Using Prezi Video

Prezi video offers a really easy way of transforming how you present PowerPoint slides online, allowing you to present both your webcam and a slide deck simultaneously. This article explains the basics of how to use Prezi Video.

Introducing Prezi Video

Improving your presentation style

One of the key reasons for considering Prezi Video is to allow you to allow students to maintain their focus on your presentation, and what you are saying, rather than getting overly distracted by the slides (or zoning out completely when you switch to the PowerPoint).

A secondary advantage of overlaying the slides is that it allows quickly transition to and from the slides. Typically when you share your screen, there is at least a momentary delay in the transition. The delay can make it difficult to quickly share a message or summary. 

Prettifying your presentation

While being able to keep your webcam and presentation both in focus at the same time may take out some of the friction of presenting, it the smoothness of the presentations that adds the ‘wow’ factor.

While the novelty of overlaying slides on top of your webcam, and Prezi’s smooth transitions between the slides may wear off with time, at least for the time being, the animations certainly catch attention. 

Ease of use

The final key strengths of Prezi Video is how easy it is to use. You can use your existing PowerPoint slides, and the transition animations on Prezi do not require any setup.

While other approaches to customize your video, such as using OBS to customize your webcam feed, can be heavily customized, they can take hours to learn and configure, while you can be up and running with Prexi in a matter of minutes.

Basics of Prezi Video

As mentioned above, setting up Prezi is easy – once you have downloaded the Prezi Video desktop software, the following instructions will get you going quickly.

Getting started with Prezi Video

While great for sharing your presentation, Prezi Video contain only limited ability to create or edit slides. You will likely want to create your presentation in advance, either in Prezi or PowerPoint (which can be imported on the welcome page below). If you opt to create a ‘new video’, you’ll have the option later to either import slides/images, or to create basic slides containing an image and a short message.

 

Importing your PowerPoint

If you opt to import your PowerPoint, you will be able to select the presentation, and then import select, or all of the slides.

Importing a PowerPoint into Prezi

Overview of features in Prezi Video

Prezi Video is structured into 4 separate pages:

  • Templates: This tab controls how the slides are displayed on the screen and the transition animation.
  • Content: This tab allows sides to be uploaded and re-arranged
  • Video Conference: This allows Prezi to be connected to your video conferencing software
  • Record: This allows you to record the video (for example to use Prezi to create asynchronous content).

Below illustrates the ‘Templates’ tab. The key purpose of this tab is to change the transitions between slides. The transitions can be selected from the right-hand side (the default is the most minimal and clean).

Other components on the screen include:

  1. The navigation panel to move to other screens within Prezi
  2. All the slides loaded into Prezi
  3. The three different view options
  4. Navigation to move between slides

Overview of the Content Tab in Prezi

The content tab allows you to change the content that is displayed. Available options are:

  1. Option to add text underneath the slide
  2. Options to remove the slide, or upload another, either from an image file or from PowerPoint.
  3. Options to select an image directly from within Prezi to replace the current slide.
  4. The option to add ‘Presenter Notes’ that will appear when presenting.

As illustrated below, it is also possible to use an image (which can be uploaded or search), in combination with a short text description. While the options for adding text, or creating your slides through Prezi are limited, if you have a very short message, it is possible to create them without needing a PowerPoint in advance. 

Overview displaying the slides via the Video Conference

To connect Prezi Video to video conferencing software, click the ‘video conferencing’ option at the bottom of the page. Prezi provides specific instructions for how to enable in each specific video conferencing software (involving selecting a Prezi-specific webcam from whichever video conferencing software that you use). 

Overview of the Content Tab in Prezi

Below illustrates the controls available in the “Connected” tab.

  1. In the bottom left of the screen in Prezi is options to adjust what is displayed. These include, switching between i) only the presenter without slides, ii) both the presenter and the slides to the right, or iii) the slides expanded to the whole page.
  2. In the bottom right of the screen is a preview of the next slide to be displayed, along with arrows to advance to the next slide, or return to the previous.
  3. At the top of the screen is any ‘Presenter notes’ entered when entering the content.

 

Connected Video in Prezy

Saving the presentation

Before exiting, make sure to save the Prezi Video presentation so that you are able to re-use it at a later time. 

Summary

Prezi Video is a great tool to consider using when presenting online. While Zoom and other conferencing software allow PowerPoint presentations to be shared, they were developed primarily for presenting in-person. In comparison, Prezi Video is much more focused on online presentations. Not only may it help run a smoother class, avoiding delays when moving to slides, but the visual effects of Prezi are quite impressive and easy to setup.

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