Friday, June 4, 2010

Prezi workshops for professional development

Over the last few months I've been playing around with Prezi and given some presentations using it both inside and outside the library. Managers and staff were really interested in this alternative to PowerPoint and wanted to know more so I've been running a series of workshops for library staff on how to use prezi! The workshops were hands on and covered the whole prezi making process from woe to go. I made a prezi to show the class on 'how to use prezi' (above) and then as a class we made one together from scratch. I was surprised (probably shouldn't have been) by the diversity of creativity and skill levels within each group and luckily had two helpers with me. For example, in one class we had to repeatedly remind people to open a new browser tab when opening YouTube and Flickr! They kept losing their prezi! Luckily prezi auto saves so all was not lost. The most common problem was people having trouble using the mouse? I'm not sure why - maybe it was the combination of one click and double clicks you need to master?

We got them to add text, links, images, video and cite the creator. Then add frames, create the zooming path and play their prezi back. People were most excited when they saw their video load and then when they saw the prezi come to life by zooming.

My main tips were:
  • Create a Student/Teacher account if you have a email address because you get a huge amount of storage space which means you can embed images and video to your hearts content
  • Think of it  like a poster you can zoom in on 
  • Aim for simple uncluttered design
  • Be creative! Surprise them!
  • Group ideas together in frames
  • Don't do too many dramatic zooms - known as the sea-sickness effect
  • Begin and end with the whole picture so people get a good overview of the content
The workshops were well attended and each participant received their 'prezi license' if they successfully made a prezi - which they all did. Some were so excited to receive their prezi license that they've proudly stuck them around their desks! I'm considering running advanced prezi workshops for people who want to add animation and do other cool things! Since the workshops there has been a proliferation of prezi's around the library for various purposes which is very exciting and there's a real possibility we may never have to see another PowerPoint (or kill another kitten) again!


  1. Thanks for this! Very useful! Awesome post

  2. UTS staff are offering me more prof dev this year than I have had in the last 5 years. Thankyou so much for sharing MissSophie. I have been watching others use prezi and "meaning" to get to it but had to many excuses. Now I have this I can stop procrastinating and start!

  3. Miss Sophie,
    Help! My name is Bryan Williams, I am a sales manager for a distributing company. This "Prezi" presentation tool seems impressive, I have googled and search for wookshops or seminars and can find none. Help!
    Bryan Williams