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Are your presentations boring?

Jazz up plain-vanilla PowerPoint slides with video, graphics

Jan 3, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Sheryl Rowling

+ Zoom

At times, advisers must come out from behind their desks to do something they're not wild about: give a presentation to a group. The vast majority of those presenting will use PowerPoint.

Good presenters will adhere to some basic rules:

1. Don't clutter slides with too many facts or figures.

2. Don't create slides of the exact words you will be saying.

3. Use nice graphics.

4. Don't have too many slides in one presentation.

Following these rules is helpful, but let's face it: PowerPoint presentations are getting boring. Sure, we can spice them up with animation, a variety of transition options between slides and even videos. But it's still a linear "one slide after the other" visual accompaniment to a speech.

When I am giving a major presentation, I prefer to use Prezi (www.prezi.com). It's free if you're OK with the general public being able to see your creations. Otherwise, it costs $59 to $159 per year, depending on the plan you choose. What's so good about Prezi?

It's difficult to describe without showing it. In my opinion, Prezi allows you to produce presentations that are alive! Imagine a canvas of a painting or a bulletin board containing photos. With Prezi you can travel around the canvas using any route you want, zooming in and out, showing magically appearing content, and more. As with any program, there is a learning curve. From my experience, it's easy to start using one of its templates. Once you become more skilled, the sky's the limit.

Another benefit: Your presentations can be downloaded, converted to PDF and accessed online. And you can even import from PowerPoint if you want to convert it over.

Check it out and say goodbye to boring presentations.

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