New Options for Non-Linear Presentations

About a year ago, I found a link to, and some information on, a curious piece of presentation software called Prezi. It is a radical departure from the typical presentation software and has the potential to transform the way we create and deliver presentations.

Instead of a linear series of slides, you create one big giant slide, place your content, then you zoom in/out to move through your presentation.  Aside from the “cool” factor, Prezi now gives you an easy way to give a non-linear presentation.

You can move through a sequence of “frames” (think traditional slides) as you normally would, or, if you want to veer off to a related topic or answer a question with other information, you can easily move out of the sequence, present that content, then easily return to your place in the presentation.

You can see some examples in their Showcase (  I’ll create a Prezi version of my Three Rules presentation (see here) and post it for you to check out in a few weeks.

Microsoft has a beta add-on for PowerPoint called pptPlex that provides similar functionality. I’ll be testing it out and posting about it some time this summer. 

Check them out and post your comments (especially if you’ve used either one of these programs for your own presentations).  Remember that you do not need to log in to post comments to this blog.

Good (Non-Linear) Presenting!



7 responses to “New Options for Non-Linear Presentations

  1. I tested both programs, unfortunately both of them have problems with embedding high-res video content. In pptplex video and animation will not be supported at all.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the post. I run presentation skills workshops in the UK for jobseekers and business people. Since your post, Prezi has really gone from strength to strength.
    I’ve seen many people using it especially ‘digital natives’; I’m not nearly as keen on the pptPlex but thanks for that anyway as I was not aware of it. I have bookmarked your blog and with your permission will provide a reciprocal link?


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  5. I love prezi. Created a presentation with text, photos, and video in 20 minutes. Super cool. I teach young children and we are looking into digital storytelling. One problem (it is quite a problem) NO SOUND!! I can’t have my children talk in the background. 😦 !!!!

  6. Picture Link is a great way to create non-linear presentation on the iPad and iPad 2. Adding video is great and updates are coming in July 2011. The cost is $2.99 there is a Lite version that is free to use.
    Link below

  7. Interesting post. Unfortunately, the problem with these tools (for me!) is that they are still too close to the paradigm of creating slides and going through them one by one. You could just create an index in PPT and use that as a sidebar to hop around a linear presentation, giving the impression of a non-linear journey. If data changes content, relationships or concepts you have to re-do the entire presentation. is disrupting this view, by using a data driven model to create content and allowing the user to create rich ‘peripheral’ content. The visualisation of this information is the key – it is completely democratised allowing the viewers of the data to drive the order in which things are viewed.

    For people in business that use a lot of spreadsheets, changing data points in master grid (a la Excel) automatically applies itself to the content of the ‘presentation’.

    Interested in peoples thoughts.

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