The Fastest Way to Go from an Idea to a Prezi

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Prezi HOTSHOT

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Create amazing Prezi presentations through 10 exciting Prezi projects with this book and ebook

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by Hedwyg van Groenendaal | April 2014 |

In this article, by Hedwyg van Groenendaal, the author of Prezi Hotshot, we will be using the brainstorming techniques in Prezi. It is easy to create a good prezi. We will go from brainstorming to a mind map and use that as a basis for our prezi.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

Mission briefing

In this article, we will create a Prezi presentation based on just an idea. Often, people have an idea for a presentation they have to build, but they don't have any idea about what the exact content should be. They end up including a lot of details and are not able to build a clear structure for their presentation.

A good presentation consists of a clear message, a few main topics, and a clear structure for all the information.

Brainstorming is ideal to generate ideas and content (diverge), but don't forget to mark the main ideas and get rid of the information you don't really need (converge). Divergent thinking is about expanding your ideas, looking for alternatives, quantity, trial and error, chaos, and intuition. With divergent thinking, you can explore as many aspects of a concept as possible. Convergent thinking is about focus, selecting ideas, choosing, structuring, organizing, quality, and logic. Convergent thinking is the opposite of divergent thinking.

It's important to create a distinction between the main topics and the details. Ideally, you should have three main topics. That's enough. Not all information is of the same importance. You'll have main topics, subtopics, and details. The result of our structuring session is a clear mind map (in Prezi!) that we will use as a basis for our presentation in Prezi.

Using a mind map for your Prezi presentation is the easiest way to use Prezi in a good way. This way of presenting always works, because you zoom in for the details and zoom out for the overview.

Why is it awesome?

Brainstorming is a great way to develop the content for your presentation. Put your brains to work and you will be able to come up with the best and creative ideas. Yes, you too can be creative! It's easy. Just follow this article and you'll learn to generate ideas in Prezi and create a great prezi out of it.

We'll also keep you from falling into the trap of trying to brainstorm and structure at the same time, as that would just complicate things. In this article, you will learn how to first diverge, converge, and finally fill in the details.

Your Hotshot objectives

The major tasks necessary to complete this article are as follows:

  • You have an idea, but where do you start?

  • From brainstorming to mind mapping

  • How should you present your mind map?

Mission checklist

We have no special needs for this article. We'll keep it fast and simple, and we'll be only using Prezi.

The only thing we need to start off is an idea. To make sure that we focus on the process and not too much on the subject itself, we decided to choose a light subject for this article. The subject should trigger your brain so that ideas start popping up immediately. Our first idea is to create a presentation about "The Future". This should give you some inspiration!

What about goal, message, and audience? If you think we are forgetting something in the process of creating a presentation, you could be right. Every presentation should start with the following three questions in order to define the goal, message, and audience of the presentation:

  • What do I want to achieve with this presentation? (goal)

  • What do I want the audience to remember? (message)

  • Who is the audience?

Most people never ask these questions and immediately start creating and designing their presentation. If you are not asking yourself what the goal of your presentation is, and if you don't define it, you can never meet that goal and your presentation might never be a success.

However, the focus of this article is on brainstorming, mind mapping, and being creative; therefore, we will not ask these questions yet. The aim of this article is to practice brainstorming and structuring and therefore, we will leave out these three very important questions.

You can look at this article as a free presentation assignment to practice presenting. This could not only be an article for school, but also for the company or organization in which you work. In this article, we'll start with the brainstorming and we'll define our goal, message, and audience later.

You have an idea but where do you start?

We use our idea "The Future" as a starting point for our presentation. We could immediately start in Prezi, but sometimes it's better not to start directly with a computer. First, we need to free our mind.

Engage thrusters

Before you start brainstorming, it's a good idea to free your mind and get ready for some creativity. Pick one task from the following list. Choose the one you never do (or do the least).

  • Stand up and take a five-minute walk

  • Listen to the sounds around you really carefully for five minutes

  • Sing your favorite song from your childhood

  • Empty your Lego box on the table and start building something

  • Play a game of darts or pool

  • Watch a funny YouTube movie

  • Run around crazily for one minute

  • Laugh out loud for at least one full minute

  • Buy and eat an ice cream

Objective complete – mini debriefing

Starting your brainstorm is like preparing for a new task. Brainstorming is fun but also requires hard work. Make sure you are in the right mood, free your mind, and stay focused. You don't have to be relaxed to be creative as a lot of people think, you need to be active.

From brainstorm to mind map

Our next task is to turn our brainstorm into a useful mind map. In this process, we need to structure our information, get rid of the information we don't need, and decide which topics will be our main topics. When we limit the number of main topics to three, we'll reach the core of our information.

Engage thrusters

First, we will mark our starting point in our brainstorm (the first idea and our temporary title) and the main topics. We'll use the Prezi text styles for this.

Double-click on the first idea The Future, choose the text style Title, and make this text big (if it's not already big enough). Use the bigger A in the menu to enlarge the text or click on the small circle in the bottom-right corner of the text box as shown in the following screenshot:

Resizing text

You have two options to resize text: inside the text box (editing mode) or via the transformation tool. If you are inside the text box (by double-clicking on the text), you can resize the text by using the small or bigger A or the small circle in the bottom-right corner of the text box. Click on the text box once and use the transformation tool to resize the text. The plus sign is used to enlarge the text and the minus sign is used to minimize the text. You can also click-and-drag the small blue squares at the corner of the text box to resize text.

Now, choose your three most important words from all the words on the canvas. These will become your main topics. Double-click on these words and choose the text style Subtitle for them. Make these words bigger, but not as big as the title. This is shown in the following screenshot:

The next step is the most interesting one. For every other word on the canvas, decide whether it should be part of one of our main topics or remove the word. If a word is part of a main topic, move the word to that main topic. If new words pop up in your mind, it's okay to add them to the canvas.

When you finish this process, your canvas will look like the following screenshot. This is the information structure (or mind map) that will be the basis of your presentation.

To show relations or to emphasize information, you can add arrows and lines or use the highlighter. This helps you to structure the information further and determine the objects on which you want to focus. It can also help you think about the flow of the information during your presentation.

Arrows and lines are for when you want to show relationships and associations. The highlighter is suitable when you want to emphasize any information. You can even make small drawings with the highlighter. Finally, for extra accentuation, you can also use an arrow that will point at the information, just like the red arrow that is shown in the following screenshot.

Creating a double-sided arrow is not a standard option in Prezi. So, if you need it, you have to create it yourself by using two separate arrows and putting them next to each other.

Objective complete – mini debriefing

In this task, you learned how to turn your brainstorm into a mind map. You used Title for the subject and Subtitle for the three main topics. Our subject is The Future, our main topics are metaphor, the past, and yours.

Then, you decided for every other word whether it's a part of a main topic or it should be removed. It's an interesting process and a few new words might pop up in your mind. In our case, the word metaphor popped up during our process. A metaphor is a way of describing a subject as something else to make a stronger visual. We will be using a crystal ball as a metaphor for The Future.

The result of this process is a mind map for your presentation. You can use arrows, lines, and a highlighter to create relationships or emphasize information.

Classified intel

You can take your information structure a step further by using frames. Frames are a great way to visualize a structure. You can use frames to group content, so that if you move a frame, the entire content will move as well. This will enable you to rearrange the information really fast just by moving the frames. Not on paper and not even with post-its can you move information this easily. Use frames in frames to show subtopics and more detailed information.

Frames do not have to be of the same size. You can resize them in the same way as you resize text. The bigger a frame, the more important the information.

Our mind map would look like the following screenshot if we use frames:

How should you present your mind map?

A lot of people present their prezi online. That's okay as long as you have a good and stable Internet connection. If you do not have a good Internet connection or if you're not sure about doing this, you better download your prezi for your presentation.

Engage thrusters

It doesn't matter which Prezi account you have. You can download your prezi and present it offline with any type of account. The YouTube videos you have added to your prezi cannot be played if you don't have an Internet connection. These movies are not inserted in to your prezi, it's a link to the YouTube movie. Other movies, which can be inserted by selecting From file (PDF, Video)... under Insert, will always play even without an Internet connection.

In your prezis, go to the prezi you want to download and click on the Download button. Click on Presenting (the one on the left-hand side) and then click on the Download button, as shown in the following screenshot. A ZIP file will download to your computer. This ZIP file contains everything you need to present, for both Windows and Mac. You don't need a browser and there is a built-in Flash Player.

Unzip the ZIP file and double-click on Prezi.exe if you are presenting on a Windows machine. The other prezi file is to present on a Mac.

The file will automatically open in the Flash Player. Click on the Fullscreen button in the bottom-right corner to show the prezi on a fullscreen as shown in the following screenshot. Now, you are ready to present!

If you want, you can use a remote to click through your presentation instead of using the keyboard arrows. A remote looks much more professional.

Both the iPad and iPhone don't support Flash. However, you can download the free Prezi apps for both iPad and iPhone. Visit the links prezi.com/ipad/ and prezi.com/iphone/ for more information.

Objective complete – mini debriefing

In this task, we explained how you can present your prezi without an Internet connection. It's okay to present online, but your Internet connection must be stable and have enough bandwidth. If it's not working well, it might slow down your presentation and lead to frustration both for you and your audience.

A Hotshot challenge

Now, you've seen how you can brainstorm and develop a structure in Prezi and create a presentation to practice these skills. Choose one of the following subjects, start your brainstorm, create a mind map, fill it with information, and present it to your friends and family!

  • My ideal house

  • When I dream, I think of…

  • My favorite food

  • When I'm old…

  • On an extra day off, I'll…

Summary

This article teaches how to create a prezi by using brainstorming techniques. You will learn how to brainstorm in Prezi, how to go from a brainstorm to a mind map, and how to structure your content.

Resources for Article:


Further resources on this subject:


Prezi HOTSHOT Create amazing Prezi presentations through 10 exciting Prezi projects with this book and ebook
Published: April 2014
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About the Author :


Hedwyg van Groenendaal

Hedwyg van Groenendaal (1971, MSc) has 20 years of experience in the field of the Internet and web design. This started during her studies in building Information Technology at Eindhoven University of Technology. She graduated in 1995. Quite soon after finishing her studies, she started her own Internet and web design company called Via Milia, and a few years later, she started an Internet education center.

Hedwyg is passionate about creating easy access to tools and techniques that are (or seem) difficult for many people. She is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, creative, passionate, technical, analytical, and is also an expert in Prezi and social media. Her motto is "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough".

Hedwyg has already written 10 books on web design, Flash, ActionScript, and Dreamweaver as well as five books on Prezi (four in Dutch and one in English, The Ultimate Prezi Guide). She founded Prezi University. From this initiative, workshops, trainings, seminars and events about Prezi are organized, such as the annual Prezi day.

Prezi.com appreciates all the initiatives by Hedwyg van Groenendaal and decided to appoint her as one of the first official Prezi Experts.

On February 28, 2013, Hedwyg won the worldwide TED-Prezi contest, Ideas Matter, with her Prezi IDENTITY, which was inspired by Bryan Stevenson's TED talk "We need to talk about an injustice".

You will find more information on Hedwyg van Groenendaal and her company, Prezi University, at www.preziuniversity.com, and facebook.com/preziuniversity, and you can also follow her on her Twitter accounts: @hedwygNL and @preziuniversity.

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