Dec
09

Zooming into presentations – Zoomit, Prezi & pptPlex

Filed Under (Internet tools) by on December 9, 2009

In this blog post, I describe 3 different ways to zoom in and out of presentations to increase visibility, and to create a bit of action. The three tools are ZoomitPrezi and pptPlex. I describe my experiences with them in detail and their pros and cons as presentation tools.

UPDATE : John in his comments below suggest that I should have included ahead, a even newer tool that in some respects is similar to Prezi , but which he claims is easier to use than Prezi . I took a quick look it does look interesting, but still in beta. Will review that in future blog post in comparison with Prezi.

Introduction

Recently I gave my first ever talk at a local library conference in Singapore – Libraries of tomorrow . The content of my talk wasn’t anything particularly interesting (about “Subject Guides 2.0” which many readers of this blog will recognize covers much of the same ground I blogged about in past posts and which I later realized wasn’t particularly ground-breaking anyway), so I won’t talk about it here, but instead I will talk about the presentation tool I used.

While the conference was ran efficiently and I was extremely impressed by the work of my fellow presenters and posters, I felt that the venue wasn’t the best place for giving talks, as there was sunlight coming from behind the screen (we were at the top level of a building with clear transparent windows), and the glare made it difficult (at least for me, though bear in mind I have very poor eyesight!) to see the powerpoint presentations.

Hazman from NTU Library probably fared the best, as a lot of his slides were often simple one message points with huge fonts, but few presenters have mastered this technique; personally I’m guilty as anyone of trying to squeeze small unreadable fonts on slides.

In situations like this, it would be good to have some way to zoom while doing presentations or create “zoomable presentations” to overcome problems of poor visibility.

Right now, I’m aware of 3 solutions, in order of simplicity (in terms of use and preparation time), they are ZoomIt -a portable zooming app from Windows Sysinternals (now owned by Microsoft) , pptPlex (Microsoft Sharepoint addon that creates zoomable slides) and Prezi a presentation tool that creates zoomable flash presentations.

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