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5 simple steps to create great Prezi presentations

Meet Jimmy...

One day, life gave our fictitious friend Jimmy quite a few lemons. Being the optimist that he is, Jimmy promptly decided to start his own business by turning them into lemonade. However, he needs to get a few “investors” on-board first. Therefore, turning his vision into a reality requires a presentation that captivates an audience, is visually compelling, and lets the brilliance of his ideas shine. For this, he needs Prezi Next.

Since we at Prezi want to see Jimmy succeed (and love lemonade) we put together 5 simple steps he can use in his presentation to make certain that he does.

1. Give the story some background

Jimmy wants to make a spectacular first impression on his potential investors. Thus, he needs to make sure the overview of his presentation is clear, crisp, and conveys his message.

The first step to doing this is to choose a background image that is visually meaningful and easy on the eyes. This requires some careful consideration, but here are some general tips to point Jimmy in the right direction.  

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Do:

  • Choose a meaningful background image that brings out the message and theme of the presentation. This can be done through metaphor by using a relevant visual in the image, customizing the color scheme, and utilizing negative space*.

  • Consider how many topics will be on the overview and plan their placement. Use lines, curves, and negative space to align topics and show the direction the presentation will follow. 

Don’t:

  • Use an image that is crowded, busy, or has too many colors. This might confuse and distract the audience.

  • Put too much text and information on the overview. Instead, use topics to cover the main ideas, then organize related content within them into subtopics (see “structure” below).

*Negative space is an area without text or graphics.

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2. Structure to success

Now that Jimmy has the perfect background image and topic layout, he needs to build out the structure of his presentation. To do so, he should organize his ideas and content into topics and subtopics. By grouping similar information together, Jimmy’s presentation will be understandable and follow a clear flow.  

Drawing a mind map of a presentation before starting is an easy and effective method for to plan the structure. Sketch out ideas and draw lines between them to see how they connect. Then, use the mind map to build layers of planet and stack topic structures to hold the content and information.

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3. Hit the mark with text and visuals

We all know a picture says a thousand words, and we think Jimmy should use this to his advantage in his big presentation. The key to making a powerful impact with an audience is to connect with them visually. Getting this right is all about creating balanced design of text and images. 

Tips to get it right:

  • Group content into easily digestible segments. Don’t give too much information to an audience in one frame of view.
  • Make sure the layout of each view in the presentation is visually balanced. Move and place objects throughout the entire view to create harmony and symmetry.
  • To avoid large blocks of text, compliment small text snippets of the main idea with a relevant image. It should be visually clear what the message is by first glance.
  • Use easily readable fonts and text colors. As a general rule, mixing multiple fonts or colors together in the same box of text is a recipe for confusion.

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4. Animate and inspire 

With the fundamentals of Jimmy’s presentation looking good, it’s time to add some pizzazz. The next way Jimmy can spiff up his presentation is to add some animations and zoom. This will create smooth transitions between ideas and bring life to his content.

The ability to zoom in and out of the presentation canvas to create impactful visual transitions is what makes Prezi Next presentations unique. With zoom and animation effects, the creative possibilities are endless.

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5. Timing is everything

There’s nothing like a little suspense, and a bit of surprise, to make a story more interesting. To make sure that Jimmy’s potential investors don’t lose interest along the way, it’s best to keep some content hidden until just the right moment.

Jimmy, and you, have the tools to do this by using:

  • Fade-in, and fade-out, animation to show and hide content when presenting.
  • Zoom areas to dive and pan throughout key spots on the canvas.
  • Topic cover visuals to reveal content within your topics and subtopics.
  • A little creativity to make your entire story come together.

Just like the secret ingredient in the lemonade recipe, Jimmy has another ace up his sleeve. He already has a “secret investor” for his project, and it’s someone his dad knows well. All he has to do is hide that compelling piece of information until the time is right. Then, he can be sure his lemonade stand will get the funding it deserves.

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Happily (presenting) ever after

With a presentation like this, Jimmy will surely get his first business off the ground. Even more, he can continue to use these simple steps to create memorable presentations for all his future endeavours.

Want to check out the lemonade stand for yourself?

Press the play button, then use the arrows to browse through the final version of Jimmy's big presentation.

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