Wired commissioned HMDG to create their Intelligence Briefing using Prezi, about ten trends worth discussing. Being regular readers of Wired it is no surprise that the result is full of interesting data, includes a massive load of information. To continue our series of Q&A about how to create a good presentation, we have asked Jamie to explain his experience with Prezi this time.
How do you see the future of story telling?
People are consuming media in so many different ways. Without a strong narrative, your message will get lost, whether you are a brand trying to reach a customer or an individual trying to connect with an audience. But there are also all sorts of new ways to tell a story, of which Prezi is one.
What were the most attractive features of Prezi when you first tried it?
It’s both simple and theatrical at the same time. There’s a wow factor that really helps win your audience’s attention. At HMDG, we’re using it in a lot of our new business meetings and it makes a real difference when your potential clients have sat through a day of Powerpoint. Actually, I was just a bit anxious to be able to use Prezi a few times before too many people found out about it.
Was it easy or hard to switch?
Hard, hard, hard. It doesn’t take long to learn how to use Prezi itself. But I think I’m still getting my head round how to make it work best as a format. There’s a dependency between all the elements of the presentation that you don’t have when you’re working with charts. So you do have to work at it to make sure your thinking is clear.
Your prezi is really well constructed looking at the big picture and in the smallest details as well. What was the main message you wanted to visualize with it?
I was scratching my head for a bigger theme until I realised this particular presentation was a list when it came down to it. So I wanted a visual that intrigued the audience from a distance and acted as a bridge to these robust individual bits of content.
What was your method of building relations and arguments?
I think you need to answer two questions to make a good prezi. Firstly, what does it look like from a distance? If you can start with that image it helps a lot. It gives you a structure. Secondly, you need to have work out how the ‘pods’ - the individual sections of the presentation – work. I was creating this for a live presentation, so each one had to be really hit and run – a big thought, a key example, a single powerful statistic. I’ve found Q&As like this quite useful. I read the blogpost on Loqloq and saw how something messy like sketches can work really well when you mix it with the slickness of a Prezi. That made me think handwritten headlines might look ok.
Having said all that, there’s something to be said for just getting your content up on the screen and messing about with it. I try not to worry about adding the paths until I’m nearing the end.
How much time did it take to finish the project?
Maybe a day or two for the actual Prezi. But this particular project took place over several months.
How do you think Prezi helps the audience understand your points?
It’s much less familiar, so I think they concentrate more. And it’s inherently playful, which is useful if you want to reach people.