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We’ve all done it…what’s the “it” I’m talking about? Presentations…we’ve all given them at one point in our lives…in fact, multiple times. Whether it’s the keynote address at a conference, in a meeting with dozens of executives, a training session at work or perhaps at some other event – we’ve all had to do it.  And chances are, you’ve had to give your presentation in PowerPoint, right?

Since it’s become somewhat of a universal standard for presentations, PowerPoint has been somewhat of a bane in people’s existence. We want something more visually appealing and robust instead of being conservative and stoic. For Apple fans, there’s Keynote, which is a really great tool, but not everyone has that. For desktop software, we’re running into an issue about standards – some may have PowerPoint while others prefer Keynote and who’s to say which is the one to use? This is where Prezi comes into play.

Prezi

At first glace, it almost looks like a Slideshare-clone, but in fact, it’s much more than simply allowing you to upload your presentations. It’s succeeding where a bunch of other presentation tools have failed. One way to think about this is having your presentations in the Cloud – that is, it’s it’s not dependent on it running off of your computer and you can work on it from anywhere you have Internet connectivity. To that end, it combines the abilities of Google Docs with Slideshare and a hint of Apple’s Keynote software to allow you to literally build out your presentation and share it with the world.

So far, it seems that Prezi has managed to make a name for itself…it has been used by people at MySpace, government officials in San Francisco and by the founder of the world-famous TED conference to help share their presentations. The way they look is a welcome refresher than what we’ve all probably seen before. Prezi’s system even allows you to upload your own images and text and truly make the presentation your own. However, for larger businesses with established brands, one thing to caution is that this isn’t your native PowerPoint template…you’ll have to make adjustments so that your branding standards are still met, but that you will still have a cool and welcome presentation.

PreziStarted in Budapest, Hungary, Prezi now has over 1 million users and currently has an office in downtown San Francisco where they have received significant support from at least two major investors. Based off of a freemium model, users of Prezi can build their own presentations easily for free or pay between $59.99 or $159.99 per year for upgraded features – and these are all on a tiered level which involves various file storage limits, ability to work online and offline and even remove the Prezi logo from your presentations.

A couple weeks ago, Prezi made some news by helping to enhance presentations once again. This fall, not only will you be able to continue building out your presentations, but also now collaborate with your team to assemble that perfect document. Prezi has introduced Prezi Meeting that is free for all Prezi users and is, in essence, the Google Wave version of Prezi. Have you ever been in a situation where you need to build out a lengthy presentation and multiple people are contributing to it? Through Prezi Meeting, instead of worrying about templates and whether people have the same style and consolidating multiple files into one master, you can now use Prezi Meeting to make things easier and form a standard. If your small business has team members from around the country or world and you can’t meet in a central place to work on your presentation – or even if you ARE in the same place – you’ll benefit from this co-working capability that will help make sure that your presentations stand out. A video that talks about Prezi is below:

Check out Prezi’s website to see what they can do and also look at what types of presentations have been created using this platform.

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