I hate PowerPoint. To be fair, I hate MS Office all together. But that is something I will rant about another time. What I'm talking about is PowerPoint presentations. I hate them. It seems PP has taken over the learning format for almost anything. Every conference, lecture, classroom session, or even TED talk seems to involve a PP presentation. I get it. They are easy to make and edit, and, in theory, make a lecture more interesting. But that is also part of the problem. If you don't put much time or thought into your PP, it doesn't bring anything to the table. I was discussing with my wife a couple weeks ago about how we have become desensitized, in a way, to PP presentations. If I sit down for a lecture, as soon as a screen turns on with some basic cheesy PowerPoint fonts, I immediately start to loose interest. Last week I listened to a presentation that blew the old stand-by out of the water.
The presenter used a program called Prezi. I had never heard or seen it before, but it made a huge difference in how I viewed the presentation. In fact, the presenter wasn't particularly good and the content was novel or interesting, but the Prezi presentation added enough variety to keep it fresh. I think too many presenters rely on PP to present their information in outline form. Prezi makes a presentation into a much more effective visual aid; an accompaniment to a presentation, rather than the main body of it. Check out their website here. They have free and paid subscriptions. You can also explore public Prezis that people have made. Embedded below is a TED talk inspired Prezi about identity.