The Ultimate Showdown: Prezi vs. Powerpoint

What is Prezi? Prezi is a web-based presentation tool. I couldn’t help but compare it to the well-known Microsoft Powerpoint. I can say Prezi does have many aspects that surpass Powerpoint. But is that enough to take home the championship belt?

Round 1: Text or Graphics?

Prezi is eye candy. Prezi focuses a lot on visual graphics and leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Compared to Powerpoint, it is more flashy. The titles are swirlier and the transitions are smoother compared to Powerpoint’s animations. But after using it a few times will the novelty wear off? If your presentation needs to be catchy and is judged more so on appearance than content, Prezi is sure to catch your audience’s eye. It is helpful in creating non-linear presenting approaches with fancy lettering and graphics as I mentioned before. But that is not always the point of a presentation.

I must mention that Powerpoint is more linear in its functions which is also an advantage. You are more than welcome to spend hours spicing up a Powerpoint presentation. If your presentation will be traditional, written and content-focused, I would stick to Powerpoint. Although Prezi and Microsoft Powerpoint are often compared, the key thing to remember is that Prezi and Powerpoint are different tools with both their strengths and weaknesses.

Result: Tie

Round 2: Access.

After presenting with Prezi, your audience can go online to look at the information they missed during your presentation. They can look through and add notes where they find most useful.

You can also give the audience a pre-made Prezi which is accessible online. They can then open it up in front of them and follow along. You can sign up for free and log in from anywhere. Powerpoint does not allow for this. Womp, womp, womp.

Result: Prezi

Round 3: Functionality.

Prezi does not require you to carry around a USB stick. What happens when you need to present the morning you decided to sleep in and run to class in nothing but your pajamas? Your USB is still tucked away in the bottom of your drawer. Prezi requires minimal knowledge and less time to showcase a presentation that looks distinctive.

Result: Prezi


Video of Prezi

Prezi’s collaboration feature makes it easy to edit presentations with other users in real-time.

Presentations made with the startup’s free service will also be available on Prezi’s website for anyone to reuse. To make presentations private, users must purchase the “Enjoy” package for $59 a year, or the “Pro” package for $159 a year. The Pro package also lets them edit Prezis offline.

Prezi was launched in 2009 and now has more than 10 million users. The company has raised $15.5 million in funding, with investments from TED Conferences and Sunstone Capital.

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Sabrina Ahmed | Bright Futura Columnist

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11 Comments on “The Ultimate Showdown: Prezi vs. Powerpoint

  1. I'm confused …

    Prezi gets 2 points for winning 2 categories… PowerPoint gets a point for a tie?

    Wouldn't it be 2-0 or 3-1? lol

  2. Prezi visually connects thoughts and maps flows. That makes it far superior to PowerPoint. The audience is able to see the forest and the trees. Prezi is not all eye candy. Its functionality increases uptake of the message. Prezi wins.

  3. With Prezi you need a internet connection (what if there is none or the connection is slow) or a local installation (possibly on usb). So round 3 is tie in my opinion.

    Although giving comments afterwards is an advantage, a presentation is just a tool supporting you. So round is not really a big criterium for me.

    Leaves me round 1. In my opinion most people (mis)use Prezi in a linear way. The same way as Powerpoint. Prezi also demands a better eye for design than powerpoint. Which is difficult for most people. Prezi is good in showing overviews and can be useful in showing a proces, layout or timelines.

    I agree with your closing sentence: each has its strength/weakness.

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