How comedian David Nihill always looks slick

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What do “Three Men and a Baby”, “Good Morning, Vietnam”, “Beverly Hills Cop 2”, and PowerPoint all have in common?  

They all were released in 1987. This is why David Nihill, a founder, bestselling author, and comedian, wants to know why we’re still using old technology. 

“I wanted the whole approach to be fresh, so if everybody is out there with their PowerPoint deck, it just looks dull and boring and stagnant, and it isn’t moving in any way,” David said. “Prezi was a way for me to say ‘new message, new approach, new way for me to deliver this message,’ and I think ultimately that’s why it was a better fit.”

According to David, our tools should evolve with us — as a result, since he discovered Prezi, he hasn’t looked back. 

“It’s fun,” David said. “It scratches a creative itch. It allows you to just take a bit of canvas and go for it and make it cool and dynamic, and with PowerPoint, it’s very hard to do that.”

Balancing comedy and public speaking

After getting his master’s in business, David worked for the Irish government; worked at Price, Waterhouse, and Cooper; and worked as the Operations Director for the largest private education company for five years. David also teaches programs at Stanford Business School and the University of Oxford using Prezi. But, he says he can undo the perception of all that hard work once people find out he’s an internationally touring comedian. Thankfully, Prezi allows him to show his credibility and his professionalism. 

“It’s funny that all that can be done away very quickly with comedy, and the way I combat that is by having material that is very fresh, but looks very professional, and that’s where Prezi kicks in,” David said. “By the time they’re done listening, they completely forget the comedy element. They’re like, ‘Well, I learned so much there, and that was really funny and engaging, and I never heard any of it before, and that was really well put together.’ So it’s kind of funny, but for me, it allows me to balance comedy with the business stuff, and those are two big parts of my life that I don’t want to separate.” 

Plus, it catches people’s attention. One of the most frequently asked questions David receives after any presentation is, “How did you make that?”

“There’s nothing about me that screams ‘professional.’ But when I’m on stage and I’m using Prezi and I’m giving a talk that I know all the beats of and I have a visual representation behind me that screams somebody put effort into this — when you combine those elements, the takeaway for the audience is always that it’s slick,” said David.

That remained the same when David began presenting virtually and used Prezi Video. For one of his first talks during the pandemic, he presented to the University of Oxford, and every lecturer and professor asked the same question of how he created the presentation. 

What he especially liked about using Prezi Video was that “you’re not separate from your slides anymore,” eliminating the need for him to screen share. 

Stay connected while you work remotely with Prezi Video

Conference hacks

David is also the founder of the FunnyBizz conference, which is dedicated to teaching modern businesses the essential principles of comedy, improv, and storytelling — by doing so, he can help them use humor to make an impact, add value, and connect with customers on a level that inspires loyalty and encourages laughter. 

As a founder, he knows what goes into making it happen, and how to stretch some of their “deadlines.”

Most organizers will ask for their presentation a couple of weeks in advance to ensure that the presenter has their content created. With Prezi Present, David is able to easily send the link to the organizer by their deadline and still has the capability to make tweaks up until the minute he goes on stage. 

“I could update the presentation last minute, and a lot of the times I actually sat in the audience and watched the other presenters. Then, I took elements from their talks, and I built it into mine, where the audience was like, ‘Whoa! How did he do that?’” David said. “Because there’s no conceivable way in their mind that I could have known in advance. That definitely allowed me to stand out in a lot of conferences for just being extremely different.”

Take your viewers on a journey with Prezi

With Prezi, you can take your audience on a roadmap, with a clear beginning, middle, and end — just like a good story. 

“You’re never going to be able to do conversational presenting with PowerPoint, but you can with Prezi. The whole thing is built to encourage you not to put a giant pile of words or bullet points on a page,” David said.

What’s next for David

For 2023, David is planning to embark on a 50-city comedy tour. What he aspires to do on this tour is to have a comedy show Saturday night, followed by a public speaking workshop on Sunday with business professionals using Prezi. 

For now, David wants to leave you with this lasting thought about Prezi. 

“Prezi just looks great,” added David. “It’s more unique, and it gets people’s attention. They’re getting the visual representation of the exact journey I want to take them on. It adds a layer to public speaking.”

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