Posts Tagged ‘presentations’

Prezi: Make your presentations look outstanding

Most of us use Microsoft PowerPoint to make presentations, be it for office or for other purposes. There is now another way of doing it – Prezi. Prezi is an online presentation maker tool that not only ensures that your presentations look better but also that they are more interactive. Other presentation tools have the ability to animate the content to make it interactive, but Prezi just zooms in and zooms out depending on different layouts and themes available in the marketplace. The presentations created with Prezi are creative and will likely stand out of the lot. If used properly, this tool can help you make sure that your audience is engaged throughout the presentation.

Prezi

Prezi: Getting a presentation up in minutes

There are quite a few presentation templates available in the Prezi tool that are either free or can be bought. You might either want to create your presentation using a readymade template or create it from scratch. But perfection comes with a price tag; which means that you will have to pay for the license if you want to use the best features of the tool. It also comes packed with plenty of animations, such as flipping, zooming, upside-down, and many more. All presentations created with the tool are dynamic. Also, since Prezi is linked to your email account, you will also not have to worry about losing your work since it will be stored on the cloud. Prezi has gone a step further to provide an option for their users to segregate their presentations into folders for a more structured approach.

Some of the main features of the Prezi tool are:

  • A fully online tool that helps with storing presentations on the cloud.
  • Keeps your library growing as and when you make the presentations. Old ones are always available.
  • A wide range of animations available to keep it more interactive.
  • Great way to depict a story or a timeline which is awesome for an overview at the start and/or the end of the presentations.
  • Huge collections of themes which are readily available online with quick turnaround times.

Though there are quite a few advantages of using Prezi, overdoing stuff might put you in danger. With too much of zooming in and zooming out action, it can lead to virtual motion sickness for your audience.

Prezi - screenshot 1

How It Works

Let’s look at how you can get started with your very first presentation using Prezi.

  1. Go to www.prezi.com.
  2. On the top right corner, click on “Get Started”.
  3. If you want to try it out, you can choose the Basic plan since it is free.
  4. Proceed by giving all your details and create your account with Prezi.
  5. Once you are logged in, you will see your dashboard.
  6. You can start creating a presentation from scratch by clicking on the “Create a new Prezi” button. There are templates readily available for your use that you might want to try, but this is not mandatory – you can also start a blank Prezi.
  7. Once you have started with the blank Prezi, you will be presented with something which is called a Canvas. This is your main editing area.
  8. On the left, you have the ability to create frames inside which you can easily create shapes according to your needs.
  9. You can easily add text by clicking on the canvas. Once you do so, a text box will pop out.
  10. You will also be able to add as many frames as you want.
  11. On the left side bottom, you will be able to edit the path of the slide show. This way you will be able to choose the order in which transitions occur.
  12. You can add effects to your text by clicking on the star icon.

Using Prezi is quite simple and you can easily pick it up once you start working with it.

Prezi - screenshot 2

Pros and Cons

All applications have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s have a look at what Prezi’s are.

Pros

  • Cloud-Based: One of the best advantages of this tool is that it is completely cloud-based. This means that you will not have to worry about carrying your presentations around. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
  • Dynamic Presentation: Due to its fluidity in transitioning from one slide to another, it ensures that your audience is glued to the presentation.
  • One Slide Presentation: Since Prezi works by zooming in and out, all the data is captured in one big slide. This can be perfect to depict a story or a timeline.

Cons

  • Motion Sickness: This is one of the main problems which the user communities have highlighted with Prezi. When there are too many dynamics in a presentation, it can cause motion sickness to the audience. Hence, it is advisable to keep the dynamics in control.
  • Paid Version for Full Version: To use the full version of the software, you will have to purchase the license.
  • Create dynamic and interactive presentations with @prezi prezi.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Verdict

We think Prezi is the perfect tool if you want to impress your audience. By ensuring you have the right mix of colors and dynamics, you will be able to impart your presentation with ease. We give the tool a thumbs up.

Whiteboard animation made easy by VideoScribe

Vibrant colors coming to life, hand drawings of complicated charts, ideas that demand a world of their own; you get all this and more if you have your animation down pat! With the increase in its trend, animation is one of the most sought-after marketing techniques. It is widely used in branding, imaging, education, and a lot of other fields. Until now, Microsoft PowerPoint was the popular choice to help with those arrow tricks and zooming gradients. But that has changed; with the rising demand for cool animation tricks, comes the increase in the number of animation software options available in the online market. However, one fact remains established: Animation is the key to any marketing proposition you make to capture your audiences’ attention.

Now that that’s established, if you wanted to use animation marketing for your latest project, how would you go about selecting the right tool? Of course you’d need something easy to use so you can avoid the need of seeking help from a professional. At the same time, you need to avoid doing a sloppy job of it. You need to ensure that the end product looks as good and as professional as an expert would do it.

That’s exactly where tools like VideoScribe come into the picture.

VideoScribe – Making Doodling Fun!

Created by Sparkol in 2012, VideoScribe has seen a surge in their number of customers, and for excellent reasons too. They are at the top of their game when it comes to whiteboard animation, and have gained customers in not only the marketing industry but also in government agencies. VideoScribe has been used to create presentations by the US government, the Swedish parliament, and the UK government.

The animation software allows you to create engaging presentations without the help of a professional. It can be installed as a desktop program on both, Mac and Windows. What’s more, you can download its application on tablets running Android or iOS. The interface that VideoScribe provides is intuitive. A little playing around with the application and you will know what all the icons do and what templates are available. Additionally, you get guidebooks and tutorials to help you create engaging presentations.

Some of the most attractive features of the tool include:

  • A huge library of high-quality images to add to your presentation. You have the option to purchase premium images if you can’t find a suitable free one.
  • Support for video size and resolution modification.
  • Vast collection of royalty-free music to add your video.
  • Voiceovers can be imported or recorded.
  • Ability to add your own watermark / logo (premium feature).
  • MOV, WMV, and AVI file formats for your video output. JPG and PNG sequence offered too.
  • Facility to share whiteboard presentations on Facebook and YouTube or covert them to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
  • Saving projects online while working on them offline.

Created on one device, your VideoScribe presentations can be downloaded to multiple other devices.

Tool working

After you have downloaded and installed VideoScribe, you can start creating your very first scribe. While the software does come with a guidebook and tutorial, here are a few easy steps that will help you monitor your ideas come to life:

  • Launch VideoScribe and click on ‘Create a New Scribe’.
  • Click on ‘Add an image to the canvas’ and type what you are looking for in the keyword search field.
  • After you select the image, you can make changes to its resolution, size, or color in the ‘Image Properties’ window. All effects that you add to your image come with a preview.
  • Click ‘Add text to the canvas’ and type the text in the ‘Add text’ window. You can change the font, size, and color of the text.
  • Click on ‘Add a chart to the canvas’ and select the type of chart, dates for data depiction, and color in the Add chart window.
  • Click ‘Add or change a music track for this scribe’ and select a track by browsing for it in the ‘Browse music’ window.
  • Click ‘Add or change the voiceover for this scribe’ and click Record in the Voiceover window.
  • You can also change the background paper for your whiteboard presentation by clicking ‘Change the paper texture and color’ and selecting one of the available options in the ‘Paper options’ window.
  • Click ‘Select a different default hand for this scribe’ and select one of the options in the ‘Select hand’ window. You could even add something of your own by clicking the ADD YOUR OWN button.
  • To save your creation, click on Save or export this scribe -> Take a single snapshot to a PDF document. To save the scribe locally, type the name of the scribe in the ‘Save scribe’ window and save it on your system. To save your scribe online, click on ‘Save (export) online’. To export your scribe, click ‘Export to a “scribe” file’. To import your file back, click ‘Import’ and save it locally.
  • To publish your project, you must create a video file. Click ‘Publish (render) your scribe video’ and you will be able to share your video on Facebook and YouTube.

Pros VS Cons

Why we love VideoScribe

  • Ease of use.
  • The massive library of high-quality images and sound tracks.
  • Eliminates the need of a professional.

What we wish it would offer

  • Something that the others in its competition are offering: sketch to video. The sketching of a video before it plays is a good-to-have feature, and bundled with VideoScribe, it would really be the whole package.
  • The lifetime package of this software does come at a price too steep. If you are just starting out, investing in an expensive product like this one might not be a good idea.
  • Create whiteboard-style animation videos easily with VideoScribe videoscribe.co/ by @SparkolHQ via @supermonitoring

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Verdict

Overall, we’d say that VideoScribe does the job and does it well! The best part about it is that you can find out for yourself and test its mettle by trying it out for free. So go, download it right away!

Present your designs in style with Prevue.it

Are you a designer? Do you make or review hundreds of designs each month? Is sharing your designs with clients mostly an email only job requiring heavy attachments that sometimes fail to attach? Do you wish there was an easier way?

Okay enough with the barrage of questions! But on a serious note, if for you, the answer to the questions above is ‘Yes’, you’ll be delighted with what we have in store for you. A brilliant online tool that allows designers to upload their designs as presentations (we did mention the style bit right?), share them with clients (gone are the days of PDF or email sharing) and get immediate client feedback (cool like social networking!). Excited yet?

prevue

Prevue – Design styling for pros

Could the name be any more appropriate? Prevue allows your clients to ‘preview’ your designs as presentations and leave their suggestions and feedback at one easy-to-understand-and-use online platform. This makes the design phase of the Project Lifecycle easier and much more fun. This unique tool gives the whole usually lengthy task a new feel and style thus making work better.

Here’s what makes Prevue so irresistible:

  • Allows designers to upload their designs (as images) through simple drag-and-drop into their library from where they can view each image in full screen.
  • Allows creation of projects and client groups where all designs can be accumulated as work-in-progress thus making collaboration easier.
  • By way of adding comments to projects and images, clients can leave quick and direct feedback.
  • Stylized editing options like retina, auto-crop background, control positioning, color etc. enable you to make sure your designs catch the clients’ eyes at first glance.
  • Allows presenting designs from any browser, thus eliminating the need to install necessary software at client location.
  • Allows you to create branded designs by applying your agency logos on all your work.
  • Enables you to invite your team to the platform to manage feedback and images in your library or just see the work-in-progress in real time.

prevue1

Here’s how to use Prevue

To start using Prevue, create an account. The sign-up is free and easy and can be done by clicking on any of the large convenient buttons on the home page. Just punch in your email address and a password and hit enter. You’ll be welcomed to the platform with a pleasant pop-up and a message reminding you to drag your Prevue profile link to your bookmarks. Neat!

A free account entitles you to upload up to 30 images to your profile. Drag-and-drop images from your computer to the middle of the screen to upload them. You can also click on a ‘cloud with an upward arrow’ sign or on the ‘+’ sign next to the word ‘Images’ to browse and upload images. There is, however, a catch here. You can upload images only less than 5MB in size. Unfortunately, this is not mentioned anywhere on the website, not even on the Help page. We had to learn this through trial-and-error.

Once an image is uploaded, it can be edited / replaced, renamed or deleted. These options can be accessed through a settings icon beneath each image. Click on it and choose what you wish to do with the image. If you choose to edit the image, you’re redirected to a page with these editing options for the image:

  • Distance from top (e.g, Top or 10px)
  • Horizontal position (left, center, right)
  • Background color (choose from a palette or let the tool auto-detect)
  • Background image (none, use an image, Smart Crop)
  • Enable Retina

Once you’ve done the desired changes, click on Save (you’ll see an option to select ‘view after saving’ on hovering on the Save button) or simply hit enter. Another loophole here was the absence of an Undo button if you would like to reverse a change. Of course, exiting without saving reverses all changes, a convenient Undo button would eliminate the need to go back and enter edit mode again.

In addition to the above mentioned options, you can also choose to Share the image (through a copy-able URL or through Tweet), Move it to a project, Rename it or Delete it. Moreover, forward and backward arrows toward the upper right side of the screen allow you to smoothly switch between images and open them in the editor directly.

On the left hand side of the screen, you’ll always see the options to go back to the Home screen, upload more images, add images to projects (option visible from within a project), create a client, and view your timeline. Each term is self-explanatory and the associated operation easy to understand. Additionally, once you’ve created a project and added images to it, you can choose to:

  • Manage Project
  • Edit Images
  • View Project Stats
  • View Feedback
  • View / Edit Project Settings

All-in-all, there’s a lot to play around with once you’re inside.

prevue2

Pros VS Cons

Though they’re pretty evident by now, here are the plus points compared to the minus points at a glance:

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Affordable
  • Improves collaboration
  • Easy feedback process
  • Allows presenting designs from within browser
  • Allows you to brand your work by applying logos
  • Sufficient project management options appropriate for a design sharing platform

Cons

  • Image up to 5MB can be uploaded, so not much of an advantage over the email/PDF attachment size limit
  • No indication of the maximum size of image that can be uploaded
  • No Undo button within the editing area
  • More editing options can be added
  • Present your designs to clients from within the browser with @prevueit prevue.it/ via @supermonitoring

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To sum it up

Trust us. The simplicity, utility and affordability of the tool will blow you away, despite its minor drawbacks. Try it out for a free 14 days if you’re unsure. If you like it, shelling out $10 a month would be something you happily do for a tool that’s so cool!

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