Laura’s Team Pick: No More Powerpoint

Nothing says “zzzzz” quite like a Powerpoint. After a 10 year hiatus from Microsoft’s most boring software, I’m suddenly required to make at least presentations 3 a semester and I’m just about ready to kill myself. Yesterday, one of my group members brought me tidings of great joy: there’s something else out there! Prezi is the genius zoomy presentation editor that lets you make things that people might actually want to look at.

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. I think I’m biased because the only time I’ve watched a presentation created using Prezi was in my art history class; the group was presenting on the Forbidden City, so someone asked “Why is it called the Forbidden City?” and they just kind of looked at each other quizzically. It was pretty awkward.

  2. I used Prezi a couple of semesters ago to give a super short presentation in my women + social movements class. Jennifer Knapp had come out like a week before, so I spent hours listening to her music and creating a stellar Prezi presentation. It was miles above and beyond what was required, but I was bursting with geek+lez love and just had to get it all out. Pun totes intended.

  3. IMO presentation software is unnecessary 99% of the time (that other 1% is if you have pictures or something that are absolutely integral to the presentation). The most engaging presentations I have ever seen were sans software.

  4. Everyone complains about PowerPoint (or presentation software in general), but when I was in grad school teaching an intro class for my department, you should have heard my students bitching when I *didn’t* use PowerPoints! I think it helped them organize their thoughts and sift the important ideas from the tangents and smaller details. What I finally tried to do was make the PowerPoints intersting (add pictures, clips, graphs, etc), but only use them as a bare bones template for the class, while trying to incorporate other activities and discussions expounding on those basics laid out on the screen.

    That looks like a super cool alternative to PowerPoint, though. That could have been fun to play with back in the day.

  5. I made an account JUST TO THANK YOU FOR THIS:

    I am a high school biology teacher, and this just blew my mind.
    It’s an amazing teaching tool because it helps kids maintain an overarching perspective and see CONTEXT and RELATIONSHIPS instead of getting mired in details. I actually wrote a super enthusiastic email about it to the entire faculty at my school, and a bunch of them signed up right away – so, you may have just helped make a couple hundred teenagers’ lives *slightly* less confusing.

    I used it in a lesson on the human reproductive system today, which now that I’m telling you seems mildly ironic considering the amount of sperm involved, but what can you do… :)

  6. wow, Prezi everywhere. I do not have anything to be presented, but with Prezi, maybe I can help some people with certain jobs to maximize their presentations, such as teachers. Thanks for this very useful information.

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