I've heard a lot of comments recently about the increasing number of people using Prezi rather than powerpoint for conference presentations, and had some interesting discussions on the success or otherwise of these attempts.
Prezi, for those who haven't heard, is a 'zooming presentation editor' that allows you to create mindmap-style presentations. To get the picture, watch the Prezi introductory video or take a look at the GSMZ prezi on Why Prezi is useful for researchers.
Prezi is particularly suitable for discursive presentations that have a narrative to tell and want to involve the audience in thinking through that narrative. The best Prezis seem to use a stimulating mix of text, sound and visual images to get their points across.
There's a general perception, however, that Prezi might be of limited use for the conventional 20 minute academic conference presentation that the delegate traditionally intones from behind a crumpled sheaf of papers with occasional reference to powerpoint slides (if the audience is lucky). Prezi seems to require a more dynamic approach, and its non-linear, mindmap-like structure can seem daunting to powerpoint veterans used to placing one idea after another. I've heard a few people say that they'd like to use Prezi, but haven't yet found the 'right kind of presentation' with which to take the plunge.
Interested postgraduate researchers will be meeting to discuss this in a workshop on Using Prezi for Conference Presentations on Thursday 26th May from 2-4pm in Library IT room 2. We'll be creating Prezis and discussing their pros and cons as well as talking about whether there is 'right kind of presentation', or simply a right kind of Prezi!