couldn’t be blamed for opening Prezi and in 5 minutes thinking: ‘How on earth do I build a presentation in here?’ But Prezi has done such an amazing job at listening to its users and streamlining its user interface that it’s now easier than ever to make a great Prezi presentation.

A testament to this is evident in our own Prezi training for beginners sessions that we run online and from our head office. Two years ago these sessions for beginners would be a full day, but now they only last half a day, and people attending get to the same level of expertise in half the time. This isn’t down to our trainer Russell being such a pro (well, maybe a little), but more to do with the fact that everything is so much easier to understand in terms of interface, on-boarding process, and so on.

One big benefit of using and understanding Prezi is that it forces you to think more about the visual metaphor of your presentation and story

We also find that people are a lot more aware of what a Prezi is, and so they don’t approach it with a PowerPoint mindset. This means that they can adopt the new way of thinking very quickly and easily.

If you tried Prezi a few years ago but couldn’t get the most out of it, we’d highly recommend you go back now and take another look. Remember, it isn’t PowerPoint, so don’t think in slides!

“One big benefit of using and understanding Prezi is that it forces you to think more about the visual metaphor of your presentation and story. That skill set can translate back into your PowerPoint designs as well and is probably the reason our team here are so incredible at making PowerPoint decks for clients. We don’t think in the usual ‘slide by slide’ way.”
Russell Anderson-Williams – Founder of The Prezenter

BEFORE: How do we translate a message through a visual metaphor? Let’s imagine your objective was to visualise the below statement:

AFTER: You might end up with a Prezi canvas that looks something like the below image.

The race is on

We’ll continue the Prezi vs PowerPoint comparison in a few weeks. In Part 2 we’ll focus on the standout features that make each one of the presenting tools unique.

You can learn some advanced PowerPoint skills by joining our upcoming PowerPoint training session in July – there are only a few tickets remaining!

For more insights into Prezi, why not join our upcoming training later this month with Prezi expert Russell. We are also running a series of webinars on visual storytelling in the coming months.

Get in touch if you’d like to share your preference or if you have any questions or queries. Our email is: info@theprezenter.com.