For this Thing we have been asked to look at Prezi and Slideshare. Prezi is a piece of software which can be used for creating presentations without the use of traditional slides. Unlike the linear, slide-based presentations which are generally produced in PowerPoint, Prezi allows you to zoom in and out of your presentation canvas, to rotate the canvas (or turn it completely upside down) and to use size as a means of conveying different levels of importance. For example, the most important aspects of your presentation can be set as the largest, while the secondary points can be small and hidden until they are zoomed in on.
I think that Prezi is definitely capable of producing more dynamic, and potentially more interesting, presentations than PowerPoint, but I can’t say that I’m a big fan of it so far. After experimenting with it for a few hours, I’ve discovered that it’s quite difficult to get Prezi to do exactly what I want it to do and overall I’ve found it quite fiddly to use. If I was preparing a presentation for a class, I’m not sure that I would use Prezi because I think that I could potentially waste quite a lot of time just fiddling with the software in order to get it to work, when what I should really be spending time on is the actual content of the presentation. In conclusion, I think that Prezi is potentially a very useful tool, but it’s one which, for me at least, will take a fair bit of practice before it can be used effectively.
Slideshare is a website which hosts PowerPoint presentations, enabling you to upload your slides so that you can share them with others. As I’ve mentioned before, the Cambridge graduate trainees’ presentation for the 2011 Libraries@Cambridge Conference was uploaded to Slideshare, where it received lots of viewings and was briefly featured on the Slideshare homepage. As well as being able to share your own presentations, Slideshare also serves as a useful repository of other people’s presentations and slides. I like the suggestion that you could upload PowerPoint-based versions of your CV to Slideshare and I think that creating a CV using this medium could be particularly useful for those applying for media or design-related jobs. Although I don’t have any PowerPoint slides to upload at the moment, if I decide to create some in the future then I would definitely consider sharing them on Slideshare.