Although there are quite a few very good presentation software available for instructors, the decision frequently comes down between Prezi and PowerPoint. This post is designed to help you determine which is better for YOUR presentation. Although you can use them both to achieve similar results, I’ll be comparing the two for :
By accessibility I mean how easy is the software to use. This includes any additional hardware you might need, and how well can you upload written or visual content you’ve made elsewhere. With exportability I am looking at how easily can they export content to be shared. This is an often overlooked feature of a presentation software that causes issues once you’ve created your project. Knowing how you want to share your presentation (live stream, online link, YouTube video, upload to blackboard, etc… should play into which software you make it with. My last two criteria are designed for judging additional features a software offers to make it interactive. Inclusion indicates how well it can include multimedia. This includes embedded videos, links and other resources you might want to navigate to without exiting the program. Finally engagement looks at how the software enhances a student’s experience and how interactive it can be. This includes quizzing components as well as the general format of the presentation.
Pick Your Presentation
Both Prezi and PowerPoint boast high accessibility. They’re interfaces that are designed to work for someone with limited PowerPoint slide creation experience. Both set up their designs in a fairly linear timeline, that can be manipulated visually. Prezi and PowerPoint allow the user to drag and drop components where they want them and have shortcuts to make uploading content easier.
How do you prefer to export your presentation? Prezi exports easily to a URL which means you can share it, embed it, and have it accessible long after your BlackBoard course closes. PowerPoint is limited in the formats it can export to BUT because it has been a standard for presentations for so long many other software are designed to import PowerPoints. Depending on your preference you can also screen-record in which case how you export the presentation doesn’t matter!
What is exceptional about Prezi is its ability to embed content. You can play a link or a video from the presentation rather than having to navigate out. As a librarian I want to minimize the number of click-throughs it takes for my audience to see the content, but students are used to navigating to and from different content. It just depends on whether you want a seamless self-contained presentation or if you’d rather use the time that they navigate to outside sources to let them further explore those sources before they return to the presentation.
There is no single way to use these presentations, so engagement depends on how you make use of the advantages of each program. Prezi is engaging simply by design due to its non-linear format, but if you over-do the zooming feature you will have your students feeling dizzy rather than enthused. PowerPoint, again because it is a standard for presentation software, offers numerous add-ons such as quizzing functions.
Both software are great for creating interactive presentations, but at the end of the day it comes down to 1. how you use them, 2. how comfortable you feel when you use them, and 3. how much time you want to spend on a presentation. Prezi is definitely more time consuming, but PowerPoint can be if you explore some of their add-ons. If student engagement is what you are aiming for, especially for an online course, I’d suggest swapping between the two. You can also use a screen-recording software like Camtasia to make your presentation come to life.