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> Prezi - Advantages and Disadvantages - Instructional Tech Talk

Apps and Websites prezi

Published on December 29th, 2012 | by Jeff Herb


Prezi - Advantages and Disadvantages


preziPrezi is a great presentation tool for spicing up the mundane PowerPoint that you’ve been using for the past 10 years. It allows for new kinds of visualizations and opportunities to link imagery to motion, which in turn creates a deeper understanding and retention duration.

With any technology, there are advantages and disadvantages that exist. Take a look at some of the ones I have come up with and then from there, you can weigh out the pros and cons to decide if Prezi is something worth adding to your classroom cannon.




1. Breaks the Mold

Prezi is not your typical slide-based presentation tool. You start with a blank canvas and can add and manipulate content anywhere on the page. There is no such thing as a linear, slide-by-slide display method (unless you design it that way, of course). Break the mold and present in unique ways. It even lets you import your existing PowerPoint presentations for conversion!

2. It’s Free and Web-Based

Prezi is completely free. Compared to PowerPoint, which is both a paid application and not accessible everywhere, Prezi provides access from any web-enabled computer. This is great for students who may not have the Office suite on their home computers. Students and staff can easily create Free accounts on Prezi using their Facebook accounts as well.

ITT Tip:

Always consider what technology resources kids have at home. Many will not have the extensive software libraries available to them like the school computers. Make sure you use free web resources if you expect them to complete assignments at home.

3. Link Text and Images to Movement

One of my favorite aspects of Prezi (assuming it is used correctly) is the ability to have movement actually become part of the presentation. For instance, if you are talking about ‘Imagery,’ you can have Prezi zoom in (past the word Imagery) and display examples of the imagery you are discussing. The movement relates to the terms and examples, creating a visual link for the students.

4. Appropriate for All Ages

The web-based software is designed with all ages in mind. The simple icon-based design tools ensures that any age group will be successful in creating and presenting new creations. I have always been a proponent of teaching young kids how to use new technology – and Prezi certainly makes that easier with their simple design interface.

5.  Shows Students You’re “Up-to-date” with Technology

It sounds so simple (and somewhat deflating) but your students really do pay attention to the teaching tools you use. By staying current with new technology, more often than not your students will appreciate the change of pace from the tools they are seeing used in all their other classes (and what they’ve seen for the past few years of their schooling). Take a chance and try something new – if it fails miserably (which it won’t) they will appreciate you for trying something that breaks the mold.




1. Can Cause Motion Sickness

Yes, you read it correctly. A few complaints I’ve gotten about Prezi is that it makes some people feel a little dizzy. This is totally avoidable if you know what you’re doing when designing your presentation, though. Consider your transitions and make sure that you aren’t constantly moving from one corner of the presentation board to the other (thus generating expansive fly-overs). Making simple moves from one screen area to the next will eliminate the nauseating effects of cross-screen movement.

2. More of a Learning Curve

I hesitated including this in the list for the reason that I don’t agree with not doing something because you have to learn how to do it. I think that is part of growing as an individual and as an educator. As with anything new, there is a learning curve and in the event that you may not have the time to learn the tool yourself and then teach it to your students, you may want to pass on Prezi. In this situation, you could easily include Prezi as an option among presentation tools. This gives students the option to teach themselves but does not require them to learn something new to complete their assignment.

3. Web-Based

I know I included this as an advantage, but there are certain circumstances where it can be a disadvantage as well. If you have limited wireless internet access, or if your internet connection at your building is unreliable, a web-based tool may become more of a hassle than its worth. One nice thing that Prezi allows is exporting of your completed presentation, making it viewable offline. This is recommended for anyone relying on the Prezi for class or a presentation as it can be used as a backup should your internet fail.


Overall, Prezi is a great tool that many would find very useful in the classroom. Have any advantages or disadvantages that weren’t shared above? Please share them in the comments below!

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About the Author


Jeff Herb is an Educator, Blogger, and Podcaster focusing on Instructional Technology and finding ways to innovate the classroom using technology. Follow Jeff on Twitter to keep up with the latest in Educational Technology.

  • Mike Washburn

    I am a pretty active Prezi user, and really like how you have summed it all up here. Even though I am extremely tech savvy, I also found the learning curve to be quite a bit steep – not necessarily in terms of how hard it was to make a Prezi, but how to make one that was interesting and engaging (kinda the whole point of using Prezi!)

    • Jeff Herb

      Thanks for your comment, Mike.

      I know exactly what you mean about the difference between creating a Prezi and creating an effective and engaging Prezi. They are definitely mutually exclusive and takes some practice to develop presentations that are entertaining and meaningful. If you develop a good system, let me know!

      Thanks again for the comment.


      • David

        Hi Jeff, thanks for the article, it’s really useful. I think I’ll stick to PowerPoint for my presentations since I’m a college student, and it wouldn’t be nice to run into a narrow-minded professor that might consider a Prezi too “write anything here”.

        P.D: creating a Prezi and creating an effective and engaging Prezi are not mutually exclusive since the set “Effective and engaging Prezis” is a sub-set of “All Prezis”.

        Excuse my English, I’m not from the US.

  • Wendy

    I get dizzy each time Prezi is used to the point I have to take migrane medication. I have tried to let the headache run its course but after hours of a headache i am forced to take medication. Even with toned down presentations I get sick.

    • Sam Morgan

      Prezis give me a headache too. I have found that older members of management find them extremely uncomfortable to watch and I have refrained from using them with an older audience. Some people may be impressed by “young people and their technology” but most aren’t. Users of Prezi should loosen up on the swaying back and forth as this article suggests…feels like sea-sickness

      • Jeff Herb

        Thanks for the comment, Sam! I think that there is an effective way to design Prezis to make them useable – just be considerate of your audience!

      • Mario

        Prezi might cause that problem IF used improperly. Some Prezi users abuse the zoom, rotation and movement effect so much that they cause audience to be sick.
        As for the most people aren’t impressed by “young people and their technology”, on what basis are you supporting this opinion? Prezi has one great advantage, and that is that you can perform the mindmapping technique on it. It’s not only psychological but also biological effective for the brain as a learning method.

  • D

    Is it possible to broadcast a prezi presentation while I retain remote control like with powerpoint?

    • Jeff Herb

      I’m not entirely sure I understand the question – can you clarify for me? Thanks!

    • Evan Espey

      yes. most definitely. I used prezi this past semester for a speech class and used the prof’s remote and it worked great.

  • Sam Morgan

    I thought I was sick and tired of power points. Boring, lifeless, slideshows used by every professor and their students. Prezi is falling into that category now as well. While presentations in Prezi are more dynamic, they often lack the focus and linear progression on which most presentations rely. Vacation photos….prezi, To teach information and make sure people will follow directions…stick to Power Point. Prezi does not make your presentation easier to follow, only a little more entertaining to watch.

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  • Evan Espey

    Although Prezi is designed to be used over the Internet it’s NOT REQUIRED. After creating the prezi you’ve got the choice to email it, share it, or download it to your computer as a .app or .exe or swf file.

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  • Lani

    I’m sorry. I gave Prezi a chance but it really gives me a headache even if the movements are not that far off. I don’t want to give headaches to my audience. Another thing is that because it is web-based, you cannot put any confidential company information on it.

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  • Vanessa Hill

    Some people may be impressed by “young people and their technology” but
    most aren’t. Users of Prezi should loosen up on the swaying back and
    forth as this article suggests…feels like sea-sickness
    Life Experience Degree

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