Thursday, 6 October 2011

Thing 17 - Prezi / data visualisation / slideshare

Oh dear, it's time for me to face my creativity demons...


Interesting one, this one. I'm generally an early adopter (don't get me started on my frustration of still not being able to get on Google+ yet due to having a Google Apps account rather than a generic Gmail account). But sometimes, there's a tool that you just don't really like very much. I have to confess that Prezi was one of those for me. I struggle to present things visually anyway - Art was always my weakest subject by far at school. Add that struggle to present things in a nice visual way to the fact that I watched some early Prezi presentations which really did go overboard on the swirling and made me feel quite seasick, and it wasn't a good start to the relationship between Prezi and myself.

Last year, as part of 24 Festive Things, I made my first Prezi and actually quite enjoyed putting it together. It took a lot of planning though and I still wasn't totally happy with it. Fast forward a few months and I have tried Prezi for two different presentations I've given. I had the ideas in my mind (one was based on a calendar to take you through the first few months of a student's journey at the start of university, the other was a mockup of a mobile phone) and could even start to picture it, but when it came to produce it I quickly lost patience with Prezi and moved back to Powerpoint. I like making presentations in Keynote on iPad, and with PowerPoint/Keynote I can work on both the PC and iPad but there's no way to do this with Prezi at the moment.

Prezi as a final presentation tool sounds good though, so I thought I'd have a go at turning an existing Powerpoint into a Prezi. The result is below (after far too many hours than I care to admit spent adjusting it). You might want to click on More... Full Screen once it's loaded to be able to view it properly.

I was actually pleasantly surprised that I could do this and may in future use Powerpoint to create slides but use Prezi to present them in slightly more interesting ways or combine the two via Prezi. What do you think? Does this sort of thing work OK do you think? I'm interested in feedback - please leave me a comment.


I've been using Slideshare for quite a while now, and all my public presentations are hosted on my Slideshare account. I don't tend to use Slideshare for inspiration, though I do use it to follow events that I am unable to attend in person.

I like the CV idea - interesting alternative to a document. I tested a different CV tool recently too - which uses data from your LinkedIn profile to create your own personal infographic. Check out my infographic below (or view the live version online). It only took a few minutes to create this and customise it too.

What next?

I'm still not a big Prezi fan, but I might try combining Powerpoint with Prezi in future to make more interesting ways of presenting information. It's still useful to try these tools out; I learnt a lot of time-saving tricks whilst I was playing around with mine. I do really struggle to make visually interesting presentations - they take me such a long time but I'm always really proud when they do actually turn out looking OK. I spend a lot of time looking for good Flickr photos and adding them to my favourites to use in presentations and blog posts - it's useful to have this bank of images, but you can guarantee you always want something you haven't so far come across!


  1. Hi Jo, I hope all is well with you. I happened to be on twitter and see your Prezi link just now, and then this blog post. Your Prezi looks great. I am really interested in your comments as I have been doing some learning and teaching research into this
    the next stage is to produce a learning plan which can be re-purposed by others, it would be great to have feedback if you are interested.
    Best wishes, Marie-Therese (also JISCDepo Kultivate)

  2. Hi Marie-Therese, thanks for visiting my blog and thanks so much for sharing the link to teaching with images - really interesting!

    I would definitely be interested, anything that might help me improve my use of images would definitely be beneficial.

  3. Hi Jo, I like your Prezi. It's not too in your face, which I feel a lot of prezis are. Like you, I find it difficult with all those swirling images and zoom-ins and outs. I've never had the need to create a prezi, so am still very much a fan of PowerPoint, even if I don't like Microshaft!!
    I'm certainly intrigued by Anything to make an uninteresting looking CV stand out from the crowd. I'm off to have a look!!

  4. Hi Nikki - thanks for the comment. Glad you like the Prezi :) is really easy to use, though obviously the more comprehensive your LinkedIn profile is, the more complete your infographic will be.

  5. I like the Prezi! I think it works really well to organize the slides in a slightly different way. I may steal that idea.

  6. Thanks Joy - glad you like it. It did take a lot of playing around with but then there are loads of slides in this one!