As missionaries we are communicators. On the field we communicate the Word of God to the congregation or individuals. At home we communicate to our friends what has taken place on the field. Prezi is a new way of communicating. We have become familiar with the slide model: either physical slides and projectors that jammed or PowerPoint slideshows that tend to go to long and are never quite in the order we wanted to present the material in.
Prezi takes away the linear aspect of visual presentations. While you can start at point A and work your way to point B, Prezi allows you to interrupt the flow of the presentation to cover the material in a way that works for the individual situation. You can easily skip steps in a Prezi when people start to doze off and you need to hurry to the end without anyone knowing.
There are 3 levels of Prezi membership. The free level is called Public. You are able to create your presentation using the website then download your presentation for presenting while not connected to the Internet. The downside of this license or membership level is that your Prezis are always public. They get loaded into the Prezi gallery for anyone to see. There is also a Prezi watermark on all your presentations. However, you do get 100 MB of storage space for your presentations.
The second level of membership is called Enjoy and gives you 500 MB of storage at a cost of $59 per year. You can make your Prezis private and the watermark is removed.
The Pro membership costs $159 giving you 2000 MB of storage. You get all the previous benefits plus you are able to download their desktop client which allows you to create presentations without being connected to the Internet.
Prezi has special pricing for teachers and students. They also offer a “branding” option. For a premium price they will create styled templates according to your brand’s theme.
One of the advantages to getting started with Prezi is that all you need is a web browser and an Internet connection to create a presentation. However offline playback only works on Windows (XP, Vista and 7) and Mac OS X. There is no official Linux support though I have read reports that it can be made to work. Prezi is a Flash based tool which means that it will not work on your new iPad or other portable Apple devices.
I have also not seen a way to record audio into a presentation which means that there is not a way to make a completely automated presentation. You can, however, record your audio and film the presentation using a screen recording program like Camtasia Studio.
Prezi is a clever way to get you to think differently about presentations. Even if you don’t use the tool to create presentations, a good look through some of their featured presentations can help generate new ideas of how to communicate to your listeners.